In a recent announcement by U.S. News & World Report, Texas A&M University-Commerce has achieved a significant milestone in the 2024 university rankings, securing the 58th spot in the nation for social mobility among 434 ranked universities. This marks a remarkable ascent of 47 positions, as the university was previously ranked 105th in 2023.
The ranking underscores Texas A&M University-Commerce's unwavering dedication to enhancing educational opportunities and outcomes for students facing socio-economic disadvantages. The term "social mobility" is defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as an individual's ability to improve their socio-economic status in comparison to that of their parents or guardians or throughout their lifetime.
Higher education institutions have a pivotal role in promoting socio-economic change, as demonstrated by the National Center for Education Statistics, which highlights a substantial discrepancy in annual earnings between individuals with a bachelor's degree, earning $61,600, and those with only a high school diploma, earning $39,700.
U.S. News & World Report calculates social mobility rankings by assessing the graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students, including Pell Grant recipients, who typically have family incomes under $50,000, and first-generation students. Universities with a higher proportion of such students receive extra rating points.
Dr. Dan Su, the executive director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research at A&M-Commerce, has played a crucial role in benchmarking the university's social mobility efforts. According to Su, a significant number of A&M-Commerce's student population consists of Pell Grant recipients and first-generation students. In the 2022-2023 academic year, 60% of first-time, full-time freshmen were Pell Grant recipients, and 67% were first-generation scholars.
Notably, Pell Grant recipients at the university achieved higher graduation rates compared to their non-Pell recipient counterparts, with 4-, 6-, and 8-year graduation rates of 34%, 50%, and 52%, respectively, as opposed to 23%, 37%, and 39% for non-Pell recipients during the same period.
A&M-Commerce's President, Mark Rudin, expressed pride in the university's remarkable rise in social mobility rankings, emphasizing that this achievement is a result of strategic efforts to empower students to overcome challenges and attain their goals. Rudin remarked, "I'm so proud that A&M-Commerce offers an accessible path to a better life for everyone."
U.S. News & World Report conducts annual evaluations to assist prospective students in finding their ideal institutions with top-tier academic programs.
Explore A&M-Commerce's 2024 rankings at U.S. News and World Report to learn more about the university's continued commitment to excellence.