MBU Highlighted for Promoting Social Mobility in Recent College Rankings

A college degree is one of the most important investments that students and their families make as they strive toward their future goals. Recently released college rankings from Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report show that Mary Baldwin is a university that encourages students’ potential and paves the way for their professional success.   

“Support and opportunity are hallmarks of the Mary Baldwin experience from the first time a student visits MBU all the way through graduation and beyond,” said Matthew Munsey, vice president of enrollment management. “We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity, and that starts with helping students from all backgrounds afford an MBU education and build the foundation for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

Washington Monthly ranked MBU at No. 9 for Best Bang for the Buck in the Southeast, up from No. 12 last year. This ranking focuses on showing which universities do well at promoting social mobility and helping non-wealthy students earn marketable degrees at an affordable cost. 

To come up with the Best Bang for the Buck rankings, Washington Monthly looks at a broad range of indicators including the eight-year graduation rate; how well the college or university graduates recipients of the federal Pell Grant vs. non-recipients; how many first-generation students are enrolled at the university; the net price of attending; and measures of graduates’ financial success after college, among several additional metrics.

Washington Monthly calls their rankings “the socially conscious alternative to U.S. News & World Report,” as they aim to highlight the colleges that are agents of social change. 

MBU was also ranked on the U.S. News list of Top Performers for Social Mobility among national universities, coming in at No. 29 (tie) this year. While that ranking has fallen from last year — when MBU was ranked No. 21 (tie) — Mary Baldwin’s performance still shows the university’s commitment to student-centered opportunity in a national category. 

When calculating their social mobility rankings, U.S. News & World Report uses a more narrow methodology and considers how well the college or university graduates students who receive Pell Grants.    

A federal program to help promote access to higher education, Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need, and they usually do not have to be repaid. 

MBU also supports student potential with university-administered financial aid, often including both need-based and merit-based scholarships and awards. 

A commitment to upward mobility and strong student outcomes remains at the heart of the MBU mission of preparing students for lives of purpose and professional success in a changing world.