For the second year in a row, Indiana State University ranked first in the state on an index that measures how well it helps disadvantaged students graduate and obtain good-paying jobs.

Created by CollegeNET, the Social Mobility Index “measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students [with family incomes below the national median] at lower tuition and graduates them into good paying jobs.”

This is also the fifth time in the past six years that ISU ranked best among Indiana’s public institutions.

“We’re very proud, once again, to be recognized for the transformative impact ISU has on the lives of our students,” said ISU President Deborah Curtis. “It’s just one of the ways we’re distinct — providing opportunities for affordable, high-quality education at a comprehensive university. Our graduates leave here ready for careers that bolster Indiana’s workforce.”

Half of Indiana State’s current freshman class is Pell Grant eligible. Half of the class is also first generation college students.

“Our focus in developing the Social Mobility Index is to comparatively assess the role of our higher education system in providing a conduit for economic and social advancement,” CollegeNET says.

The SMI looks at “the extent to which colleges and universities contribute to solving the problem of economic divergence in our country.”

ISU has a placement rate of 95 percent for graduates, meaning they go into jobs, graduate school or the military. The average starting salary is $47,211.

In 2019, ISU's national ranking was 246 out of 1,458 schools surveyed, or the top 16.8 percent. Last year, it ranked 194 nationally out of 1,380 schools surveyed, or the top 14 percent.
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