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New CMSI Report Reveals HSIs Foster Intergenerational Upward Income Mobility


Natalie Passov | | 848-932-0728 

New Brunswick, N.J., February 29, 2024 – The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is proud to announce the release of its latest report, “Generational Jumps? How HSIs Promote Upward Mobility.” The report uncovers the extent to which Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) can help mitigate inequities by fostering intergenerational income mobility and compares this to that of Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs).

Authors build on prior research to find that HSIs demonstrated higher mobility rates to move students into middle and upper-middle income classes. “Although most students will not experience a ‘rags-to-riches’ leap in income quintile, smaller changes are more commonly experienced among the average college attendee,” according to the report.

"One of the critical roles of higher education institutions is to serve as engines of upward economic mobility, especially for students with relatively low family resources,” shared Robert Nathenson, Senior Researcher at the American Institutes for Research and an author of the report. “Across a variety of measures, this report finds that HSIs do an excellent job of fostering upward mobility for their students, on par with that of far more resourced PWIs. 

The report provides a set of recommendations that aim to prioritize students from diverse backgrounds. Recommendations include encouraging prospective students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, to consider enrolling in HSIs. Further, the authors stress the importance of ongoing research to explore the institutional strategies used to support high-need students at HSIs, and the impact of racial-ethnic identity on mobility experiences among college students. 

“Not only does “Generational Jumps” contribute to the critical and growing body of HSI literature, but to larger discussions around MSIs, upward mobility, and the value of higher education as a whole,” notes Rebecca Perdomo, Senior Research Associate at CMSI (by courtesy) and lead author of the report. “This project serves to underscore how HSIs function as key players in the higher education landscape, effectively using their relatively limited resources to produce results quite similar to those of PWIs, making these institutions prime candidates for additional funding and investment.” 

The report can be found here. 


About the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions 
The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions is part of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity and Justice (Proctor Institute) at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Thursday, February 29, 2024
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