The 2020 US News & World Report has ranked the University of Virginia’s College at Wise 18th in the nation for how well the College serves students who need an economic boost to earn a degree.

UVA Wise is among the first colleges to receive the ranking in the new social mobility category, which touts the positive ways colleges and universities serve low-income students. In addition, UVA Wise was ranked among the best undergraduate engineering programs (software engineering) for schools that do not offer doctorate degrees, and moved up to 164 on the list of National Liberal Arts Colleges.

“We have always known that UVA Wise transforms the lives of our graduates, particularly our first-generation college students,” Chancellor Donna P. Henry said. “It is wonderful to see our good work recognized nationally. We are proud to be among the rankings for National Liberal Arts Colleges, and our software engineering program continues to strengthen and grow.”

More than 85 percent of UVA Wise students receive financial aid. Many are eligible for federal PELL grants as well. Most PELL grant money supports students with a total family income below $25,000 although some students receive the grants if a family makes under $50,000.

UVA Wise provides generous scholarships to many students as the result of a Collegeendowment of over $100 million. Approximately, 70 percent of the endowment is earmarked for scholarships.

“The generosity of our donors has always been one of the reasons our College has successfully produced graduates who make a difference in their professional careers and in their communities,” Henry said. “A dedicated faculty and caring staff also make a huge difference, especially for students who are the first in their family to attend college.”

According to US News & World Report, the social mobility ranking is taken from the two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of PELL-awarded students. Also, for benchmarking purposes, each schools’ ranking factors include both its social mobility rank and a distinct outcomes rank. The social mobility ranking allows prospective students, parents and institutions to make comparisons on related ranking factors. Other ranking factors on social mobility include average graduation rates, first-year retention rates and graduation rate performance.