Duane Bonifer  |  Published September 13, 2021

A Top 20 College for Social Mobility

College’s national recognition in ‘U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges’ guide a testament to its focus on understanding and delivering what students need.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – In an age when a college education is key to success, a degree from Monmouth College is more valuable than ever.

In the 2022 issue of the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges guide, released Sept. 13, Monmouth is ranked No. 17 in the nation among liberal arts colleges in terms of social mobility.

The guide’s social mobility ranking evaluates a school’s graduation rates of students who receive a federal Pell Grant compared to those students who did not receive one. Students who receive a Pell Grant typically come from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, although most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000.

Overall, Monmouth rose to No. 126 in the publication’s “National Liberal Arts Colleges” category. That’s 33 spots higher than where the College was five years ago, and it is an increase of almost 50 spots since 2013. The College rose 10 spots in the social mobility category compared to the 2021 guide.

“Acknowledging the imperfections involved in any sort of ranking, all of us who are part of Monmouth College are pleased that we continue move up in the eyes of our colleagues at other colleges and universities,” said Monmouth President Clarence R. Wyatt. “At a time when students and their families are especially concerned about the return on their higher education investments, we are intensely proud of having moved from 27th to 17th among National Liberal Arts Colleges in the social mobility ranking.”

Wyatt said that Monmouth’s 10-spot rise in the social mobility category “is a testament to our focus on one essential goal—understanding and delivering on the needs, desires and ambitions of our students.”

“By making the words of our mission statement — ‘empowering students to realize their full potential, live meaningful lives, pursue successful careers, and shaping their communities and world through service and leadership’—real in the lives of each of our students, Monmouth College will thrive amidst the tremendous change that American higher education is undergoing,” said Wyatt.

“At a time when students and their families are especially concerned about the return on their higher education investments, we are intensely proud of having moved from 27th to 17th among National Liberal Arts Colleges in the social mobility ranking.”
— President Clarence R. Wyatt

Monmouth’s rise in the social mobility rankings are also an affirmation of the work being done every day by the College’s faculty and staff, according to Monmouth Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Mark Willhardt.

“Monmouth College has long been proud of our success in helping students shine, no matter their educational backgrounds or personal circumstances,” said Willhardt. “The current improvement in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges guide’s social mobility category simply reveals that our current emphases on engaged teaching and active learning throughout the liberal arts and sciences pay dividends. Although many colleges can offer curricula that impart broad learning, it is clear that our focus on the whole student experience changes lives, on campus and thereafter.”

In addition to starting new majors in science, technology, engineering and math, Monmouth has expanded the undergraduate research opportunities offered to students, including the Summer Opportunity for Intellectual Activity; the prestigious endowed Kieft Scholars in chemistry and biochemistry; and the nationally renowned Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research, which has held a pair of national conferences on campus.

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Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>