Florida Atlantic wins upward mobility tournament
Florida Atlantic University beat Memphis in the closing seconds of the first game of the NCAA tournament, and play Farleigh Dickinson today for a shot at the Sweet Sixteen.
FAU already has won the March Madness tournament for upward social and economic mobility, writes Jorge Klor de Alva on The 74. He analyzed all the colleges that made the playoffs looking for how well they helped lower-income students improve their financial prospects.
"It is important to know which colleges are worth their tuition cost in time and money; how long a student will have to work to pay off that cost; and what proportion of each college’s less-resourced students is being placed on the path to financial security," Klor de Alva writes.
Michael Itzkowitz created Third Way‘s Economic Mobility Index (EMI) to determine students' return on investment based on their out-of-pocket costs and earnings premium for a degree.
The EMI also rewards schools that enroll more students from lower- and moderate-income families.
Public colleges and universities excel, writes Klor de Alva. These "workhorse schools" provide upward mobility at a reasonable cost.
The Final Four in this year’s Social Mobility Tournament Bracket are the Houston Cougars, the Arizona State Sun Devils, UC-Santa Barbara's Gauchos and the Florida Atlantic Owls.
On average, Florida Atlantic graduates take only one year to pay down the total net cost of their degree, he writes. Nearly 39 percent of undergraduates are low- to moderate-income students.