California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), Empowering Next Generation Changemakers to Transform Communities

September 2023

Once again, CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt’s Report to the Community was a celebratory event for over 500 guests. Included in the many exciting updates was that CSUSM is the #1 university in the nation for social mobility, empowering students for lifelong success.

Lack of financial resources or support networks are just a couple of the unique challenges faced by first-generation and low-income students pursuing higher education. CSUSM is committed to addressing these challenges and providing the support that students need to succeed in high-demand fields.

CSUSM ranks first nationally out of more than 1,400 schools in the ninth annual Social Mobility Index (SMI) by the online publication CollegeNET, which measures and highlights colleges and universities that are making progress in promoting social mobility for students. The SMI rates four-year U.S. schools according to how they maintain tuition, enroll students from low-income backgrounds, graduate those students into good jobs, and communicate the importance of addressing our nation’s social mobility problem.

Some impressive statistics about CSUSM students:

  • More than 52% are first generation college students.
  • 70% are students of color.
  • 12% are connected to the military.
  • 42% are Pell Grant recipients. Most awards go to students from families with incomes below $20,000.
  • 38% of students are age 23 or older.