Bethany Lutheran College is ranked number one in the State of Minnesota and 42nd nationally (U.S. News College Rankings – National Liberal Arts Category) for graduates’ social mobility—the ability to climb the success ladder.
In this season of college rankings, it’s not surprising to see the same Ivy Leagues and highly selective institutions at the top of the lists. However, both the U.S. News and competitor Washington Monthly are now recognizing and ranking colleges that are doing a great job educating students from a variety of academic and socioeconomic backgrounds. That ranking falls under the term social mobility. Social mobility refers to the ability of a person to move upward in income and social class.
U.S. News ranks schools in four categories – National Liberal Arts Colleges, National Universities, Regional Colleges, and Regional Universities. Explaining the criteria for placing a school in one of the four categories is quite involved. That said, Bethany falls in the National Liberal Arts classification, and was the top Minnesota school in that category for its social mobility ranking.
This is an important segment to highlight. After all, not every aspiring college student is getting into a top-ten school. Not every student can afford to attend a highly selective school, even with enticing financial aid packages.
President Gene Pfeifer commented, “I recently read an opinion piece from Inside Higher Ed where author Matt Reed lauded colleges and universities that are recognized in the social mobility category. He said, ‘A college whose students consistently outperform what their demographics would have predicted is doing something right.’ For ninety-two years, Bethany’s ambition has been centered on mentoring students to become sound contributors to their vocations, families, churches, and communities. It’s a caring, Christ-centered approach focusing on undergraduate students while helping them to develop their talent to the fullest. Our alumni and supporters have always known and valued this about Bethany, and perhaps now this is being recognized by a broader audience.”