• Project Title: Social Mobility of U.S. Colleges

  • BASIS Advisor: Jeff Loomis

  • Internship Location: Case Western University

  • Onsite Mentor: Professor Daniel Shoag

The American Dream is becoming less attainable every year. As a student applying to college, I wondered if college can be a catalyst of social and economic mobility. After seeing how my grandparents leveraged education to escape poverty, I want to increase the social mobility of U.S. colleges so they we can give low-income families equal opportunities to benefit themselves and society. I am working remotely with a professor who has experience in the economics I am studying and I hope to study aspects of such along with sociology, psychology, and statistics to further my solutions. Harvard economist Raj Chetty created a tool to track a college’s social mobility, which is equal to the access rate (students from bottom 20%) times the success rate (students from the bottom 20% who move up to the top 20%). I am focusing my research mainly on the access rates. I believe increasing awareness about a university, whether it be through information panels, college athletics, etc. will increase the access rates. I believe the best solutions will be writing papers to spread awareness about the issue, but also implementing policies within universities to perhaps create better financial aid packages. Our universities have much to offer to low-income students and I hope to contribute to more of them being given an opportunity to succeed.