What are Social Mobility Elevators?
The possibility of attaining a higher socioeconomic status than the one you were born into has been a core principle of the American experiment since our founding, even if that principle has never been fully realized or extended to all Americans. From the founding of historically Black colleges and universities to the creation of the G.I. Bill, higher education has long played a crucial role in driving social mobility in America.
Our Social Mobility Elevator rankings look at how well four-year colleges and universities help to realize social mobility by providing access to students from low-income households and students of color who are underrepresented in higher education and the support all students need to graduate. The rankings are designed to shine a light on institutions of higher education that help transform students, families, and communities and to make the case for sending more resources their way so they can have an even greater impact.