Skip to content

Baruch College Earns #1 Ranking for Social Mobility from The Chronicle of Higher Education

New York, NY – August 22, 2018 – Baruch College ranked #1 for social mobility among four-year public institutions, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s just-released 2018 Almanac of Higher Education, a yearly roundup of major stories and research in the world of higher education. Baruch College topped the list with a social mobility rate of 12.9 percent, ahead of eight other City University of New York schools, all of which were ranked among the top 20.

In the Chronicle’s new ranking, “Colleges With the Highest Student-Mobility Rates, 2014,” mobility rate is defined as the percentage of all students who attended a particular college and who met both of the following conditions: They had parents in the bottom 20 percent of the national income distribution among those in their birth cohort, and in 2014, they reached the top 20 percent of the national income distribution for their birth cohort.

“We are pleased to be recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education for our social mobility leadership and academic success,” says Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD. “Higher education plays an essential role in addressing the worsening socioeconomic gap that currently exists in our country, and Baruch’s extremely low tuition, high quality academic programs, and extensive support services have helped generations of students, and their families, move permanently to a higher economic status. At Baruch College, we take enormous pride in our students’ success and their high rate of graduation. The American Dream is alive and well here.” 

Additional data in support of Baruch’s top ranking included:

  • Median parent household income: $42,800
  • Median child earnings (2014): $57,600
  • Parents in bottom 20 percent of income distribution: 27.6 percent
  • Children from bottom 20 percent who reached top 20 percent: 46.8 percent

The Chronicle’s list was drawn from a widely reported study of colleges’ impact on social mobility by a team led by Harvard economics professor Raj Chetty (formerly of Stanford University). The team’s 2017 study, “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility,” tracked students from nearly every U.S. college, including nongraduates, and measured their subsequent earnings against millions of anonymous tax filings and financial aid records.

In the Spotlight for Social Mobility Success

Baruch College’s success propelling graduates into the middle class and beyond has been garnering national accolades for years. Baruch College was named a 2018 Social Mobility Innovator by CollegeNET and has ranked #1 on CollegeNET’s annual Social Mobility Index for the past three consecutive years. The College received top billing in CollegeNET’s just-published e-book “Social Mobility Through Higher Education – Best Practices for Student Success” and is prominently featured in bestselling author Steven Brill’s latest book Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--and Those Fighting to Reverse It. Both publications position Baruch College as among those exemplary higher education institutions leading the national dialogue on social mobility and successfully propelling low-income students up the socioeconomic ladder.

In addition, Money magazine recently placed Baruch College among the top 10 schools on its “Best Colleges 2018” list, based on educational quality, affordability, and alumni success. The New York Times also recognized Baruch’s success in promoting social mobility in a series of articles that draw from the Equality of Opportunity Project datasets.


The students in the current study were born between 1980 and 1982, and their college attendance was measured when they were between the ages of 19 and 22, roughly in the early 2000s. Parental income is the average annual household total income before taxes and transfers over the five years when the child turned ages 15 to 19; parental income is adjusted for inflation to 2015 dollars. Children’s earnings are the sum of their individual wages and self-employment earnings in 2014. Students who attended colleges are included even if they did not graduate. Colleges with fewer than 300 students in the average cohort for 1980, 1981, and 1982 were excluded from the ranking.

Media Contact

Evan Nemeroff, (646) 660-6146, or

# # #






Bookmark and Share