The financial aid office is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to consult students on all matters concerning student financial success. DANIELA AVILA | THE POLY POST

CPP ranks 10th in Social Mobility Index

Cal Poly Pomona ranked 10th in the nation for universities that help low-income students find financial success after graduation, according to the 2019 Social Mobility Index (SMI) released on Nov. 21, 2019. CPP is among some of the few California State University campuses that ranked in the top 20 for six consecutive years. 

The SMI, created by CollegeNET, an education analysis company based in Portland, Oregon, was devised to rank schools based on how well they aid low-income students’ financial success post-graduation. SMI uses five factors of criteria to rank each university: the cost of tuition, the percentage of students admitted from low-income households, graduation rates, salaries of graduates and size of school’s endowment. 

According to the SMI website, “Competing around these factors, our higher education system can reverse the destabilizing trend towards growing economic immobility, advance the American Dream, and promote the public interest.” 

The financial aid office is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to consult students on all matters concerning student financial success.
(Daniela Avila | The Poly Post)

Last year, U.S. News and World Report reported that most of the schools ranked the highest in its own rankings are not always the most financially accessible. Fortunately, this standard is quickly changing.

CPP Financial Aid Coordinator Saul Ramirez feels proud to be a part of this university and witness how over time, CPP has grown and is finding new ways to aid students.

“It is good to see that the university’s efforts of supporting all groups of students are being recognized,” Ramirez said. “As a former student and now an employee of the university, I have seen and been part of initiatives geared towards student success …. An example is the soon-to-be launched Financial Wellness Initiative which will provide resources and tools to succeed financially through their educational journey and into their professional careers.” 

However, Ramirez feels that there is always room for improvement to hold the university’s ranking. 

“Financial aid plays a big role in this and we make changes to policies and procedures whenever possible, such as revising our Satisfactory Academic (Progress) Policy and revamping the scholarship process in an effort to reduce the negative impact to students and increase the benefits including greater access to financial resources like grants and scholarships.”

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is the standard students are required to attain in order to receive financial aid from CPP. 

The press release also mentioned that CPP was ranked second among public universities in the West by U.S News and World Report, 14th on Money magazine’s 2019 “Most Transformative Colleges” list and ranked 54th on the Forbes list of “America’s Best Value Colleges.”

Higher education is quickly becoming the equivalent to what used to be a high school diploma in order to obtain a well-paying job. Yet, fewer students are attending universities due to extreme tuition costs and the fear of a lifelong burden of student debt. 

According to an article published by National Public Radio, about 2.3 million fewer students enrolled in college in fall of 2019 compared to fall of 2011, and one of the four main reasons for this is high tuition costs. 

Third-year biology student Samantha Hooverson feels that the tuition cost to attend CPP is fair, however, the overall preparation for success post-graduation has not met her expectations. 

“I think this school is pretty average, so the costs (aren’t) too high or too low because overall it does have some pretty great programs … though unlike engineering majors and hospitality majors, I feel like us biology majors aren’t getting a bang for our buck because our school just isn’t focused on our major and we receive less benefits,” Hooverson said. 

Affordability for an education is something to take into consideration when students are deciding what school would best fit their needs.

According to the SMI website, “The national economic problems today are different than they were in the 1980s. Let’s solve them by focusing the chase for ‘prestige’ around lowering tuition, recruiting more economically disadvantaged students and ensure that enrolled students are graduating into good paying jobs.”

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