Lamar University was ranked in the top 10 percent of universities in the nation on the new Social Mobility Index published by CollegeNET.

Lamar University was listed 49 out of 539 universities in the nation on the index. Another school in the Texas State University System, Texas State University in San Marcos, ranked No. 51.

According to the website, “The SMI rankings are meant to highlight schools that do the best job of helping disadvantaged students graduate with the ability to start a career free of crushing levels of debt. Five criteria determine the SMI rankings: tuition, percentage of the student body from low-income households, graduation rate, salaries of grads once they start working, and the size of each school’s endowment.”

In the ranking methodology, tuition and economic background were given the greatest weight, graduation rates and early career salaries were given lesser but nearly equal weight. The university’s endowment support was given the least value in the formula.

“This methodology points out the importance of keeping higher education accessible and affordable, while providing high quality programs that prepare our graduates for rewarding careers,” said Kevin Smith, senior associate provost. “Lamar University continues to be accessible to many first-generation students, and students from lower-income families and, as such, is vital to creating opportunities that enrich lives.”

The study also ranked the social mobility index for states overall. As a state, Texas ranked 21st.

The CollegeNET listing is not the first time LU has been recognized for its return on investment. In a similar study in 2013, LU was listed as a top school for ROI by PayScale Inc., when Lamar’s engineering graduates were tapped 11th nationally, just behind Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Social Mobility Ranking can be found at