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The Perelman Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania. Credit: Jesse Zhang

Penn ranked No. 10 in Forbes Magazine's 2022 "America's Top Colleges" list, dropping a rank since last year. 

Despite dropping in the rankings, Penn remains the top-ranked school in Pennsylvania this year. Penn was also No. 4 among the Ivy League, surpassing Harvard University, which was ranked at No. 14 this year. 

Forbes also ranked Penn No. 6 in the Northeast, No. 9 in Research Universities, and No. 8 among Private Colleges. Forbes’ description of Penn highlights its notable alumni, including singer-songwriter John Legend, journalist Andrea Mitchell, Elon Musk, and former President Donald Trump; as well as Penn’s financial aid and work-study awards.

After Forbes redesigned its methodology in 2021 to take into account access for students of a wide range of backgrounds, several Ivy League universities have dropped in the rankings, while public universities have risen in the ranks. The list specifically highlighted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ranked at No. 1, and California-based public colleges such as the University of California at Berkeley, ranked No. 2.

The Forbes 2022 Top Colleges list ranked universities with more than 300 undergraduate students based on seven factors. The measures weighted alumni salary for 20%, debt load for students for 15%, graduation rate for 15%, alumni in the Forbes American Leaders List for 15%, return on investment or amount of time it takes for a student to re-earn the cost of their education for 15%, retention rate or students who stay after the first year of school for 10%, and academic success for 10%. 

According to Forbes, the intention of the ranking list is to spotlight “schools that offer an excellent education at a great price, graduate high-earners and propel students to become successful entrepreneurs and influential leaders in their fields.”

The data for the list was provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard — two federal government databases — as well as from Payscale, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and some of Forbes’ own lists.