U.S. News Best Colleges vs Social Mobility Elevators

Higher Education

May 1, 2023

The Social Mobility Elevator rankings are basically the opposite of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. Where their rankings largely reward institutional wealth and prestige, our rankings reward access, affordability, and the scale of social impact. It is unsurprising that most of the top 50 Best Colleges do not approach our top 50 or even our top 500. Most of the top-ranked liberal arts Best Colleges do not crack our top 1,000. Many of the U.S. News Best Colleges are ranked in the bottom quartile for social mobility, in no small part because they enroll a small number of students, reject most students who apply, and do not enroll large shares of students with Pell Grants or underrepresented students of color.

The 2023 U.S. News Best Colleges were used for comparison. Place the cursor on any dot to see the precise ranking.