UMSL gets high marks for supporting social mobility in latest US News ‘Best Colleges’ rankings

by | Sep 18, 2023

The publication ranked UMSL first in Missouri on its list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which highlights how well universities graduate students who receive Pell Grants.
Students walking together on the quad in front of the glass pyramid above the Mercantile Library

UMSL ranked first in Missouri and No. 84 nationally on U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which highlights how well universities have graduated students who receive federal Pell Grants. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis continues to excel at helping students improve their socioeconomic status by achieving a college degree.

In the latest U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings unveiled Monday, the publication ranked UMSL first in Missouri and No. 84 nationally on its list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility,” which highlights how well universities have graduated students who receive federal Pell Grants.

UMSL has made the list every year since it debuted in the 2020 rankings, and it has been first in Missouri each of the past two years.

Nearly 46% of UMSL students were Pell Grant-eligible in the 2022-23 academic year. Those recipients come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually. However, most Pell Grants are awarded to students with a total family income below $20,000, so a college degree can be instrumental in helping them increase their earning potential and improve their socioeconomic status.

“UMSL was founded 60 years ago to be an institution that helped make a college education attainable to students of every socioeconomic background so that they had the opportunity to transform their futures,” Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said. “That remains a central part of our mission today, and we are proud that U.S. News & World Report’s rankings continue to recognize that vital role.”

UMSL remained a Tier 1 research university in the overall rankings and was No. 141 on the list of top public universities.

Additionally, several academic programs fared well in the rankings, including the undergraduate international business program, which ranked 21st nationally, marking the 20th time in the past 21 years that it finished in the Top 25.

Undergraduate business program rankings are based on the judgment of deans and senior faculty at peer institutions who have participated in a peer assessment survey.

“Being ranked in the top 25 undergraduate business programs by U.S. News & World Report for the 20th time represents two decades of success in transforming the lives of our students,” said Joseph Rottman, director of UMSL’s International Business Institute and chair of the College of Business Administration’s Strategic Planning & Innovation Committee. “This legacy is due to our faculty, our staff and our International Business Advisory Board. Our curriculum, our extracurricular events like our IB Career Conference and our IB Case Competition and our study abroad opportunities all contribute to our peers across the country recognizing the excellence of our IB program for the last 20 years. All of those events are supported by the time and treasure provided by our IB Advisory Board.

“For example, this last summer over 25 students studied abroad and each student received more than $2,000 in scholarships to support tuition and travel expenses. That is just one summer. For two decades, we have enabled students to develop a global mindset through coursework, events and study abroad. All of this enables our students to succeed in an increasingly competitive global market, and this ranking highlights our success.”

UMSL climbed five places in the undergraduate business overall rankings to land at No. 159. It also improved three places in the undergraduate engineering rankings, coming in at No. 107.

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Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming
Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming

Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.

Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming

Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.

Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming

Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.