Sonoma State University has ranked 43 out of 539 colleges in the inaugural Social Mobility Index rankings released earlier this year.
The ranking is a new way of looking at a school's value, according to SMI's Web site. "The greatest sensitivity for movement in the SMI rankings comes from making changes in tuition or making changes in the percentage of students within the student body whose family incomes are less than or equal to the national median--$48,000," it says. "Simply put, a school can most dramatically move itself upwards in the SMI rankings by lowering its tuition or increasing its percentage of economically disadvantaged students (or both)."
Twelve of the 23 CSU campuses made the top 50, including Cal Poly Pomona (4), CSU Northridge (5) and CSU Stanislaus (10) in the top 10. The rankings are a collaboration between companies CollegeNet and Payscale.
Some Ivy League schools, like Harvard and Yale, did not fare as well, ranking 438 and 440, respectively.
"The chief goal of the Social Mobility Index (SMI) is to stimulate policy changes within US higher education to help arrest the dangerous and growing economic divergence between rich and poor in our country," says the Web site.