Claremont, Calif. (October 1, 2021)—The Princeton Review has ranked Pitzer College among the nation’s top higher education institutions in its Best 387 Colleges: 2022 Edition. The College was also named a 2022 Best Western College in the recently released rankings.
This year, the Princeton Review introduced 26 “Great Lists,” which identify colleges with the most impressive history of appearances in the company’s annual “Best of” rankings. In this new feature, Pitzer was recognized for Great Financial Aid, Most Politically Active Students, LGBTQ-Friendly, and Great Campus Food. Institutions are listed alphabetically, not numerically ranked, but fewer than 30 colleges appear in each of these categories. This year, with most students attending college remotely, The Princeton Review did not include its usual “top 20” lists that rank on-campus experiences.
Pitzer’s approach to financial aid stems from the College’s commitment to meeting 100 percent of every admitted student’s demonstrated need. The average need-based financial aid package, which includes grant, work-study, and loan funds, is more than $43,000 for full-time students.
The Most Politically Active Students list is based on students’ assessment of their own political awareness. Since Pitzer’s earliest Town Hall meetings in the ’60s, students have been encouraged to dive into the decision-making processes that affect their lives, on and off campus. Pitzer’s core value of Student Engagement reflects the College’s belief that students should shape their educational experience by serving on campus-wide governing committees as well as designing and proposing their own majors. Many alumni, such as former California State Senate President Kevin de León ’03 and former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell ’92, have translated their Pitzer education into political careers.
For the LGBTQ-Friendly list, students are asked how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement, “Students treat all persons equally, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.” Students and the College collaborate on making campus an inclusive environment. Campus resources include the student-run Rainbow People, an organization for students who identify with the LGBTQ+ community, and the Claremont Colleges Queer Resource Center, which serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, omnisexual, and pansexual communities, as well as allies, at The Claremont Colleges.
In surveys, students consistently give Pitzer high marks for great campus food. McConnell Dining Hall specializes in offering fresh, healthy, and “craveable” food, with many locally sourced and organic items on the menu—often made from scratch. The dining hall strives to purchase seasonal ingredients from small, owner-operated farms and ranches within a 150-mile radius of Pitzer. This semester, McConnell Dining Hall introduced a plant-based meal station called Herbivore. In 2022, the dining hall plans to incorporate fresh eggs and produce from Pitzer’s student-run garden and chicken coop.
In previous publications, The Princeton Review ranked Pitzer #5 in its 2021 Guide to Green Colleges’ list of Top 50 Green Colleges. The College came in #5 among the Top 20 Best Schools for Making an Impact (Private Schools) on the Best Value Colleges 2021 rankings. The Making an Impact rankings were based on student survey responses to questions about community service opportunities, student government, sustainability efforts, and on-campus student engagement. Princeton Review also cited Pitzer as a Best Value College for 2021 and one of the top 50 Colleges That Create Futures.
For the 30th edition of its Best Colleges guide, Princeton Review surveyed more than 150,000 students across the country and culled previous ranking lists to find consistent standout schools for its Great Lists. The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company that provides online and in-person courses, online resources, and more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House.