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Rankings show WSSU’s commitment to placing graduates in high-paying jobs

graduation cap that says "first in family tree to earn a degree"
A 2018 WSSU graduate shows her pride following commencement. WSSU has been recognized as one of the top universities in the nation for social mobility for the past five years. (May 2018 photo)

For the fifth consecutive year, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has been named one of the top universities in the nation for providing the best opportunities for underserved students.

WSSU is no. 7 on CollegeNET’s 2018 Social Mobility Index (SMI) rankings, which were released on Oct. 23. WSSU is the only college or university on the East Coast to rank in the top 20 all five years of SMI rankings.

“I am thrilled that Winston-Salem State University is once again recognized as a leader in social mobility,” says WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “Through a culture of engagement, innovative programs and community partnerships, we are helping to make the American dream a reality for under-resourced students. Our efforts are transforming, not only the lives of our students and their families, but also their communities, our state and our nation.”

In 2014, technology provider CollegeNET created the SMI, a data driven system that ranks U.S. colleges and universities according to how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into promising careers. The SMI evaluates colleges and universities based on admissions practices that work to reverse the growing economic disparity in the United States.

“Unlike other college rankings that are aimed primarily at helping students select a college,” says Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET, “the SMI helps families and policymakers determine which colleges are addressing the national problem of economic mobility. Administrators have a better chance to help strengthen U.S. economic mobility and the promise of the American Dream if they can identify and learn from colleges that are skilled at doing this.”

SMI evaluated more than 1,300 schools on five key variables to create the rankings: low tuition cost, the number of low-income students admitted, graduation rate, endowment, and salary for recent graduates. 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.”

WSSU, the only North Carolina institution in the top 30, moved up two spots from the 2017 rankings, its highest ranking since 2015. Public universities in California and New York accounted for 16 of 20 spots in the SMI top 20.

WSSU has been recognized for the past two years by CollegeNET with the “Social Mobility Innovator” award

About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

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