The 2020 US News & World Report has ranked the University of Virginia’s College at Wise 18th in the nation for how well it serves students who need an economic boost to earn a degree.

UVa-Wise is among the first colleges to receive the ranking in the new social mobility category, which touts the positive ways colleges and universities serve low-income students. In addition, UVa-Wise was ranked among the best undergraduate engineering programs (software engineering) for schools that do not offer doctorate degrees, and moved up to 164 on the list of national liberal arts colleges.

“We have always known that UVa-Wise transforms the lives of our graduates, particularly our first-generation college students,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “It is wonderful to see our good work recognized nationally. We are proud to be among the rankings for National Liberal Arts Colleges, and our software engineering program continues to strengthen and grow.”

More than 85 percent of UVa-Wise students receive financial aid. Many are eligible for federal PELL grants as well. Most PELL grant money supports students with a total family income less than $25,000, although some students receive the grants if a family makes less than $50,000.

UVa-Wise provides scholarships to many students as the result of a college endowment of more than $100 million. About 70 percent of the endowment is earmarked for scholarships.

According to US News & World Report, the social mobility ranking is taken from the two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of PELL-awarded students. Also, for benchmarking purposes, each school’s ranking factors include both its social mobility rank and a distinct outcomes rank. The social mobility ranking allows prospective students, parents and institutions to make comparisons on related ranking factors. Other ranking factors on social mobility include average graduation rates, first-year retention rates and graduation rate performance.

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