TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State University ranked first in the state for the third year in a row in CollegeNet’s annual Social Mobility Index (SMI). 

The Social Mobility Index “measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition and graduates them into good paying jobs. Competing around these factors, our higher education system can reverse the destabilizing trend towards growing economic immobility, advance the American Dream, and promote the public interest.” 

“Our focus in developing the SMI is to comparatively assess the role of our higher education system in providing a conduit for economic and social advancement,” CollegeNet said.  

It is the sixth time in the past seven years that ISU ranked best among Indiana’s public institutions on the SMI. 

ISU President Deborah Curtis takes pride in the university’s success in educating first-generation and Pell Grant-eligible students. “We often talk about the transformative impact of an ISU education, and this survey shows, once again, that it’s real,” she said. “This is just one of the ways we’re distinct — providing opportunities for affordable, high-quality education at a comprehensive university.” 

Among ISU’s freshman in Fall 2020, 47% were first-generation college students and 47% were Pell Grant-eligible. 

ISU has a placement rate of 99% for graduates, meaning they go into jobs, graduate school or the military. The average starting salary is $57,593.