An Economic Mobility Index (EMI) report by the national think tank, Third Way, listed Cal State San Bernardino at No. 8 on its list, one of six California State University campuses in its top 10.
Third Way’s EMI showed that the schools that are often presented as being the best in the nation on traditional rankings actually provide very little economic mobility. Instead, the report saw a group of Hispanic-Serving Institutions topping the list, including CSUSB.
“As a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution that is devoted to student success, we are incredibly honored to be in the top 10 of this significant ranking,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales. “This recognition highlights the hard work and dedication of our entire campus community, as we strive to prepare our students for the best possible futures.”
CSUSB has been a Hispanic-Serving Institution since 1994. As of fall 2021, CSUSB has a Hispanic undergraduate full-time student enrollment of 66%, well above the HSI requirement of at least 25%.
Third Way’s EMI mathematically combines two variables: 1) the amount of time it takes low-income students from a given college to recoup the costs of paying for their education, and 2) the proportion of students from low- and moderate-income backgrounds who were enrolled at each school.
“Rather than prioritizing selectivity and test scores like traditional rankings, we took a different approach: We defined value based on how well institutions serve their low-income students, in addition to the proportion of low- and moderate-income students a school serves,” the Third Way website says.
Since the original report that was released in January 2022, Third Way investigators have added some enhancements to the report, with the goal of allowing users to better evaluate and compare the economic benefits of attending one school versus another.
First, Third Way introduced an interactive map for users to explore institutions and the economic mobility they provide. Second, it established a tiered system of economic mobility, grouping institutions into five distinct categories based off of similar levels of economic mobility they provide. CSUSB is in Tier 1, which is for colleges that rate within the top 20% for economic mobility. Lastly, Third Way incorporated the amount of federal financial aid that each institution receives on an annual basis.
Other CSUs joining CSUSB on the list include Cal State LA at No. 1, CSU Dominguez Hills at No. 2, CSU Bakersfield at No. 5, Stanislaus State at No. 6, and Fresno State at No. 7.
For more information about the Economic Mobility Index, visit the Third Way website. To read more about the enhancements Third Way has made to its ranking, read the article, “A New Way of Rating Institutions of Higher Ed: Upgrading the Economic Mobility Index” on the think tank’s website.
To view a Forbes article that covers the Third Way ranking, visit the Forbes website.