Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the Louisiana Economic Development grant during an event Friday that celebrated Waitr’s new downtown headquarters.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a national leader for providing access to higher education for lower-income students, according to the Brookings Institution.
A recent report from the nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., ranked UL Lafayette the ninth-best four-year, public university in the United States for promoting social mobility.
For the report – “Ladders, labs, or laggards? Which public universities contribute most” – the Brookings Institution evaluated 342 schools with selective admissions. Private universities, historically black colleges and universities, military institutions, liberal arts colleges and others with specialized missions weren’t included in the report.
It recognized four-year, public universities which “manage to simultaneously produce important research while extending social opportunity to students from underprivileged backgrounds.”
“We’re especially proud of this national ranking because it shows we’re making a substantial, measurable difference in people’s lives,” said UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie. “Through research, we inform intellectual curiosity and foster economic growth in the state. In the classroom, we are enhancing the future workforce and equalizing opportunities.”
The institution evaluated the 342 schools using tax data from Equality of Opportunity Project at Stanford to assess mobility and the Carnegie Foundation’s independent ranking to determine research activity.
The University of New Orleans ranked third in the nation for equal access to higher education. It was the only other Louisiana university in the Brookings Institution’s Top 10.