2019 College Track Social Mobility Report 2019 College Track Social Mobility Report (web) - Page 3

For the third consecutive year, College Track surveyed its college graduates to determine whether their bachelor’s degrees have opened them up to a life of opportunity and agency. We often hear affirming stories like Estefania’s who shares: “When I completed my degree, I got my dream job as a systems engineer at Boeing. There are moments when I look around the room of engineers and see that I am the only woman of color, but I remember that I am a Latina woman working on underwater vehicles. I have earned my way here.” -Estefania, College Track East Palo Alto, MIT graduate Is Estefania’s experience representative of all our college graduates? With 500 alumni and a 66% response rate (see appendix A), we are in a strong position to examine the relationship between education and career as well as contribute to the national conversation around upward social mobility in 21st century America. •   Can we count on higher education to be a powerful motor for helping youth embark on a life with more choice and financial security than their parents? •   What additional behaviors in college yield more successful career paths? Building on last year’s report, we continue to examine both absolute and relative measures of upward mobility for graduates at several stages post-college graduation. Key Findings We are increasingly optimistic about our graduates’ career outcomes. •  With every passing year in the workforce, our graduates’ income increases compared to their parents and exceeds the national average for all bachelor’s degree holders. •  They also score strong on measures of agency, such as alignment of their current job with their interests and career aspirations, particularly for our graduates who chose careers in the public interest. We continue to surface lessons learned, which we immediately share with our younger students and feed into program improvement: •  How you go to college matters as much as where you go to college: the first section of this report highlights the critical behaviors necessary to unleash the power of a degree. •  Borrowing more than $30,000 to complete a bachelor’s degree is not recommended: our younger graduates seldom enter careers where earnings can cover monthly payments for loans exceeding this threshold. Borrowing more than $30,000 is unnecessary for many college paths, and College Track ensures our students choose these paths. College Track Page 3