Skip to content
New Study Shows TAMIU Among Nation’s Top Minority-Serving Universities Advancing Income Mobility Posted: 6/13/18

New Study Shows TAMIU Among Nation’s Top Minority-Serving Universities Advancing Income Mobility


Globe at TAMIU Entrance
Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU President  

A new study reveals that lower-income students who attend the nation’s minority-serving universities are more likely to advance their economic status or income mobility. It  places Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) among the nation’s top universities with especially high extended income mobility rates among 359 minority-serving colleges surveyed.

The new report, “Minority Serving Institutions as Engines of Upward Mobility,” authored by the American Council on Education (ACE), drew from statistics shared by the Equality of Opportunity Project, a much-cited data project shared last year by Stanford University.  That study analyzed students’ and parent’s income.

The overall finding was that for students at minority-serving universities like TAMIU, income mobility rates tend to be two to three times higher than at non-minority institutions.

 At TAMIU, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), that high extended income mobility rate was 34.1 percent, second only to the City University of New York’s Lehman College with 35.5 percent.

TAMIU was the top scoring Texas institution highlighted in the study with The University of Texas Pan-American and Our Lady of the Lake University-San Antonio also cited.

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said this national report once again affirms the University’s impact on students’ lives and, by extension, the communities in which they live and thrive.

“This is the third national assessment that measures our impact, that shows how we truly help our students and graduates to ‘Go Beyond,’ as we say. As the University approaches our 50thanniversary in 2020, it’s especially gratifying to know that we daily deliver our cherished mission of serving an under-served population, impacting them with the highest quality of education delivered by a gifted, global faculty.  As we ready for our Fall 2018 enrollment, we would encourage parents to consider how they can best advantage their child’s future at an institution whose positive impact on student’s long-term futures has been well-affirmed,” Dr. Arenaz said.

Specifically, the ACE Report looked at students born between 1983-85 who began college in the 2002-3 academic year.  It tracked parental earnings when students first enrolled, and then measured the students’ income at age 30. Nationally the rate which institutions move students from the lowest quintile (or fifth) to the top quintile is 1.9 percent. Among minority institutions, including HSIs like TAMIU, the mobility rate is a substantial 4.3 percent.

The report notes that in 2015 these institutions enrolled 4.8 million students, about 28 percent of all United States undergraduates -- and projects enrollment growth will be led by students from racial and ethnic minorities who will make up half of post-secondary students within a decade.  The study also found that minority-serving institutions often enroll students with the lowest family incomes, including many first-generation students, and commonly provide a broad spectrum of support to help students succeed.

In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Report’s lead author, Dr. Lorelle Espinosa, assistant vice president in ACE’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy, said there is a hidden strength in these institutions.

“People like to say that these institutions meet students where they are, and that’s absolutely right. They approach students with an attitude that they want to capitalize on their strength and on the value that they bring to their campuses,” Dr. Espinosa said, “And these institutions are ready to meet them where they are with different types of aid policies or different types of offerings that can supplement them, say through food banks.”

TAMIU’s Dr. Arenaz concurred.

“We meet them where they are because we know them and our committed to helping them. With aggressive financial aid programs, payment plans and an unparalleled array of support services, we can help students identify and expand their strengths, empowering them to success,” Arenaz said.

Espinosa also noted that the value of a degree for students starting in lowered economic status cannot be underscored enough.

“…For this population in particular, higher education is playing a great role, and should be invested in if we want to see more of our population succeed economically. And of course, that gets to the individual benefit. We can’t lose sight of the fact that there is great societal benefit when you move these individuals up the economic ladder,” she concluded.

“There’s no denying that,” Arenaz concurred, “with this study in mind, at TAMIU a third of our graduates have gone from the last two tiers of income to the top tier, a feat only made possible by a University that helps them to be their very best.  Higher education is an investment, but it’s the best investment anyone can make in a brighter future.”

The ACE Report, “Minority Serving Institutions as Engines of Upward Mobility,” is accessible online at

Summer Sessions at TAMIU are underway. Summer Session II is July 9 through August 10.  Summer Session III started  June 4, also ending August 10. Fall 2018 classes begin Thursday, Aug. 28.

Information on Summer or Fall registration is available from the  TAMIU Office of the Registrar at 956.326.2250, by email at, or by visiting offices in the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center, 121. 

University information is also available from TAMIU’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email, click online at, or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

Additional resources are shared on the University’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Related Links:

TAMIU Among Top 20 Schools to Boost Graduates’ Salaries 

Study Ranks TAMIU Third in Nation for Highest Mobility Rate

A Message from Dr. Pablo Arenaz


Related News

Unable to retrieve related news.