Which Utah colleges do the most to lift students out of poverty and into wealth?

A study of 2,000 colleges nationwide shows a handful that consistently move students from the bottom economic rung to the top. How does Brigham Young University stack up? American colleges vary widely in how effectively they move students from poverty into prosperity, a Mobility Report Card released by the Equal Opportunity Project at Stanford University finds. The report strikes a chord at a time when the American dream of intergenerational mobility is slipping away in the eyes many low- and middle-income American voters. There is widespread consensus that President Donald Trump's victory in key Midwestern states was driven by blue collar voters despairing at the loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs, fearful of how their children will fare in the emerging economy. Researchers looked at students' parental income and the earnings of students after graduation, using "de-identified" federal government data — data dawn from individual student records but stripped of personal details to protect privacy. Schools were graded based on how many students from the lowest economic strata attended the school, and how many of those students went on to top quintile earning levels after graduation. Compared to the rest of the country, the study shows that Utah colleges have room to grow when it comes to enabling leaps from poverty to prosperity. From 1999 to 2013, the average U.S. school lifted 1.9 percent of its students from the lowest quintile to the top quintile of earnings. The closest Utah school on this "mobility index" average was the University of Utah at 1.2 percent, with the weakest being Utah State University at 0.6 percent. The other Utah public schools and Brigham Young University, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, fall in between. (Westminster College, a private college in Salt Lake, scored 1.7, but it's cohort was quite small and so statistically less compelling.) The report highlighted a number of surprising schools on this mobility measure, including California State University, Los Angeles at 9.9 percent, South Texas College at 6.9 and the University of Texas, El Paso at 6.8. "The engines of academic mobility in the U.S. seem to be the second-tier, non-flagship state campus," said Nick Flamang, a pre-doctoral fellow at the Equal Opportunity Project. "They provide access to lower-income students, and many of them provide really good outcomes for those students." Flamang points to the City University of New York...

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