1. Cal State University, Los Angeles
- Percent of low-income students: 33.1%
- Share who make it to the top 20%: 29.9%
- Overall mobility rate: 9.9%
Cal State, Los Angeles, did a better job than any other school in the country of moving poorer students up the economic ladder. A third of the more than 20,000 students at this public, four-year school are low-income, and 30% of them eventually become part of the top 20% of income earners. Sixty percent are the first in their families to attend college. Tuition is less than $7,000 a year, and the school is one of the top 20 public schools in the West, according to U.S. News.