WSSU ranked among top 10 in the nation for improving economic mobility

WSSU ranked among top 10 in the nation for improving economic mobility
November 05
00:00 2015

Special to The Chronicle

Winston-Salem State University was named one of the top 10 universities in the nation for its contribution toward narrowing the economic gap in the United States.

Ranking seventh in the nation on the CollegeNet Social Mobility Index (SMI), WSSU is the highest ranked university in North Carolina and the second highest ranked historically black university in the country.

A total of 931 universities were ranked.

The SMI evaluates colleges and universities based on admissions practices that work to reverse the growing economic disparity in the U.S. WSSU scored high on all of the variables considered in the ranking: number of low-income students admitted and graduated, low tuition cost, and high employment outcomes after graduation. According to the study, a “high SMI ranking means that a college is contributing in a responsible way to solving the dangerous problem of economic immobility in our country.”

“Winston-Salem State University has a long history of educating exceptionally promising students from under-resourced families,” said WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “The Social Mobility Index ranking demonstrates that we are fulfilling our goal of helping students succeed while having a positive and long-lasting economic impact on our state and nation.”

Unlike other ranking systems, which use “exclusivity” to rank colleges and universities, the SMI measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students at a lower tuition, so they can graduate and obtain well-paying jobs.

The ranking comes as WSSU is embarking on a strategic plan for 2016-2021. As the strategic plan is developed, WSSU is intentionally developing practices and programs that ensure that the campus continues to address the challenges and obstacles facing low-income, first-generation and minority students.

“Students from under-resourced populations require an educational experience that integrates academic guidance, mentoring, support services, and a caring community,” said Robinson. “HBCUs like WSSU have always created a different educational experience for our students, but we must continue to evolve to ensure that promising students learn the skills they need to be successful in jobs that may not even yet exist. I’m proud that we have been recognized for our efforts in this area and know that we will continue to make an impact on the economic lives of thousands of families.”

To view the full rankings and the methodology for the SMI, visit


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