News • December 07, 2020

CBU ranks high in assisting students with social mobility

CBU ranks high in assisting students with social mobility

Riverside, Calif. (Dec. 7, 2020) – California Baptist University is one of the top private universities helping students with social mobility, according to a recent report by Education Reform Now, a think tank that advocates for students in the public education system and their families.

The report identified 614 four-year colleges where students receiving federal Pell Grants are more likely to graduate than they are to drop out and where federal loan repayment and default rates are better than the average four-year institution. Education Reform Now called these colleges “social mobility elevators.” A Pell Grant is a needs-based grant that does not need to be repaid.

Among private universities, CBU ranked first in California and fifth nationally.

“Social mobility is a cornerstone of the American way — the land of opportunity,” said Dr. Wayne Fletcher, associate provost for academic services. “In our current society, for many, higher education is the gateway to economic and social mobility.”

Forty-two percent of traditional undergraduate students at CBU receive a Pell Grant and 36 percent receive the Cal Grant. The number of recipients at CBU is reflective of the Inland Empire socioeconomics, Fletcher said.

“The challenge nationally is that students with high economic need complete university at lower rates than students from more affluent families,” Fletcher said. “This matters to CBU because our mission is to help students discover and live their purpose.” 

Taylor Neece, dean of Admissions, said CBU spends time educating prospective students about financial aid and dispelling the myths of private education related to affordability. The Financial Aid office works with Admissions to offer financial aid informational sessions and workshops on how to fill out the federal student aid form.

“Our goal is that students do not shut the door to a private education,” Neece said. “There are many students who don’t know that CBU can be a reality and our mission is to help them understand how CBU might be financially viable for them.”

Once students are at CBU, various campus offices ­— including the Office of Student Success and the Career Center — will help them succeed during their college years and after, Neece said.

“I call it the CBU scaffolding. The CBU support scaffolding allows students to get to heights that they wouldn’t be able to get to otherwise,” Neece said. “We want to do everything we can to wrap them with support in order for them to be successful during their time here and post-graduation.”

The Education Reform Now ranking reflects the fact that CBU students are succeeding, Fletcher said.

“It means that CBU is successfully providing the resources, education and guidance which supports students from lower socioeconomic populations in achieving graduation,” Fletcher said. “Successful graduation leads to increased employment and economic opportunity which allows student to repay student loans and achieve social mobility."