Queens College ranks eighth among top 10 schools nationwide in moving low-income students from poverty to prosperity

Queens College
The Queens College campus in Flushing. (Courtesy of Queens College)

Queens College has been ranked eighth nationwide by CollegeNET for how effectively it enrolls students from low-income backgrounds and graduates them into well-paying jobs. 

The college is one of only three New York schools to be ranked in the top 10 CollegeNET, which provides web-based on-demand technologies for higher education, released its findings on Thursday, Nov. 19, in the 2020 Social Mobility Index (SMI).

“It comes as no surprise that when it comes to economic mobility, Queens College — now in its 83rd year of serving the people of New York — is making a larger impact than virtually every other college in the country,” said Queens College President Frank Wu. “When our students — rich in ambition, talent and creativity — are given the advantage of a high-quality, world-class faculty, they become the backbone of our city and state workforce.”

The Social Mobility Index (SMI) measures the extent to which a college or university educates economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition and graduates them into well-paying jobs. Data are collected from third party sources including the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

City University of New York (CUNY) and California State schools dominated the top 25 institutions among the nearly 1,450 institutions that were ranked. 

The 2020 SMI is being released at a time when it has been reported that “COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting low-income students, forcing them to abandon, delay or alter their pursuit of a college degree and the potential that degree provides for social mobility.”

According to Wu, Queens college students are community-conscious citizens, thriving professionals, job creators and productive taxpayers. 

Queens College students live or work in the metropolitan region, anchoring their neighborhoods, contributing to long-term growth, more than paying back the investment the city and state made in their education. 

“It is more vital now than ever that we continue to provide hard-working students a pathway to improving their economic standing, so that they may strengthen the economy of our city, state and nation,” Wu said. 

Queens College first opened its doors in the fall of 1937 with the goal of providing a first-class education to students from all financial and ethnic backgrounds, an education that would lift them from often humble circumstances to becoming active and prosperous participants in the American Dream.