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Newberry No. 1 in Social Mobility, Leads in Ethnic Diversity

September 11, 2019


NEWBERRY — Newberry College is best in the South for social mobility and a regional leader in ethnic diversity, according to a recent review by U.S. News & World Report.


Top Performers on Social Mobility


In a new category to the collegiate ranking publication, Newberry took the No. 1 spot for Social Mobility among colleges in the South. The list measures graduation rates of students who received federal 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. At Newberry, graduation rates of students who received the grants are virtually identical to those of students who did not.


“Nothing is more important to us than the success of our students, and ensuring that every student has a strong opportunity to succeed,” said Robert Best, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Looking back at the past six years, specifically, the record shows that, regardless of your socioeconomic background, you have that opportunity at Newberry College.”


Ethnic Diversity


In an unranked list highlighting diversity, Newberry was recognized for having one of the most diverse student populations in the South.


An examination of enrollment data showed that the diversity of Newberry students was similar to that of the general population of the state, seen as exceptional among southern institutions.


“Here at Newberry, we pride ourselves on creating a culture of inclusivity and radical hospitality that allows us to find common ground and learn from one another,” said Dr. Peggy Barnes-Winder ‘86, director of diversity education and professor of sport professions. “Having a student body that reflects the diversity of the state helps students better serve their communities, both those in South Carolina and in those beyond.”


About the Rankings


U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges by key measures of quality, including institutional reputation, student selectivity, graduation and retention rates, financial resources and alumni giving. More at

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