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Wilkes University Recognized for Social Mobility

by Gabrielle D'Amico

Wilkes is the highest ranked institution in Luzerne County and within the top 25 percent of independent institutions in the nation.

Wilkes University is once again being recognized for its commitment to social mobility. In the 2021 Social Mobility Index ranking from CollegeNET, Wilkes is ranked 617th out of 1,549 institutions and is the best ranked independent institution in Luzerne County. It also places Wilkes in the top 21 percent of independent institutions ranked nationally and the top 20 percent of independent institutions ranked in Pennsylvania.          

According to CollegeNET, this assessment differs from other rankings in that it focuses directly on factors that enable economic mobility. It evaluates four-year colleges and universities based on how effectively they enroll students with low-income backgrounds and graduate them with well-paying jobs. Five variables are considered: tuition, the percent of students who come from low-income backgrounds, graduation rates, median salaries approximately five years after graduation and endowment. Variables are weighted in tiers with access taking precedence.

“This latest recognition underscores the importance of offering a Wilkes education to all who show potential. Wilkes has been changing the lives of students for 88 years and has considerable impact on those who are the first in their family to earn a four-year degree. This commitment is only more notable in light of the health and economic struggles impacting families during the pandemic,” said Wilkes President Greg Cant.

Recent rankings continue to recognize Wilkes University’s commitment to academic excellence, social mobility and returning value:

  • U.S. News and World Report: Wilkes is ranked 213 among 391 national universities. This is the eighteenth consecutive year that Wilkes has been ranked and its third year as a national university. Wilkes was also ranked for social mobility, which measures how well schools educate and graduate students who receive Pell grants, the federal aid program reserved for the most financially needy students.
  • Washington Monthly: Wilkes ranked 184 among 391 national universities based on what they are doing for the country. Wilkes was also ranked in Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck” category, which recognizes schools that help students pursue a marketable degree at an affordable price. Wilkes ranked 272 of 391 northeast institutions.
  • Princeton Review: Wilkes is one of 223 colleges named “Best in the Northeast” in 2022.

Information on Wilkes’ rankings and recognitions can be viewed here.

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