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Study: UAlbany Grades High on Economic Mobility Scorecard

A new study published in the New York Times grades UAlbany high on helping low-income students achieve wealth. (Photo by Carlo De Jesus)

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 27, 2017) – A new study published in the New York Times is proving the University at Albany shapes a bright economic future for low-income students.

The study, titled “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility,” ranked UAlbany among the top 20 “selective public colleges” in the nation for offering students who come from poverty the most opportunity to achieve wealth in adulthood.

Specifically, the study found that 43 percent of UAlbany students who begin college with family incomes in the bottom 20 percentile will go on to earn in the top 20 percentile during their professional life.

The University’s median income for all students at age 34 was $56,300. That also ranked in the top 20.

“This report is more evidence that the University at Albany is a powerful engine of opportunity, and confirms the positive impact of our programs and interventions that support student success,” said UAlbany Interim President James R. Stellar. “We should celebrate this recognition while continuing to create even stronger pathways to social and economic mobility for our graduates.”

The study – which was led by five economists at Harvard and U.C. Berkeley – analyzed more than 30 million student tax returns and tuition records from 1999 to 2013. Researchers compared students’ earnings and their parent’s incomes to shed light on how every college/university in the United States shapes upward economic mobility.

UAlbany was compared against 369 “selective public colleges” across the country. Included in the group was regional competitors like the University at Buffalo, Penn State University and the University of Massachusetts.

Among all New York State colleges (public and private), UAlbany still ranked in the top 30 for both categories mentioned above, and was in the top five for SUNY schools.

Overall, the study found 3.6 percent of all UAlbany students moved from the bottom income quintile to the top income quintile as adults. The average for every college in the United States was 1.9 percent.

Interested in learning more? View the entire report here.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.