Wilmington College earns U.S. News high ranking for social mobility


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WILMINGTON — U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best Colleges rankings confirm what Wilmington College has known for some time — that motivated students, from any socio-economic background, will succeed in impressive numbers when given the opportunity to pursue higher education.

The magazine’s annual Best Colleges issue ranks WC 13th in the entire 11-state Midwest Region in social mobility, a category it only started tracking last year. Then, the College ranked 17th among 86 regional colleges and universities.

Wilmington College continues to attract a large number of students who represent the first generation of their family to pursue higher education and ultimately earn a bachelor’s degree. This year’s student body features 33 percent first generation college students.

U.S. News’ methodology for determining social mobility measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants (those typically coming from households with family incomes of less than $50,000 annually; however, the bulk of Pell Grants are awarded to students from the lower half of that income range).

The Pell Grant graduation rates are based on those students graduating within six years of starting college and the methodology compares those rates with graduation rates for non-Pell Grant students.

The College of the Ozarks in Missouri ranked as the region’s top school in the social mobility category.

Also, in the Best Colleges issue, WC continues to rank in the top half of colleges in the Midwest Region, finishing 38th overall. U.S. News named Princeton (NJ) as the top national university and Williams College (MA) as the number one national liberal arts college, with Butler University (IN) and Cottey College (MO) getting the nod as best university and college, respectively, in the Midwest Region.

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