The University of Pittsburgh remains among the nation’s top 20 public colleges and universities, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, released today.
Pitt is No. 19 out of a total of 209 public institutions across the country included in this ranking.
“This recognition speaks to the University of Pittsburgh’s success in tackling some of society’s greatest challenges,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “It is an accomplishment hard won by our faculty, students and staff—and at a time when their scholarship and brilliance has never been more needed or more important.”
Changes to the rankings methodology this year include the introduction of two measures related to student debt. Pitt has made access and affordability a priority by exploring new ways to allocate need-based financial aid and lower student debt. This includes the creation of the groundbreaking Pitt Success Pell Match program, the largest-ever restructuring of financial aid in Pitt’s history. The program matches Pell Grant funds dollar for dollar, up to the cost of attendance for eligible students across all five of Pitt’s campuses. Pitt Success is just one of several initiatives Pitt has in place in its commitment to affordability and access. Read more about how Pitt is investing in its students.
In addition, this year’s ranking methodology gives less weight to SAT/ACT scores, high school class standing, alumni giving rates and student excellence. The weight for outcomes was increased while faculty resources, expert opinion and financial resources remained the same.
Progress is always in progress: a leader in innovation
In addition to remaining in the top 20 public institutions, Pitt landed at No. 50 in the Best Innovative Schools rankings, a rise from No. 63 last year. The new ranking comes as Pitt leads cutting-edge research in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research was among the first research labs in the country to obtain a sample of the coronavirus and has since worked to develop a vaccine.
In addition, research led by Derek Angus, professor and chair of Pitt’s Department of Critical Care Medicine and chief health care innovation officer at UPMC, recently found that an inexpensive treatment of steroids can substantially improve survival in critically ill COVID-19 patients. As a result, the World Health Organization is updating its guidance for treatment of the virus.
Outside the medical field, Pitt’s Innovation Institute reported a record 394 invention disclosures submitted in the 2020 fiscal year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.