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Perdomo Documents Impact of MSIs on Income Mobility

Rebecca Perdomo quote

Rebecca Perdomo (PhD 2019) co-authored a research report on student financial outcomes among Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) with Robert Nathenson, Marybeth Gasman, Marvin Johnson, Doug Franklin, and Pearl Lo. The report, “Generational Jumps? How HSIs Promote Upward Mobility” was produced by the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Within the study, the team investigated intergenerational income mobility for students at HSIs compared with students who attend PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions), as well as explored differences in outcomes for students across HSIs. The findings highlight the extent to which HSIs help mitigate inequality and economic stratification.

This study promotes the ongoing importance of research into how HSIs contribute to positive student outcomes in variety of measures. The report’s findings offer informative comparisons between both HSIs and PWIs utilizing institutional and student characteristics.

The study uncovered positive growth for students at HSIs across backgrounds. “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,” the authors write.

The researchers note that these strong upward mobility rates “indicate two important points: 1) HSIs improve outcomes for the country’s highest-need student groups, doing so at rates comparable to PWIs … and 2) HSIs do more with less in that they effectively use fewer resources to promote mobility among a larger proportion of high-need students.”

Also in the report, the researchers give various recommendations for policy makers and funders, institutional strategies, further research, low-income students, and scholars to improve the knowledge and effectiveness of HSIs.

In addition to encouraging more support for HSIs, the report highlights several institutions with strong mobility effectiveness records that could serve as models for other colleges and universities.

This research has been featured in In describing the research importance for Diverse, Perdomo states, “Sometimes it’s a smaller [generational mobility] jump, but it’s still meaningful and important, especially within the Latinx community, … and that’s what HSIs are doing.”

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