Penn was ranked No. 9 in this year's Forbes Magazine college rankings, dropping three spots since 2019.
Forbes wrote that the magazine did not rank colleges in 2020 in order to re-evaluate its methodology. Despite the drop in overall rankings, Penn remains the top-ranked school in Pennsylvania. Penn ranked No. 5 among Ivy League schools this year.
Universities with over 300 undergraduates were ranked based on seven distinct factors. Alumni salary accounts for 20% of a school’s ranking, loan debt per borrower is 15%, return on investment or amount of time it takes for a student to re-earn the cost of their education is 15%, graduation rate is 15%, and number of Forbes American leaders in categories such as Forbes Under 30 accounts for a final 15%.
In its description of Penn, Forbes listed notable Penn alumni Elon Musk, John Legend, and Donald Trump, as well as Penn's need-blind admissions policy for students from North America.
In its rankings, Forbes highlighted several public universities, placing the University of California, Berkeley at the top of the list for the first time and ranking the University of California, Los Angeles No. 8.
Forbes’ new criteria takes into account access for students of the widest range of backgrounds. The new system gave a boost to the UC schools that offer a transfer plan for high-performing California community college students.
Forbes also ranked Penn No. 6 in colleges in the northeast, No. 7 in private universities, and No. 211 for best employers for new graduates.
In 2020, Penn ranked No. 8 in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of American universities, dropping two spots from the previous year.
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