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Western New England University Earns High Marks from U.S. News & World Report

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) has been ranked fourth in Top Performers on Social Mobility among National Universities in Massachusetts by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 edition of America’s Best Colleges, an in-depth look at more than 1,800 institutions of higher education nationwide.

“This is a brand-new category for Western New England, and we couldn’t be prouder of this distinction,” said Bryan Gross, vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing.

The Top Performers on Social Mobility ranking measures the extent that schools enrolled and graduated students who received federal Pell grants (those typically coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually). According to U.S. News & World Report, economically disadvantaged students are less likely to finish college, and some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students who are awarded Pell grants.

“This category looks at the percent of entering students who are Pell-eligible and our six-year graduation rate among those receiving the Pell funding,” Gross said. “Our number was 32% on the entering class and 58% on six-year graduation rate, which is a solid number compared to our national peers.”

The U.S. News rankings focus on measures of academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points covering up to 16 measures of academic quality. Individual colleges and universities are compared with institutions that share similar characteristics and academic missions.

“Having moved from the Regional to National University category in 2020, I am pleased to see Western New England climbing the ranks and now competing at a much higher level with some of our prestigious neighbors — Harvard, Yale, and Northeastern,” said WNE President Robert Johnson. The university improved its overall ranking to 213th in the nation this year, moving up 14 places from 2021.

Western New England University College of Engineering continues to be top-ranked in the Undergraduate Engineering (no doctorate) program category. The ranking is based on survey results conducted by U.S. News of deans and faculty members of undergraduate engineering programs at peer institutions accredited by ABET, the engineering accrediting body.

“A university educates leaders, problem solvers, and lifelong learners that will adapt, compete, and thrive in careers yet to be imagined,” Johnson said. “As a national university, we offer the breadth and depth of a comprehensive institution, supported by individualized attention preparing graduates to be not only work-ready, but also world-ready as well. WNE is a quintessential model of the new traditional university.”

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