Posted: 8/25/23

New Economic Mobility Index Ranks TAMIU No. 1 in Texas and Third in Nation


Dr. Pablo Arenaz
Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU President  

As students ready for the start of Fall semester classes this Monday Aug. 28 at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) they may be pondering what their investment in higher education will deliver upon graduation.

According to research by Third Way, a national think tank, an investment in higher education at TAMIU can yield among the nation’s highest economic mobility bumps for graduates, ensuring their return on investment is substantial, and affirming the value of a University degree. 

Third Way’s research, the 2023 Economic Mobility Index (EMI), identified TAMIU as the No. 1 university in Texas and third in the nation with an astounding 58.4% EMI among Third Way’s Tier 1 institutions.  The report notes “institutions in the Top Tier are unambiguously delivering strong economic mobility outcomes.”

The report utilizes the latest College Scoreboard information in reviewing public and private non-profit institutions of higher education. 

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said the ranking affirms the University’s aggressive commitment to being accessible, affordable, and exceptional.

“This is our second high ranking from Third Way since they first launched the EMI in 2022.  As the report authors note, ‘The number one reason a student goes to college today is to get a good job and climb the income ladder.’  We are doing just that and, as we do so, are advancing the economic mobility of our graduates, providing them with a direct avenue to well-paying jobs and success for themselves and their families.  This is our mission, and we are tremendously proud that we are once again being recognized for this,” Dr. Arenaz said.

“As TAMIU students make their way to classes this Fall, they can do so with confidence, knowing that the investment and commitment they make today will have measurable returns tomorrow,” Arenaz concluded.

Of regional Texas institutions, TAMIU outranked UT-RGV (57.2%) and UTSA (38.6%). The EMI Report also indicates 65.2% of TAMIU students qualify for PELL Grants and 89.6% are low-income. Third Way projects that low-income TAMIU graduates will pay down their total net cost in just 1.33 years.

Of high-ranked institutions like TAMIU, the Third Way report observed, “Institutions faring well on the EMI go above and beyond to ensure that their students can finance their education sustainably and receive a demonstrated return on investment.” 

Of the 281 institutions in the top 20% of schools on Third Way’s ECI, over one-third are Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI) like TAMIU.  Many are in California, Texas, or New York. HSI is a federal designation for schools with an undergraduate enrollment of at least 25% Hispanic students. At 96% Hispanic, TAMIU serves the highest percentage of Hispanics in the nation.

The Third Way 2023 ECI report, with an overview by authors Ben Cecil, senior education policy advisor, and Chazz Robinson, education policy advisor, is available online at:


As a result of actions taken by the Texas Legislature to address affordability in higher education, all TAMIU resident undergraduate tuition and mandatory academic fees have been frozen for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years at TAMIU. The University has not raised tuition and fees since 2021.

Classes begin this Monday, Aug. 28, 2023. Late registration continues through Sept. 1, 2023. 

University news and information can also be found online at tamiu.edu and on TAMIU’s social channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.