Social Mobility Index Ranks Ramapo 149th of 539 Colleges

Ramapo ranked 146th out of 539 considered colleges and universities in a survey that judged social mobility in places of higher education. Social mobility refers to the enhancement of economic opportunity and mobility in students with economic disadvantages.

“A Ramapo education clearly provides a solid foundation for success,” said Stephen Hudik, assistant vice president of communications and public relations, in an email with regarding Ramapo’s social mobility ranking. “We are proud of our efforts to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals and aspirations.”

The Social Mobility Index (SMI) was created by the company CollegeNET. The main purpose of the SMI is, as described on the CollegeNET website, “to stimulate policy changes within US higher education to help arrest the dangerous and growing economic divergence between rich and poor in our country.”

According to their site, the Social Mobility Index has five sensitivity variables: tuition, economic background, graduation rate, early career salary and endowment. Each of these variables is weighed in importance, based on how much “realistic change” is seen because of that value. The two variables of the most importance are tuition and economic background, as a school can directly increase their capacity for social mobility by lowering their tuition costs and raising their admittance of economically disadvantaged students. Ramapo’s score was 29.26 on the SMI, with the highest ranking being 71.51 and the lowest being 25.26.

Data are collected through outside companies that record information relevant to the SMI, like Payscale, Inc., IPEDS and NACUBO, and based on these data, colleges are ranked accordingly. According to, Ramapo ranked fairly high among the 539 colleges and universities that were considered. Another New Jersey school, Rowan University, ranked second overall, surpassed only by Montana Tech of University of Montana.

CollegeNET excludes data such as freshman dropout rates, class size, faculty salaries and student selectivity, deeming them irrelevant to social mobility. Reputation of a school is not taken into account either as, “factoring in ‘opinions’ from college faculty or administrators about social or economic mobility would only perpetuate the biases and stereotypes collected in such surveys,” according to the CollegeNET website.

CollegeNET reports that the United States is the country least conducive to social mobility among developed nations – therefore, the company places great stock in colleges that rank highly on their SMI.

Senior Lauren Walsh cited Ramapo’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program as something that may have contributed to Ramapo’s high ranking on the Social Mobility Index.

“I think Ramapo does promote social mobility, especially with the EOF program, and how they have the students live here over the summer and get their work done, so they can graduate on time,” said Walsh.

Another considerable feature in Ramapo’s education is its tuition costs, which, according to Walsh, are fairly low.

“I think our tuition is very reasonable for a school in New Jersey,” said Walsh. “I think there are so many more schools that are so much more expensive.”