Four campuses where many low-income students are graduating

A college degree is one of the best tickets for climbing the economic ladder. Yet at many schools, low-income students graduate at a rate much lower than that of their wealthier peers. Here are a few colleges and universities where low-income students attend in large numbers and reach the finish line just as often as everybody else.

2. Baruch College of the City University of New York

CUNY’s Baruch College ranks high on a variety of social mobility indexes. Pell grant recipients represent 45 percent of the student body and graduate at a rate of 69 percent – two points higher than the school’s overall graduation rate.

New York State policies help to keep costs for students low by providing more need-based aid than most other states, but Baruch has also worked to control costs, the Education Trust noted when listing it as one of the few affordable campuses with high graduation rates.

In addition to helping students avoid financial stress, the college reaches 5,000 students a year with free tutoring. Winter-break and summer courses also keep students on track for graduation.

Equity has deep roots at CUNY, which grew out of the Free Academy, started in 1847 as the first free college in the United States. “Founder Townsend Harris declared, ‘Open the doors to all. Let the children of the rich and poor take their seats together and know of no distinction save that of industry, good conduct, and intellect,’ ” Baruch President Mitchel Wallerstein said in a statement last fall.

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