Claremont, Calif. (September 13, 2016)—In the new U.S. News & World Report 2017 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings, Pitzer College rose to #32 and is counted among the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the country for “Campus Ethnic Diversity.” Last year, Pitzer was #36. Overall, Pitzer has moved up 38 places since 2002 on the annual list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.
The U.S. News “Campus Ethnic Diversity” category recognizes schools “where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.” The list factors in the mix of ethnic groups on campus, excluding international students. In 2015-16, domestic students of color made up 39 percent of Pitzer undergraduates.
Pitzer’s first-year student retention rate of 92 percent earned the College a spot near the top of the U.S. News “Freshman Retention Rate” list. Pitzer also ranks among liberal arts colleges with the highest four-year graduation rates and lowest acceptance rates. Pitzer’s four-year graduation rate is 82 percent and the acceptance rate for the Class of 2020 was 13 percent, making the College one of the country’s most selective liberal arts schools. Additionally, U.S. News counted Pitzer as a “High School Counselors’ Top College Pick” in its most recent rankings.
Established in 1963, Pitzer emphasizes social sciences, environmental and interdisciplinary studies, the arts and humanities, and behavioral and natural sciences. In the 50 years since its founding, Pitzer has been a leader in developing innovative academic programming from environmental studies in the 1970s to secular studies in the 2010s. For six years straight, the College was the #1 producer of student Fulbright Fellows among bachelor’s institutions in the US. Home to the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, Pitzer was dubbed the nation’s greenest college by Niche.com.
This year, U.S. News reviewed data from more than 1,800 colleges and universities across the country and ranked 1,374 schools. The rankings are based on several key measures of quality such as graduation and retention rates; assessment of excellence; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduation rate performance and alumni giving. Scores for each measure are weighted to arrive at a final overall score. For national universities and liberal arts colleges, the assessment figure represents input from both academic peers and high school guidance counselors.