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Mount Leads The New York Times’ List Measuring Economic Diversity

Just in case the start of a ’phintastic new academic year at the Mount wasn’t enough good news, we’ve got more to share:

The New York Times Magazine has ranked the University of Mount Saint Vincent #4 on their list of the Top U.S. Colleges With the Greatest Economic Diversity.

Cue the fireworks!

This week’s education issue of The New York Times Magazine will include a new publishing of the College-Access Index—which was first published in 2014 and later revised in 2017. The Index includes a list of the country’s most selective colleges and universities ranked in order of economic diversity.

In this most recent version, The Times measured economic diversity by analyzing the share of students receiving Federal Pell Grants. Pell Grants are typically only awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need.

The Mount nearly topped the charts among the 286 colleges and universities across the country that were included on the list, with over half of our first-year students from 2020-21 (52 percent, to be exact) receiving Federal Pell Grants.

“For more than 175 years, the University of Mount Saint Vincent has been meeting learners when, where, and how they need us,” remarked Mount President Susan R. Burns. “At the Mount, we offer an academically excellent, authentically inclusive education that prepares students to not only land a job, but change their lives.”

The College-Access Index covers the most selective colleges in the country, as defined by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges and other metrics. The list includes both public and private institutions who, together, educate nearly 2.7 million undergraduates across the nation.

The data included in the Index show that, over the past ten years, some of these schools included on the list, especially those with larger endowments, have enrolled more students who are economically disadvantaged. However, many schools have seen their number of this population of students decrease.

The Times indicated that it’s important to review these statistics in the wake of the changing landscape of higher education. Particularly, two major developments over the past year—the Supreme Court’s decision to put a stop to affirmative action and the move by some schools to relinquish or reduce legacy admissions—have put a new focus on considering wealth in making admission decisions.

But the Mount’s enrollment only continues to grow as we open doors for students from diverse backgrounds.

“This Fall, Mount Saint Vincent welcomed its largest enrollment for the third year in a row,” shared Madeleine Melkonian, Senior Vice President for Enrollment and External Relations. “Following in the footsteps of the Sisters of Charity, the Mount has a long-standing, devoted history of serving students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue a higher education. All dreams are welcome at the Mount—and this exciting recognition highlights the College’s commitment to economic diversity, social mobility, and opportunity for all.”

Schools included in the Index are listed in order of economic diversity as measured by share of the student body receiving Federal Pell Grants.

Our ranking proves that Mount Saint Vincent is more than just the little engine that could: we’re taking students on a transformative journey through higher education and sending them down the right tracks to launch profitable and prosperous careers.

“As a Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving Institution focused on providing a transformational education that is affordable and accessible, it is great to see these efforts externally validated by measures like the College-Access Index,” Dr. Burns continued. “As other colleges and universities are struggling to adjust to the recent decisions of the Supreme Court, Mount Saint Vincent continues to lean into our mission and values in a way that welcomes a diverse student body that reflects both our Bronx borough and New York City.”

Many Mount students come from disadvantaged families and neighborhoods where crime abounds and extracurricular activities are sparse. However, once students arrive on campus, they are greeted with an abundance of opportunities to grow in goodness, discipline, and knowledge. Every student, no matter a resident or commuter, has a home at the Mount.

“Our students become leaders both within and outside the classroom,” said Fernando Mendoza, Dean of Students. “We know that education extends far beyond textbooks and lectures—and the diversity of our student body is evident among our clubs and organizations, sports teams, and the Student Government Association. It’s no surprise we were ranked among the top five schools on the College-Access Index, as we’ve been making a welcoming college experience accessible for students for nearly two centuries.”

We know that plenty of schools help their students reach success, but only the best institutions truly transform the lives of their learners. That Mount is one of those colleges—and our place on the College-Access Index proves just that.

Dr. Burns concluded her remarks on the announcement of our inclusion on The Times’ list:

“This ranking is yet another demonstration that the Mount truly is the Right Place on the River.”

And we couldn’t have put it better if we tried.

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.