Blackburn ranked top performer on social mobility

Blackburn ranked top performer on social mobility

For the second consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has named Blackburn College among the top-performing national liberal arts schools for social mobility. In the 2021 edition of their annual Best Colleges guide, U.S. News ranked Blackburn as 19th in the United States and second in the state of Illinois.

Introduced in 2019, the Top Performers on Social Mobility category measures which higher education institutions best serve underrepresented populations. “Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for other characteristics,” the 2021 guide reads. “But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants.”

As one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, and the only student-managed Work Program in the nation, Blackburn has made college education affordable to thousands of first-generation students and working-class families. Blackburn College offers work opportunities to all students to help develop critical leadership, problem-solving, and management skills while also keeping the cost of a private liberal arts education within reach.

“Blackburn College has a deep commitment to serving first-generation college students and providing access to a high-quality education that can transform lives,” President Mark Biermann said. “With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity, and its singular commitment to lifting its students and communities through personal attention and outreach, Blackburn is uniquely positioned to advance social mobility.”

In addition to the U.S. News & World Report ranking, Blackburn College was recognized by Washington Monthly’s College Guide as one of the top liberal arts schools in the country. From a total list of 218 liberal arts institutions, Blackburn was ranked no. 48. Washington Monthly evaluates colleges’ contribution to the public good using three metrics, including social mobility and service.

The combination of a nationally acclaimed Work Program and rigorous academic curriculum creates an innovative model of higher education and a culture where students are fully vested in every aspect of their college experience. Whether it is through success in the classroom or governing the life of the institution, this educational opportunity provides each student with a four-year head start on their professional career.