UHD Ranked Among Top 50 in Economic Mobility
The University of Houston-Downtown is among the top 50 institutions chosen as the nation’s best in providing a pathway to economic mobility for low- and moderate-income graduates, according to a new study by the public policy organization Third Way.
UHD ranked at No. 42 in Third Way’s rankings that were based on research that seeks to evaluate how well a school enables lower-to-middle income students to advance their opportunities in life through a college degree.
“UHD is committed to reducing barriers that have traditionally impeded members of our region from accessing higher education, including financial, health, social and environmental disparities,” said UHD President Loren J. Blanchard. “Through our programs, policies, curricula and support, we must aspire to create a more just educational community focused on ensuring our diverse University population is equipped for success beyond our classrooms and well into the future.”
In determining the rankings, the publishers of Third Way’s report developed an Economic Mobility Index to “determine the return on investment that the average low-income student obtains from attending a particular institution of higher education.” To do this, they employed a formulary that determines a “Price-to-Earnings Premium” and combines this with a look at the proportion of Pell Grant-eligible (lower income) students a university enrolls.
"As a Hispanic- and Minority-Serving Institution, UHD is transforming today’s diverse student population into tomorrow’s leaders, trained to work in a multifaceted, ever-changing world,” President Blanchard said. “To ensure UHD can meet this critical mission, we must remain focused on our student success agenda so that all graduates can maximize their education.”
Further proof of UHD’s commitment to its diverse student population was recognized earlier this year. UHD ranked No. 32 among the region’s top performers in Social Mobility in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges report.
UHD social mobility initiatives focused on providing positive college experiences and academic success programs including the Gator Success Center, which provides assistance and opportunities for all freshman and sophomore students such as peer mentoring, academic coaching and success workshops. Another successful program is the Return 2 Complete program for those students who have paused their education, but seek to return and finish their college degrees.
Additionally, UHD’s Talent Search program works in partnership with Aldine Independent School District students to assist them in graduating from high school and navigating their path to college. The objective of the program is to identify and assist middle and high school students who are mostly from low-income backgrounds and families to pursue post-secondary education.
“With the support and unwavering commitment of our faculty and staff, students are provided with the resources they need to succeed,” said Dr. Scott Marzilli, Dean of University College. “More importantly, they gain the skill sets necessary to successfully complete their college journey.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.