William Paterson University has climbed 33 spots since last year, from No. 76 to No. 43, on a national ranking of 1,549 four-year colleges and universities based on how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs.
The 2021 Social Mobility Index, released by CollegeNet, now ranks William Paterson in the top 3 percent of four-year colleges and universities nationwide.
“Our continued rise in the social mobility rankings shows that William Paterson University is successfully delivering on its mission to provide life-changing college degrees to the students who are transforming the social fabric of our region and our state,” says President Richard J. Helldobler. “Of all the many different college rankings, social mobility really gets to the heart of public higher education’s true purpose, and I am proud of the students, faculty, and staff whose good work is reflected here.”
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.
William Paterson University is also ranked on social mobility in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 edition of Best Colleges, which was released in September 2021. There, the University jumped 12 spots to No. 26 among 171 northern regional universities. The University moved up from No. 38 in the 2021 edition, and from No. 65 in the 2020 report. The ranking measures how well schools graduate students with exceptional financial need.
In addition, William Paterson tied for no. 6 of the same 171 regional universities in the Best Colleges category of “campus ethnic diversity,” which identifies colleges where “students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.”