Southern Arkansas University has earned national attention with accolades for affordability. Dr. Trey Berry, president, said the University has been recognized as one of the best schools in the United States for economic mobility.
Zippia.com placed SAU on its 2017 list of “Best Schools for Economic Mobility by State,” and OnlineU.org listed the University among the country’s top 20 “2017 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Student Economic Mobility.”
This national recognition has helped SAU attract students from more than 36 states and 31 countries, Berry said.
“The quality of education at SAU allows our students to make a dramatic change in their economic status after graduating,” Berry said.
Economic mobility refers students’ ability to enter a school from a low economic bracket and graduate into the top, “not just in terms of finances, but also in terms of leadership,” Berry said. “We can confirm that from the success of many of our alums.”
Elston Strong, a 1980 business graduate of SAU and State Farm insurance agent in Little Rock, Arkansas, said there are “a large number of Southern State/SAU graduates around the United States in many career levels, and many are also self-employed. The numbers in my opinion are great. When I was at SAU, the professors and instructors kept me focused.”
“Our graduates have more opportunities in careers of the future,” Strong said. “They were right, though my State Farm career in management and then as an agent, SAU prepared me well for the 36 years with this company. Our alumni reach out across the country like a family, and I am happy to be one. Go Muleriders!”
“The goal of all education is to improve 100 percent the quality of life for all students, no matter where they start,” said Berry. “SAU provides education for a variety of students, including a section of students who come from lower economic backgrounds. The education they receive here at SAU provides the vehicle to improve their lives.”
He said SAU finds itself in “good company” on the Zippia.com list, which includes California State University in Los Angeles, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Tuskegee University in Alabama, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Colorado State University.
SAU ranks 20th on the OnlineU.com list, which gives the University an 85.4-percent mobility rate, a measure of student economic mobility.