Seeing more of its low-income students leave with a diploma in hand has brought California State University, Stanislaus, a measure of fame in recent years. Now the Turlock university tops an unranked national list that could bring it a funding boost as well as glory.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for what we do to serve our students. In this case, being among the best to bring low-income students into a college environment and seeing that they are given the necessary resources to achieve their goal of a college degree is particularly satisfying in that it hits so close to our core mission and responsibilities as a university,” said Stan State President Joe Sheley.
“Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college. Being able to be here for them is another example of the impact Stanislaus State is making not only within these families but on the entire region,” he said via email Friday.
In a new U.S. Department of Education report, Stan State appears in the first chart, riding the crest of the USDE list of public four-year institutions notable for advancing student outcomes.
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Fulfilling the Promise, Serving the Need lays out the administration’s priority shift from stressing access to college for low-income students to access and completion. It also suggests which schools will be at the front of the class for $5.7 billion in bonuses over 10 years proposed by the Obama administration.
Stan State appears to sit front and center, based on the percentage of students getting federal student aid with Pell Grants (58 percent) and the percentage graduating in six years (53 percent). The chart also notes the net annual price for low-income students ($5,128) and percentage of Pell recipients earning above $25,000 a year six years after enrolling (58 percent).
All funding is subject to congressional approval, however, and for now Stan State will have to bask once again solely in the warmth of the spotlight.
Over the last year the Turlock campus has had several turns on the national stage. Last July, Money magazine ranked Stanislaus State No. 1 among all U.S. public universities for helping its students “exceed expectations.” And last October, in a study commissioned by National Public Radio, the university was ranked No. 5 in the nation for the “upward mobility” of its students.
In this latest report, CSU Stanislaus appears first in an unranked list of 13 schools, including University of California campuses in Irvine and San Diego, and 10 public universities in Illinois, Michigan and along the East Coast.
The Department of Education “is pleased to lend its voice to the others calling for greater recognition of institutions like these,” notes the report.