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Newberry College Ranks High for Economic Diversity, Social Mobility

September 17, 2020


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has been recognized on two rankings lists for the ability of all students, regardless of financial background, to receive a high-quality education.


The college has taken the No. 6 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Top Performers on Social Mobility regional list, becoming the category’s third-highest ranked college in the southeastern United States. Newberry also appeared on the publication’s unranked Economic Diversity list.


Social Mobility measures the six-year graduation rates of federal Pell Grant recipients, drawing on data from students who entered in fall 2012 and fall 2013. The Economic Diversity list measures the percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell grants. The grants are available to students coming from households with total annual incomes below $50,000. Most of these funds benefit students with family incomes below $20,000.


“We are so excited to receive this recognition, because it acknowledges the ability of Newberry College to help students succeed in the pursuit of their educational goals while transforming their lives,” said Barbara Joyner, assistant dean of the Center for Student Success. “This is the concerted effort of everyone on campus, faculty, staff, and our students themselves.”


The percentage of Newberry College students who receive federal Pell grants is approximately 52%. Newberry College was one of six South Carolina schools included on the Economic Diversity list for the regional South.


“Literature indicates that traditionally, lower-income students are often underrepresented in higher education, particularly among private institutions,” said Dr. Peggy Winder, a 1986 Newberry graduate and director of diversity education. “This is part of the College’s ongoing efforts to create a diverse, inclusive educational environment.”


In terms of Newberry College graduation rates, Pell Grant recipients average 50.7%, on par with 54.7% for non-Pell recipients.


“Social Mobility and Economic Diversity are methodologies that are pretty new to the U.S. News college rankings, and they are great news for our students,” said Susanne Nelson, associate director of institutional research and effectiveness. “The numbers show there is virtually no distinction at Newberry College when it comes to student income and student success.”


Find out more about the U.S. News & World Report rankings at

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