NMSU helps students climb the social mobility ladder

December 7, 2015 by Tiffany Acosta, NMSU News Center

According to the Social Mobility Index, New Mexico State University ranks in the top 12 percent in the nation for universities that help students improve their economic status. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

According to the Social Mobility Index, New Mexico State University ranks in the top 12 percent in the nation for universities that help students improve their economic status. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

New Mexico State University ranks in the top 12 percent for schools that help improve their students’ economic status, according to CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index ranking.

Rankings are based on tuition, economic background, graduation rate, early career salary and endowment. Data is collected through third party sources such as Payscale, Inc., and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. NMSU ranks 112th out of 931 schools listed and is second among its peer institutions.

“The Social Mobility Index measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition, so they can graduate and obtain good paying jobs,” according to its website.

“Serving New Mexico students is the focal point of our land-grant mission, many of whom are first-generation students,” said Terry Cook, NMSU’s assistant vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. “Federally funded programs like TRIO Student Support Services provide mentoring and academic support for first-generation and low-income students, and they produce outstanding outcomes because of the support they provide to help students navigate the higher education experience.

“As a first-generation student I can attest to many of the challenges our students face and know that the support of faculty, staff and my fellow students made the difference for me,” she said.

For Tularosa, New Mexico, native and first-generation college graduate Matt Voorbach, having NMSU close to home was very important.

“I think having the opportunity to attend New Mexico State University has not only benefited me but also my family,” he said. “It has allowed me to focus my energy and time on studying.”

Voorbach, who has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work, credits NMSU for providing programs and services to first-generation college students and minorities.

“When I was in school I was able to enroll in the Chicanos program that was tailored to first-generation Hispanic students. I also was able to use the math center, libraries and education writing center,” he said.

Voorbach is a clinical social worker with the U.S. Department of Defense at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

For more information and a complete list of rankings visit http://www.socialmobilityindex.org.

Recently, Business Insider named NMSU as one of the 50 most underrated colleges in America. For the seventh consecutive year, NMSU was named a top military-friendly school for 2016 by Victory Media.

Additionally this year, Forbes recognized NMSU as one of America’s Top Colleges in 2015. NMSU also was named as a top tier university on the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for 2016 National Universities rankings.


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