New Albany, Ind. – A college ranking system has ranked Indiana University Southeast in the top 20 percent of colleges and universities nationwide, for assisting students from low- and moderate-income households to attain a college degree and provide a strong return on their educational investment. The designation as a tier 1 university for economic mobility was awarded by Third Way, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy think tank founded in 2005.
Measuring the Economic Mobility Index (EMI) focuses on generational mobility, most notably, comparing students’ post-enrollment incomes to those of their parents. Third Way evaluated the number of Pell Grant students, low- and moderate-income students who receive a federal grant to cover a portion of tuition costs an institution enrolls, and how long it takes students to recoup their educational costs based on the earnings boost they obtain by attending a college or university. There are five tier designations within the ranking system.
IU Southeast is the only Tier 1 institution serving the Louisville metropolitan area according to the rankings data, coming in at 125 among 1,410 colleges and universities. IU Southeast moved up 18 places in the rankings for economic mobility in the past year.
“It is our mission to provide a cost-effective education and uplift our students to a better life for themselves and their families,” said Dr. Debbie Ford, chancellor at IU Southeast. “As a public university serving the local, Kentuckiana area, we are dedicated to providing a world-class education to all students from our region, no matter their family’s financial circumstances, so when they graduate from IU Southeast, they have more opportunities than before they started.”
Overall, 29 percent of IU Southeast students are first-generation college students, 18.5 percent are students of color, and 26 percent are eligible for Federal government Pell Grants. Nearly 58 percent of all IU Southeast students receive scholarships and state and federal grants to reduce college costs.
“We continue to offer financial aid packages to students, which has resulted in a 15 percent decrease of students who leave college with debt in the past five years,” said Ford. “Our students who have student loans also graduate with $10,000 less debt than the average student in Kentucky and Indiana because we have made it part of our mission to make college more affordable.”
Graduates of IU Southeast earn over $11,500 more per year than high school graduates and pay off their education swiftly. Approximately 8 out of 10 IU Southeast graduates remain in the region to live, work, and raise families resulting in $219.5 million in income to the region’s economy.