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Mount Mary recognized for diversity, social mobility

In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges report, Mount Mary University received high rankings for social mobility, with markers for success based upon university-wide practices to support inclusion and diversity.

“The results and rankings are indicative of a pervasive effort across campus to provide support to all students, no matter their income, social status, race, or ethnicity,” said Melody Rensberger of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. “This holistic approach helps students feel secure in the role as students and they thrive.”

Mount Mary has the highest ethnic diversity index in the Midwest, alongside Robert Morris University in Illinois. U.S. News factored in the total proportion of minority students and the overall mix of groups to identify colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.

Most recent figures identify 58 percent of Mount Mary undergraduate students as having one or more underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.

In the category of social mobility, Mount Mary tied as the top-rated private institution in Wisconsin and thirty-third among colleges in the Midwest. Social mobility, a new ranking for U.S. News and World Report, measures how well schools graduate students who received federal Pell Grants (typically, those coming from households whose family incomes are less than $50,000 annually, though most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000).

In the 2018-19 academic year, Mount Mary received $8.4 million from federal agencies and national organizations to support programs, scholarships, and initiatives to encourage persistence and retention.

Institutional programs serving students from low-income and racially diverse backgrounds include the Promise Program, Jewel Scholars, and Grace Scholars Programs.

In the overall best colleges ranking, Mount Mary placed among the top 10 universities in Wisconsin and tied for seventy-eighth in the Midwest for factors such as total score, retention, and graduation rates.