U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges ranks Saint Martin's No. 52 among Top Performers on Social Mobility for Regional Universities in the West

Photo credit: Giuliana Argeris '26

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University has been ranked No. 52 among the 2022-2023 Top Performers on Social Mobility for Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report. Now in its 38th year, the rankings evaluate more than 1,450 colleges and universities on up to 17 measures of academic quality.

"In recent years, Saint Martin's has made significant investments to serve our students and our region by expanding high-demand academic programs such as nursing, computer science, business, special education, and leadership studies," said Saint Martin's University President Jennifer Bonds-Raacke, Ph.D. "We are actively pursuing our mission by increasing diversity and inclusion on our campus through outreach to underrepresented students and programs to support their success. In fact, we recently welcomed approximately 300 first-year students from 20 states and U.S. territories, and 14 countries – 63 percent of whom are ethnically diverse. Altogether, these efforts are making a difference for our students and improving our outcomes."  

Social mobility refers to the extent to which a university educates economically disadvantaged students and contributes to their upward mobility. Economically disadvantaged students are less likely than others to finish college, but some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants. The Pell Grant is a form of need-based federal financial aid that typically does not have to be repaid, which makes it highly desirable. 38% of our undergraduate population received a Pell grant in Fall 2021. Many of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000.   

Patty Lemon, dean of admissions and enrollment, said, “The Pell grant is a financial game changer for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education. We see first-hand how the Pell grant provides the critical financial support needed to improve access for many of our first-generation students whose dream is to earn a bachelor's degree.” 

Saint Martin’s was also listed: 

  • No. 12 in Best Value Schools in the West 

  • No. 32 overall in Regional Universities in the West 

  • No. 14 overall in Best Colleges for Veterans 

  • No. 167 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs 

U.S. News publishes the Best Colleges rankings each year to provide prospective students and their families with helpful data and information on factors such as graduation rates, social mobility, and graduate indebtedness. For more information on how the rankings are calculated and how Saint Martin’s University compares to other institutions please visit USNews.com

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

About U.S. News & World Report  

U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and their communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, Real Estate, News and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C. 


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