Wichita State ranked highest in Kansas in social mobility index

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Wichita State University ranked No. 35 in the nation and was the highest-ranked university in Kansas and the region, according to the Social Mobility Index.

SMI differs from most other rankings in that it focuses directly and broadly on the problem of economic mobility. The index values schools that are best at educating more economically disadvantaged people (family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition so they graduate into good paying jobs.

Enhancing economic mobility means providing access to economically disadvantaged students, graduating them and moving them into good paying jobs.

“Wichita State, located in the largest city in Kansas, enrolls a significant number of first-generation college students,” said WSU President John Bardo. “We’re pleased to be the gateway to economic success for our students, and we’re glad to see this validated in the SMI study.”

The SMI is computed from five variables: published tuition, percent of student body whose families are below the United States median income, graduation rate, reported median salary 0-5 years after graduation and endowment. WSU’s score of 34.8 was the highest in a region comprising Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The chief goal of the SMI is to stimulate policy changes within U.S. higher education to help arrest the dangerous and growing economic divergence between the rich and poor in America.

For more information, go to http://www.socialmobilityindex.org/.

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