Saint Martin's students stand on the Grand Staircase before Commencement
September 8, 2017

Saint Martin's graduates fare well in terms of income mobility, according to a report published in The New York Times. 

LACEY, Wash. — The New York Times recently published an interactive report about which institutions provide access to students in lower income percentiles and whether those institutions help those students move to the upper fifth of income distribution. The report showed that Saint Martin's graduates fared well in terms of income mobility.

The report in The New York Times was based on a newly published longitudinal study on the upward mobility of college students by Raj Chetty, Ph.D., a professor of economics at Stanford University; John Friedman, Ph.D., an associate professor of economics at Brown University; Emmanuel Saez, Ph.D., a professor of economics at UC Berkeley; Nicholas Turner, Ph.D., a financial economist with the Office of Tax Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; and Danny Yagan, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics at UC Berkeley. The researchers looked at tax data for over 30 million college students from 1999-2013 to see if household income when entering college affected the income of students after graduation. Chetty and his colleagues focused on upward mobility rate, the “fraction of students who come from families in the bottom income quintile and reach the top quintile.”

The average mobility rate is 1.7%, and a perfect mobility rate is 4%. Saint Martin’s has the mobility rate of 3%, which is the highest among the private independent colleges in Washington state. Saint Martin’s also provides access to higher education to families in the lowest income quintile, who have a household income lower than $25,000. For Saint Martin’s graduates, the median individual income at age 34 is $49,100, placing the University in the top 20% for median income of selective private universities across the nation. Saint Martin’s has an overall mobility index (the likelihood a student will move up two or more income quintiles) of 22%, putting the University in the top 20% for selective private universities. 

“It will come as no surprise to graduates that Saint Martin’s has made a reputation of excelling at income mobility. Now, with this report, everyone will learn of this remarkable, mission-focused achievement,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.

The information in the report shows that Saint Martin’s levels the playing field for college students. Regardless of household income of students entering the University, graduates do well in their future income. The report demonstrates that students from low-income families do just as well as those from higher-income families, and that could be due to Saint Martin’s selection of students of like abilities or the fact that the University provides a value-added educational experience.

Alyssa Nastasi ’12, MBA ’17, assistant director of the Saint Martin’s University Career Center said, “Seeing a study of this nature tells me I made the right choice almost 10 years ago to attend Saint Martin’s University. The education I received has provided me a great foundation, allowing me to steadily advance in my career, and move up in income. As the Assistant Director of Career Development here at Saint Martin’s, I can see that our work has added value to students’ educational journey.  Our services, such as the career management class, networking events, career fairs and the etiquette dinner, have given students the tools needed to translate their academic abilities into skills to succeed in the workforce.”

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university 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 14 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 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 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.

For additional information:

Alyssa Nastasi
Assistant Director, Career Center

Kevin Hyde
Media Relations Manager