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Chronicle of Higher Education Highlights SBU’s Success in Social Mobility


At Stony Brook University, a committed community of scholars, administrators and students is achieving exceptional results in the area of social mobility — the ability to rise from a low-income background to a more financially prosperous and secure future.

Stony Brook students
Stony Brook students raise a cheer.

This week, an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reflects SBU’s impressive ranking among colleges with the highest student mobility rates. Based on data recently published by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, the ranking shows Stony Brook in fifth place nationally among four-year public institutions.

The Stanford study provides conclusive evidence that a Stony Brook education creates exceptional opportunities for students from low-income households. Entitled Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility, the report ranks Stony Brook among the top 10 colleges and universities in the nation whose students begin college at the bottom fifth of income distribution and then go on to earn in the top three-fifths of income distribution.

According to the study, “51% of students from the bottom quintile reach the top quintile at Stony Brook.” Because 16% of students at Stony Brook are from the bottom quintile compared with 4% at the Ivy-Plus colleges, Stony Brook has a bottom-to-top-quintile mobility rate of 8.4%, substantially higher than the 2.2% rate on average at Ivy-Plus colleges.

“The study is a striking confirmation of Stony Brook’s unique strengths as an engine of social mobility,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “We admit the best and brightest students, regardless of economic status, and give them the top-flight education they need for success.”

“Stony Brook offers an environment in which a diverse student body is encouraged to thrive, and a wide array of programs – from EOP/AIM to intensive academic counseling – help to facilitate their success,” Stanley said.

Below are some recent articles shedding light on Stony Brook’s success in facilitating social mobility, including the wide array of SBU programs and initiatives that help make this crucial aspect of the American Dream a reality.
Social mobility stats


  • Social Mobility Means Success
    Finding ways to enable upward income mobility, one of the defining issues of our time, is a pinnacle of achievement for many institutions of higher learning. At Stony Brook, a wide range of social mobility programs bring results.


  • At Stony Brook, Promoting Social and Economic Mobility Happens Everywhere
    Promoting social and economic mobility takes many forms at Stony Brook University. To be sure, programs such as the Educational Opportunity Program/Advancement on Individual Merit (EOP/AIM) were created specifically to help students who are economically disadvantaged, yet there are academic divisions on campus offering initiatives serving that same purpose — even though it is not their primary function. The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is one such example.



  • Education For All: President Stanley Speaks at G7 University Conference
    With university leaders invited from all seven nations, G7 University was held in Udine, Italy, and designed around a theme of “Education for All.” It was a perfect fit for President Stanley to discuss something he is passionate about: improving access to quality college education.


  • Climbing the Ladder, With a Boost from Stony Brook
    Bergre Escorbores went to a tough high school in Queens, New York. His guidance counselor suggested he skip college and learn a trade. But Bergre had a different plan — as a disadvantaged student who couldn’t easily afford tuition, he was determined to become the first in his family to earn a college degree, and use that degree to help his family move up in the world. Stony Brook offered the tools.


  • Stony Brook Leads Effort to Increase STEM Degrees for Underrepresented
    Underscoring our commitment to diversity and social mobility, Stony Brook University is the lead institution for a new $4 million five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant designed to increase undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in underrepresented minority (UREP) student populations.

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