Access to an Outstanding Education at an Affordable Cost
NEW YORK, NY – October 27, 2015 – Independent observers increasingly recognize that Baruch College provides a top-quality education at a cost accessible to students from a wide range of cultural and economic backgrounds. A succession of surveys have praised the school using terms like “affordable elite,” “value,” “return on investment,” “best bang for the buck,” “diversity,” “urban gem,” and “social mobility.”
Most recently, CollegeNET’s annual Social Mobility Index ranked Baruch #1 out of more than 900 colleges nationally in terms of “contributing in a responsible way to solving the dangerous problem of economic immobility in our country.”
In announcing the rankings, CollegeNET said “Baruch scored very high on all SMI variables: number of low income students admitted and graduated, low tuition cost, and high employment outcomes after graduation.”
Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein said, “Income inequality continues to increase in America, and too many young people are graduating with student loans that are equivalent to holding a mortgage, but with no house to show for it. Baruch is proud to help all students, including those from less-advantaged backgrounds, get a quality, affordable education that can lead to economic and social mobility.”
The Social Mobility Index reinforces other surveys this year that have ranked Baruch:
#1 “Best Bang for the Buck” in the northeast region (Washington Monthly);
#1 “Least Debt” in the North region (U.S. News & World Report);
#4 “Most Ethnically Diverse” in the North region (U.S. News & World Report);
“Standout Institution” for Pell Grant Graduation (Education Trust)
# 14 “Best Value Schools” (Forbes)
Among 200 “Colleges That Pay You Back” (Princeton Review)
#71 “Best Colleges for Overall Value” (Money magazine)
The Pell Grant reference above is from a recent report by the Washington-based Education Trust, a non-profit advocacy group that “promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels, particularly for students of color and low-income students.” The report noted that nationally, there is a 14-point gap in graduation rates between students with Pell Grants (51%) and non-Pell students (65%). The report found that at Baruch College, however, 69% of Pell students graduate – slightly higher than Baruch’s graduation rate for non-Pell students (65%).
The Education Trust has been giving Baruch College positive recognition for more than a decade. In 2011, the Trust said Baruch was one of just five colleges out of nearly 1,200 examined that met the Trust’s standards for affordability, quality and accessibility. The five were part of public university systems that “are deeply, publicly committed to closing the access and success gaps between low-income and high-income students, and between whites and underrepresented minorities.” Or as the Chronicle of Higher Education put it, “Only 5 Colleges Do Well by Low-Income Students, Report Says.”
And in a 2006 report, the Education Trust said “Only 20 four-year colleges in the country can claim that more than half their students receive Pell Grants and that their six-year graduation rate is higher than 50 percent. Of those 20 schools, only one is large – Baruch College, part of the City University of New York system.”
“Our commitment to students from less-advantaged backgrounds goes beyond admitting them at an affordable price,” said Mary Gorman, Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management & Strategic Academic Initiatives. “Our tutoring center provides free help to more than 5,000 students a year. We offer summer and winter inter-session courses that help keep students on track to completion. We take an active role in protecting our students from financial stress translating to academic stress.”
“Baruch College traces its roots to the creation in 1847 of the Free Academy, the first free public institution of higher education in the United States,” President Wallerstein said. “Founder Townsend Harris declared, ‘Open the doors to all. Let the children of the rich and poor take their seats together and know of no distinction save that of industry, good conduct, and intellect.’ We can say with pride and confidence that the experiment continues to be a resounding success today and a model for the nation,” Wallerstein said.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.
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