The website Priceonomics.com ranks Texas A&M University as the top institution of higher education in the nation for the success of low-income students.
Based on data obtained from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, Priceonomics editors created a list of schools that are “relatively accessible to low-income students given the strength of their outcomes.” The methodology took the following factors into account: admission rate, graduation rate, repayment (of loans) rate and future annual earnings. The ranking defines “low-income” as students from families with less than $30,000 in annual income.
Texas A&M’s flagship College Station campus achieved a score of 7.1, with an admission rate of 69 percent, a low-income graduation rate of 60 percent, a low-income repayment rate of 87 percent, an annual cost for low-income students of $3,174 and future annual earnings for low-income students of $62,800.
Priceonomics writer Dan Kopf underscores the importance of such a ranking, writing “…if we grant that a primary goal of college attendance for low-income students is socioeconomic mobility, we can learn a great deal from this data about which schools are effective at helping students achieve that goal.”
Providing a high-quality yet affordable education has been one of the primary missions of Texas A&M since its opening as a land-grant institution in 1876.
Texas A&M strives to make higher education accessible to low-income students through financial aid programs like the Regents Scholars Program and the Aggie Assurance Program. In addition, approximately 25 percent of its undergraduate students are first-generation college students — the first in their families to attend college — say university officials.
“Texas A&M University is very proud of our continued traditions and commitments to serve all students, as well as serving the public and society through our effectiveness in student success,” stated Provost Karan Watson.
For the 2015-16 academic year, 35 percent of Texas A&M students are on scholarships, and overall financial assistance—including student-worker opportunities—totals more than $636 million.
The Priceonomics article also emphasizes the value of a college degree, stating, “Bachelor’s degree holders earn more than two million dollars more over a lifetime than those without.” The value of a Texas A&M degree, in particular, has been cited by numerous media outlets, as well as current and former students.
The emphasis placed on mentoring at Texas A&M has had a highly positive effect on student success, university officials note. The university offers a wide variety of mentoring programs, from faculty and staff mentors, to peer mentoring. The peer mentors volunteer their time to help ensure students receive the advice and guidance needed to navigate through college.
Texas A&M places first by a large margin among the 30 colleges listed on the ranking chart titled “Which Schools Combine the Best Outcomes for Low-Income Students With Accessible Admission Rates.”
Priceonomics also includes Texas A&M on a list titled “Schools Recommended by College Scorecard Based on High Graduation Rates and Low Costs,” which lists 30 colleges alphabetically. Texas A&M is the only Texas public institution featured on that list.