The ranking measures the commitment of higher education to success and opportunity for economically disadvantaged students. “The Social Mobility Index helps policymakers determine which colleges are addressing the national problem of economic mobility,” said Jim Wolfston, CEO of CollegeNET. “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 the colleges that are skilled at doing this.”
CSUN has steadily gone up in the rankings. It placed 30th in 2015 and 20th in 2016. Thirteen of the 23 California State Universities made the top 20 this year. The Social Mobility Index takes into account access, affordability, graduation rates, early career salary after graduation and endowments in its ranking. “Economic mobility happens when students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds apply to college, graduate, get hired and thereby move up the economic ladder,” according to the Social Mobility Index website.
The university not only positively impacts students but also California. A 2016 report by Beacon Economics LLC found CSUN generates $1.9 billion for the economy, and created more than 11,700 jobs. According to the report, “By way of its diverse degree programs and student outreach, the university provides much of its social impact through the knowledge and skills and it delivers to its students. CSUN facilitates significant partnerships and training with local businesses, and through these programs, students are able to better prepare for the professional world.”