Business and educators are going to have to work together to ensure that Southern California continues to thrive economically, according to a report recently released by the LAEDC and CSUN. Photo by Lee Choo..
Photo by Lee Choo.

CSUN is now the nation’s fourth-ranked school on CollegeNET’s 2020 Social Mobility Index, which analyzes and ranks which U.S. colleges and universities most effectively enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs. 

This is CSUN’s highest rank ever on the Social Mobility Index, which was created in 2014. The university has moved up the rankings since 2016, when it reached No. 20. It was ranked No. 11 in 2019.

The Social Mobility Index aims to increase the prestige of universities who recruit economically disadvantaged students, charge lower tuitions and graduate these students into good-paying jobs.

By these measures, CSUN ranks fourth of 1,449 four-year schools on the index.

Fifty-nine percent of CSUN students are traditionally underserved. More than 48 percent are first-generation college students. Nearly 53 percent of CSUN’s undergraduate students receive Pell grants.

CollegeNET is not the only national organization to recognize CSUN’s life-changing impact. Money Magazine ranked CSUN No. 6 on a list of 50 transformative schools, noting factors such as graduation rates, earnings and student loan repayment when ranking schools. Money Magazine noted that CSUN’s graduation rate is 37% higher than would be expected based on the academic and economic backgrounds of the students enrolled.

In 2018, CollegeNet recognized CSUN as a Social Mobility Innovator for its groundbreaking programs that foster social mobility. This included a supportive culture that helps build resiliency in students facing significant obstacles to academic success. CollegeNET cited CSUN’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which provides critical access and retention services — including transition support, academic support and financial support — to historically low-income, educationally disadvantaged, first-generation college students. The university also received praise for its faculty mentoring program, which trains mentors who help students overcome barriers they’ve experienced before college matriculation.

Fourteen of the top 20 schools on CollegeNET’s 2020 Social Mobility Index were in the California State University system.


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