U.S. News & World Report recently announced a few of its highly anticipated 2024 university rankings, and Texas A&M University-Commerce has placed 58th in the nation for social mobility among 434 ranked universities.
The designation reflects A&M-Commerce's commitment to advancing the educational opportunities and outcomes of students with socio-economic disadvantages. Notably, A&M-Commerce rose 47 spots in the national rankings from 105th in 2023 to 58th in 2024.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development defines “social mobility” as the ability of individuals to improve their socio-economic status in relation to their parents' or guardians' status, or throughout their lifetime.
Colleges and universities play a crucial role as engines of socio-economic change. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics highlights a substantial difference in annual earnings between those with a bachelor's degree ($61,600) and those with only a high school diploma ($39,700).
U.S. News & World Report determines social mobility rankings by calculating the graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students, including Pell Grant recipients (typically with family incomes under $50,000) and first-generation students. Institutions with higher proportions of students with economic disadvantages received extra rating points.
Dr. Dan Su, executive director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research at A&M-Commerce, benchmarks the university's social mobility efforts. According to Su, A&M-Commerce's student population includes a significant number of Pell Grant recipients and first-generation students. Specifically, 60% of first-time, full-time freshmen at A&M-Commerce were Pell Grant recipients in 2022-2023, and 67% were first-generation scholars.
Notably, the university's Pell Grant recipients achieved higher graduation rates compared to non-Pell recipients, 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 in 2022-2023.
A&M-Commerce President Mark Rudin is proud of the university’s upward trajectory in social mobility, but he’s not surprised.
“We have worked hard to strategically develop programs and initiatives that empower students to overcome challenges and achieve their goals,” Rudin said. “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 help prospective students find their best-fit institutions with the nation's top 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.