New Jersey City University Recognized as Top Public School and Leader in Social Mobility in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2024

September 26, 2023

JERSEY CITY, N.J. | New Jersey City University (NJCU) has long been recognized as a regional and national leader in the life changing metric of social mobility, and NJCU’s transformative role in this area has been affirmed once again. NJCU has been recognized as a Top Public School and a Top Performer on Social Mobility in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2024 rankings announced this week.

NJCU ranks No. 52 among Top Public Universities in the North
by U.S. News & World Report and tied for No. 64 in Top Performers on Social Mobility in the 2024 listings.

NJCU’s recognition as one of the top public colleges improving students’ upward economic mobility — a long-time tenet of NJCU’s mission and its vital role in the State of New Jersey — demonstrates the great return on investment its graduates achieve. The university also serves the most socioeconomically diverse student population with the median household annual income of the students standing at $42,200 — the lowest of New Jersey’s four-year public colleges by a considerable margin, and 54 percent of the university’s students are first generation college students. However, 10 years after graduation, students earn 22% more than the national average income.

According to U.S. News & World Report, economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for their achievement in high school. But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. The rankings measure how well institutions graduate students with exceptional financial need.

At NJCU, 57.6 percent of its students received federal Pell Grant funding last year alone — the highest of any four-year public college or university in the state. As one of the most affordable public four-year colleges in the state and the most transfer-friendly public school in the state, NJCU is committed to making college accessible.

NJCU Interim President Andrés Acebo said: “There is no denying the power of higher education to change the trajectory of a family, particularly for first generation students. I am pleased that these rankings demonstrate the vital work of our mission of providing educational access and lifting up individuals who too often come to us from underserved communities, and once they graduate, exit to serve and elevate their own communities. Equity and social mobility are the most critically pivotal metrics that drive our purpose and we will continue to empower our students to launch successful lives and careers. Our renewed focus is singular: student success that is measured with a culture of constant responsive improvement."

To make valid comparisons, U.S. News & World Report ranks institutions into 10 distinct categories and groups schools by four segments based on academic mission — national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional colleges and then subdivides based on geographical location: North, South, Midwest and West. Qualifying Regional Universities are those offering undergraduate and master’s degrees, but few doctoral programs. The North region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington D.C.

About NJCU:
New Jersey City University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to the development of our students, our city, our communities, and our state. We are a game-changing force for our students and have been recognized as one of the top colleges in the nation improving their upward economic mobility. Whether enrolled in one of our undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs at our three locations, NJCU students have access to an affordable, diverse environment, and an exceptionally supportive faculty. This prepares them to go on to become the next generation of workers and leaders who improve their communities and the State of New Jersey.

Ira Thor
, Associate Vice President for University Communications (interim) | | 201-200-3301

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