This article was originally published in The Center Square.

I am a Louisiana native who recently returned to Louisiana after spending a few years away at graduate school. I’ve reconnected with old friends who work in the private sector who also recently returned after a few years away post college graduation (along with many who never came back). When asked why they originally left, they all say the same thing: opportunity.

One way to compare universities is the Social Mobility Index by CollegeNET. The SMI ranks universities based on their ability to “educate more economically disadvantaged students (with family incomes below the national median) at lower tuition and graduates them into good paying jobs.” Schools that score high in SMI tend to have high graduation rates, high salaries 5 years after graduating, and high endowments.

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