Claremont, Calif. (September 13, 2021)—U.S. News & World Report’s new rankings count Pitzer College among the best—and most innovative—liberal arts colleges in the country. In the 2022 Best Colleges list released today, U.S. News ranks Pitzer #35, one spot up from last year and tied with the College of the Holy Cross.
U.S. News evaluated 1,466 colleges and universities on 17 measures of academic quality for this 37th edition of its Best Colleges rankings. To calculate the top schools, U.S. News drew on academic data points that include graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, and student selectivity. With an average class size of fewer than 16 students, Pitzer has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1. Every incoming student is assigned a faculty adviser who works closely with the student to develop a tailored program of study in keeping with the College’s Educational Objectives. The College’s first-year retention rate is 90 percent.
U.S. News also counts Pitzer among the top 10 liberal arts colleges for Campus Ethnic Diversity. For fall 2020, 43.7 percent of enrolled, degree-seeking students were from a minoritized racial/ethnic group, according to Pitzer’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
Pitzer comes in among the top 20 liberal arts schools for Least Debt. U.S. News lists the College’s typical total federal loan debt after graduation as $16,750. Pitzer is committed to meeting 100 percent of every admitted student’s demonstrated need through financial aid awards that include grants and work-study.
On the list of Most Innovative Schools among liberal arts colleges, Pitzer is #42, in a nine-way tie with colleges that include Amherst, Morehouse, and Swarthmore. Top college officials identified schools on this list as institutions making the most innovative improvements and promising changes in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities, according to U.S. News.
For a relatively young college, Pitzer has a long history of firsts. It was one of the first colleges to create an environmental studies program in the ’70s, and more than four decades later, it became the first college in Southern California to commit to divesting from fossil fuels. Ten years ago, Pitzer established the nation’s first undergraduate secular studies program, and last year it launched the first BA degree program for incarcerated students based on Inside-Out curriculum. From tropical ecology research in Costa Rica to community engagement at home, the College has taken an innovative, imaginative approach to liberal arts education since its founding in 1963.
All five undergraduate institutions of The Claremont Colleges—Pitzer, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College, and Scripps College—were counted among the top 35 liberal arts colleges in the country. U.S. News 2022 Best Colleges Rankings can be viewed at www.usnews.com/colleges.