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When the public policy think tank Third Way released a report earlier this year ranking colleges on an economic mobility index measuring the return on investment for low-income students and the percentage of Pell Grant-eligible students that each institution enrolls, the results were surprising.

Out of 1,320 colleges and universities ranked, the institutions that provided the greatest economic mobility for their students after they graduated were Hispanic-serving Institutions in California, New York and Texas, according to the report. Historically Black colleges and universities also performed better using Third Way’s economic mobility index than on traditional rankings. But the colleges that typically got high marks for return on investment, or ROI, for low-income students fell substantially because they enroll relatively few low-income students. Under the new index released earlier this year, Duke University and Stanford University, which were previously ranked first and second based on how their Pell-eligible students did, dropped to 722 and 548 after the ranking also took into account how many of those students attended those universities. Harvard ranked 847th and Princeton ranked 426th.

Third Way released a new update to its Economic Mobility Index last week that groups colleges and universities into a series of higher and […]

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