National recognition for the positive role SUNY Old Westbury plays in improving the social and economic mobility of its students continues as the University was again ranked among the highest in the category in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings.
SUNY Old Westbury ranked 9th in social mobility successes in the publication's "2023 America's Best Colleges" among more than 167 universities in the Northeast - up from its ranking of 13th in 2022. In addition to being identified for fueling the social mobility of its graduates, SUNY Old Westbury was ranked the 31st Top Public Colleges among Regional Universities in the North, up from 45th in 2022, and 96th overall among Top Regional Universities in the North, up from 124th last year.
“Higher education has historically been a proven means to raise up people and communities,” said College President Timothy E. Sams. "We wear recognitions related to social mobility as badges of honor, as our university continues its historic work in providing transformative educational experiences for students from all walks of life and both encouraging and empowering them to take ownership of their futures."
The U.S. News social mobility recognition is the second earned by the University in the past month for the economic mobility of its graduates. In August, SUNY Old Westbury was placed in Tier 1 of the 2023 Third Way Social Mobility Index and ranked 28th overall out of 1,409 campuses across the country – earning the highest ranking among Long Island institutions and the highest within the State University of New York system.
Introduced in 2019 as part of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, the social mobility category considers the degree to which an institution elevates its low-income graduates to a higher standard of living. As rankings leaders such as U.S. News have adjusted their formulas in the past few years, they increasingly consider social mobility among the leading measures of higher education success.
Since its founding, Old Westbury has focused its mission to provide access and opportunity to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Recognized as a Minority Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education, the College is widely recognized among the most diverse institutions in the nation with more than 60 percent of its student body made up of Black, Indigenous and people of color. More than 55 percent of its student body were Pell Grant eligible in 2021-2022, the latest year for which complete figures are available.
"In a time of rising inequality and division, students must be prepared to be the leaders our society needs," said Sams. "We are proud to be recognized as a place whose focus on critical thinking, leadership and social justice is accessible and provides the value our graduates need to make change in the world."
U.S. News & World Report reviewed nearly 1,500 U.S. four-year bachelor's degree-granting institutions on as many as 19 measures for its 39th rankings edition. Ranks are based on methodology used by the publication that includes graduation and retention rank; peer assessment rank; faculty resources rank; financial resources rank; graduation rate performance rank; student excellence rank; graduate indebtedness rank, social mobility rank, and alumni giving rank.