UC Santa Cruz a top university for social mobility

Students at commencement

UC Santa Cruz ranks as one of the top universities in the nation where a student from an economically disadvantaged background can enroll, pay a low tuition, earn a degree and land a good-paying job, according to CollegeNET’s 2015 Social Mobility Index.

UC Santa Cruz is No. 8 nationwide and the second in the state with a Social Mobility Index of 81 percent.

The SMI is computed from five variables: published tuition, percent of student body whose families are below the US median income, graduation rate, reported median salary zero-to-five years after graduation, and endowment, according to CollegeNET. The first two variables are weighted the highest.

Tuition and fees at UC Santa Cruz are $13,398, and 41 percent of its undergraduate students are from low-income families. The median early career salary for UC Santa Cruz graduates is $48,400.

Some of the top employers of UC Santa Cruz alumni include Apple, Google, Kaiser Permanente, and Cisco, according to LinkedIn. Some of the top fields include education, research, and media and communications.

CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index differs from most other rankings by focusing directly and broadly on the problem of economic mobility.