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Montana Tech of The University of Montana

Montana Tech has been named the top college in the nation for increasing the economic mobility of its students.

The Social Mobility Index was developed by College NET, which provides Web-based on-demand technologies for higher education, and PayScale, which works in cloud compensation data and software.

The top 10 SMI ranked schools – those that are making the largest contribution to economic mobility – are Montana Tech, Rowan University in New Jersey, Florida A&M University, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, California State University-Northridge, University of California-Davis, Florida International University, University of California-Riverside, University of California-Berkeley and California State University-Stanislaus.

SMI is a data-driven ranking system that compares how U.S. colleges and universities efficiently graduate students from low-income economic backgrounds into promising careers, Montana Tech

The creators of SMI hope the index will refocus the higher education system away from the empty chasing of prestige and toward providing economic opportunity more broadly for our citizens.

The index ranked 539 colleges and universities.

“At Montana Tech, we call this the 'Ordinary to Extraordinary' story,” said Donald Blackketter, chancellor at Tech. “We have a long tradition of graduating students who come from ordinary circumstances and, in turn, use their Montana Tech education and personal commitment to make extraordinary contributions to the well-being of the nation and world.”

SMI is computed from five variables: published tuition, percentage of student body whose families are below the U.S. median income, graduation rate, reported salary after graduation (0-5 year range) and endowment.

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