UT Austin hooks highest U.S. News & World Report ranking in 30 years

The University of Texas at Austin ranks high in the ranks of a prestigious national report. The 2021 Best Colleges by US News & World Report, published on September 14, show that UT Austin is clearly one of the best national universities.

This year, the trustworthy report compared more than 1,400 undergraduate institutions with 17 “academic quality” measures. In recognition of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students and schools, several updates to the methodology were made in the release, a press release said.

For 2021, the U.S. News added two new metrics to measure student debt. It also increased the weight of the outcome category, which measures graduation rates, retention rates, and social mobility, and reduced the weights on standardized test scores, high school class prestige, and giving alumni. And for the first time, the report classifies test-blind schools (those that do not require a SAT or ACT score to be admitted).

“The pandemic has hit students across the country, canceled opening ceremonies and switched classes from face-to-face to remote,” said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer, in a press release. “Regardless of whether students have made minor or total changes to their college plans, it remains our mission to continue to provide students and their families with the tools they need to find the right school for them.”

Now for the rankings. UT Austin ranks 42nd nationwide and is sixth as of 2020. This is also the school’s highest ranking in the report since 1985, according to a press release from the university. (Hook ’em!) Among the state’s public universities, UT Austin climbed four places from the previous year, finishing in 13th place.

While UT Austin is still the best public school in Texas, the title of best university in Texas goes to Rice again. The renowned school in Houston ranks 16th among national universities, one place more than last year.

US News was also rated Best Business, Computer Science, and Engineering Program for Students that year, placing UT Austin at the top of the class. McCombs School of Business ranks fifth nationwide, while UT Computer Science and the Cockrell School of Engineering rank eleventh each nationwide. Numerous programs in each school are recognized by the best in the country.

“These rankings are a recognition of the hard work and brilliance of so many members of the Longhorn Nation – students, faculties and staff – and they are also a product of the profound investments the university has made in academic excellence over the past few years,” said Jay Hartzell, Interim President of UT Austin, in a press release. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but I also know that this extraordinary university has the potential to climb even higher and achieve even more – for me we’re just getting started.”

Among the other top Texas schools, Southern Methodist University and Texas A&M University rank 66th nationwide, while Baylor University and Texas Christian University rank 76th and 80th, respectively.

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