Georgia State Reinvents Itself as an Engine of Social Mobility
Photo: Lynsey Weatherspoon
Richard Fausset, The New York Times
For decades, Georgia State was downtown Atlanta’s rather unremarkable commuter school, founded “as a night school for white businessmen,” as the college’s spokeswoman, Andrea Jones, says, and kept racially segregated until the 1960s.
But the college has been reimagined—amid a moral awakening and a raft of data-driven experimentation—as one of the South’s more innovative engines of social mobility.
By focusing on retaining low-income students, rather than just enrolling them, the college raised its graduation rate to 54 percent in 2017 from 32 percent in 2003. And for the last five years, it has awarded more bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans than any other nonprofit college or university in the country.