If You’re Poor, Here are the Best Universities To Go To


Over at the Equality of Opportunity Project, a group of scholars has ranked every college and university in the country on a measure of how good they are at producing income mobility. For each school, this is defined at the percentage of students who are in the bottom income quintile multiplied by the percentage who end up in the top quintile. For example:

CSU Los Angeles
33.1% of students are in the bottom quintile
29.9% end up in the top quintile
Mobility rate = 9.89%

After scanning the scores, there are two big takeaways:

  • If you’re in the bottom quintile, head to Los Angeles or New York City, which absolutely dominate the top 100. The entire CUNY system is really strong, and outside the city, SUNY has a bunch of good campuses. In Los Angeles, both the CSU and the UC systems have a good selection of schools with high mobility rates. Texas isn’t bad either, and it has good schools all over the state.
  • If you want the best chance of moving into the top quintile and don’t much care about your field of study, apply to the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, right near beautiful La Guardia Airport in New York City. They have a spectacular mobility rate.

It’s not uncommon for the best scoring school in a state to specialize in something. Welding in Oklahoma. Seamanship in Maine. Pharmacists in Massachusetts. And technical schools all over the place. Are you curious about the top-scoring school in your state? Here they are: