Seven senior colleges and five community colleges at The City University of New York dominated the Chronicle of Higher Education’s top 10 lists of public U.S. campuses with the greatest success in moving low-income students into the middle class. In a separate global assessment of college quality using totally different criteria, three CUNY colleges placed among the top 1,000 colleges among the 27,770 analyzed worldwide.
The Chronicle’s list was drawn from a widely reported study of colleges’ impact on social mobility by a team led by Stanford University economics professor Raj Chetty. Their 2017 paper, “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility” tracked students from nearly every U.S. college, including nongraduates, and measured their subsequent earnings against millions of anonymous tax filings and financial-aid records. They looked to see how well colleges helped students whose parents were in the bottom 20 percent of income levels reach the top 20 percent for individual earnings.
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