Story by Yashowanto N. Ghosh, Staff Writer
Image courtesy Ashley Postema
Aquinas College was on the list of Top Performers on Social Mobility for the second year in a row when U.S. News & World Report’s “2021 Best Colleges Rankings” were published on September 14, 2020.
The school is tied for 75th on the national list. No college in Michigan is ranked higher, but two other colleges in the state—Albion College and Kalamazoo College—are also tied for 75th. Aquinas tied for 80th on the same list last year, the first year that U.S. News & World Report published a social mobility ranking.
According to U.S. News, its social mobility indicator is computed using two factors which receive equal weights. Both factors are based on how well recipients of Federal Pell grants perform at a college. Students receiving these grants come from families with annual incomes lower than $50,000, and most of the funds for the grants go to students whose families make less than $20,000 a year. One of the factors of the social mobility indicator is the fraction of the college’s Pell grant students who graduate within six years.
The other factor compares that first fraction with the fraction of the college’s non-Pell grant students who graduate within six years—the higher the first fraction relative to the second one, up to the fractions being equal, the higher the college’s score on social mobility. Both factors are computed as two-year moving averages; the social mobility indicator counts for 5% toward the overall ranking of a college.
President Kevin Quinn said in a statement on the college’s website, “Part of Aquinas College’s Catholic and Dominican mission is to prepare our students to lead lives of purpose and success in service to the world. Economic challenges should not impede success.”