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Villa Maria College Moves to #8 Ranked Best Colleges in the North for Social Mobility 

By September 14, 2021October 19th, 2021Press Release

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in education rankings, unveiled its 2022 U.S. News Best Colleges. For the second consecutive year, Villa Maria College was included on two lists: Social Mobility and Best Regional College North.   

Social Mobility 

Out of 52 colleges and universities, Villa Maria College was ranked #8 in Social Mobility. This is a significant jump in rank for the College, which was ranked #16 last year.  

Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, even when controlling for other characteristics. But some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000.  

“Out of all the rankings US News and World Reports does on colleges and universities in America, the one measurement that matters most to Villa Maria is Social Mobility,” said Brian Emerson, vice president for enrollment and operations. “It’s about helping people achieve their potential through transformative education, and not just a measure of wealth.”   

Villa Maria is only college in the Western New York area to fall into the top 10 ranking in this category.

Best Regional Colleges North 

These colleges focus on undergraduate education and grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. These rankings are split into four regions: North, South, Midwest and West. This year, Villa Maria College’s ranking fell between #38 and #49 in the Best Regional Colleges North. 

The Metrics 

According to U.S. News, it uses 17 metrics to assess academic quality, with the greatest emphasis on outcomes, particularly a college’s student-faculty ratio and the average federal loan debt of graduates. Other factors include class size, undergraduate academic reputation, and how much colleges spend on instruction and other educational investments. Schools reported most of the data used to compile these rankings to U.S. News in an annual survey and were instructed to confirm the accuracy of their data. The list, which includes more than 1,800 colleges and universities, ranks more than 1,400 institutions each year. 

U.S. News’ social mobility indicator measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants. Students receiving these grants typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, with most money going to students with total family incomes below $20,000.  The social mobility ranking was computed by aggregating the two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of Pell-awarded students.

Villa Maria College provides students from all backgrounds with the opportunity to receive a personalized, hands-on education. Upon successfully completing all program coursework and an internship, the College’s graduates are prepared to enter the workforce and make an impact in their field. The College’s inclusion in the U.S. News’ national rankings for 2022 highlights the fact that all students who choose Villa Maria will receive a high-quality education in a diverse and highly supportive atmosphere. 

To read the complete lists and learn more about how they are compiled, visit