William Paterson University Lands in Top 5 Percent of Four-Year Institutions Nationwide on 2020 Social Mobility Index

William Paterson University climbed 43 spots since last year, from No. 119 to No. 76, on a national ranking of 1,449 four-year colleges and universities based on how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs.

The 2020 Social Mobility Index, released by CollegeNET, now ranks William Paterson in the top 5 percent of four-year colleges and universities nationwide.

“Education is a means of social mobility and economic progress and I am proud of our William Paterson students who recognize that a bachelor’s degree is one of our nation’s greatest income equalizers,” says William Paterson University President Richard J. Helldobler. “Our impressive ranking in the 2020 Social Mobility Index is all the more meaningful at this point in our nation’s history, as COVID-19 has disproportionately affected low-income and minority populations.”

Founded on the principle that growing economic disparity in this country is the most pressing problem of our time, the Social Mobility Index seeks to redirect the attribution of “prestige” in higher education toward colleges that are advancing economic opportunity and social mobility.

“Administrators have a better chance to help strengthen US economic mobility and the promise of the American Dream if they can identify and learn from colleges that are skilled at doing this,” explains CollegeNET President Jim Wolfston.

Along with the recognition in CollegeNET’s 2020 Social Mobility Index, William Paterson University was recently ranked on social mobility in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 edition of Best Colleges. There, the University jumped 27 spots in one year—landing at No. 38 of 176 regional universities.

Additionally, Washington Monthly’s 2020 Master’s Universities Rankings—a unique ranking based on an institution’s contribution to the public good in the categories of social mobility, research, and promoting public service—ranked WP 125 out of nearly 400 four-year institutions nationwide that offer master’s degrees.

 “Our University is committed to providing an excellent education, with strong academic support resources and career guidance for students who are changing the social fabric of both our great state and nation,” says President Helldobler.