2021 U.S. News & World Report Ranking Summary
|National Rank and Lists||2020||2021||Change|
|National Universities Rank||185||176||9|
|Top Public Schools||92||87||5|
|Best Value Schools||133||106||27|
|Undergraduate Business Programs - Overall||90||81||9|
|Undergraduate Computer Science Programs (New)||104|
|Overall Undergraduate Engineering Programs||83||79||4|
|Least Debt of National Universities||Not listed||Listed|
|Top Performers on Social Mobility||27||48||-21|
|Campus Ethnic Diversity||Listed||Listed|
|Best Colleges for Veterans||Not ranked||128|
|A+ Schools for B Students||Listed||Listed|
Interested in how our rank might change using simulated data? Click here to review the 2020 Hanover Ranking Simulator.
UH National University Ranking, 2002 - 2021.
This year the U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) ranked 297 institutions among the top National Universities.2 Excluding 92 institutions ranked together at 298-389. There are 5 more institutions ranked this year compared to last year.3 USNWR uses the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s Basic Classification system to identify National Universities.
In the 2020 issue, UH ranked 185. In 2021, UH ranks 176. That’s an improvement of 9 spots since last year.
Relative to other institutions, UH made some improvements as measured by our percentile rank.4 Calculating percentile rank standardizes our relative position in the rank allowing us to compare across years. It involves sorting the institutions by National Rank and identifying their position along a line from 0% to 100%. There are many ties among the ranked institutions. Tied institutions are ranked in the same percentile. For example, Washington State University is ranked 176 alongside UH and 9 other institutions. All 11 institutions are in the 37.5th percentile. This does not include the 92 institutions range-ranked at 298-389 for Issue Year 2021. In the 2020 issue, UH was ranked in the 35th percentile of all 292 institutions ranked. In 2021, UH is ranked in the 38th percentile of all 297 institutions. In other words, 65% of institutions ranked higher than UH in 2020 compared to 62% in 2021. This shows UH improved by 3 percentile points in the 2021 ranking compared to last year.
There are 17 indicators that factor into the National Ranking listed below.
Ranking Factors, Issue Year 2021.
|Ranking Factor||Indicator||2020 Weight||2021 Weight|
|Graduation and Retention (22%)||Average six-year graduation rate||17.60%||17.60%|
|Average first-year retention rate||4.40%||4.40%|
|Academic Reputation (20%)||Peer Assessment Survey||20%||20%|
|Faculty Resources (20%)||Class size index||8%||8%|
|Percent faculty with terminal degree||3%||3%|
|Percent full-time faculty||1%||1%|
|Financial Resources Per Student (10%)||Instructional budget per student||10%||10%|
|Graduation Rate Performance (8%)||6-yr graduation rate relative to predicted||8%||8%|
|Student Selectivity (7%)||SAT/ACT Scores||7.75%||5%|
|High school class standing top 10%||2.30%||2%|
|Social Mobility (5%)||Pell grant graduation rates||2.50%||2.50%|
|Pell grant graduation rate performance||2.50%||2.50%|
|Graduate Indebtedness (5%)||Graduate indebtedness total||3%|
|Graduate indebtedness proportion with debt||2%|
|Average Alumni Giving Rate (3%)||5%||3%|
USNWR added two new outcome measures pertaining to graduate indebtedness.5 This is in response to the U.S. college debt that stands at $1.6 trillion of outstanding federal and private student debt held by 4 million student borrowers. Schools that ranked the highest had the lowest average amount of debt accrued by their most recent graduates and a relatively small proportion of students graduating with debt compared to other schools.
For nonresponders to U.S. News’ financial aid survey, the College Scorecard’s most recent cohort of institutional median graduate indebtedness was adjusted and used in its place for indebtedness total.
For indebtedness proportion, the College Scorecard’s most recent institutional cohort proportion of undergraduates borrowing was adjusted and used in its place. The indicators that go into this factor are:
Graduate indebtedness total: Average amount of accumulated federal loan debt among the 2019 bachelor’s degree graduating class that took out federal loans (weighted 3%).
Graduate indebtedness proportion: Percentage of graduates from the 2019 bachelor’s degree graduating class who borrowed federal loans (weighted 2%).
In order to accommodate these new measures, USNWR gave less weight to SAT/ACT scores, high school class standing, and alumni giving rates. The complete ranking methodology for Issue Year 2021 is available here.
The figures below summarize the ranking factor trend for the last ten years for the University of Houston. UH academic reputation has increased from 2.5 in 2011 to 2.9 in 2021. The four-year average six-year graduation rate continues to climb higher and will continue to climb because UH reached 61% as of Fall 2019. In fact, UH is now exceeding graduation rate expectations as calculated by the USNWR by 2 percentage points.6 Predicted Graduation Rate: 59%
Single-Cohort Graduation Rate: 61%
Since 2011, UH’s educational expenditures per student has increased 26% from $17,843 to $22,495. SAT scores at the 25th and 75th percentiles have climbed over the years. Other areas have remained relatively constant including percent of classes with 50+, percent of classes with less than 20 students, and average alumni giving rates to name a few.
The average faculty compensation rate7 Salary data adjusted for regional differences in cost of living using the Bureau of Economic Analysis regional price parities index published May 2020. For nonresponders to the faculty salary question, USNWR used modified federal government faculty salary data as the basis for their estimates. for AY 2019-20 dropped 17% from Issue Year 2020 to Issue Year 2021. However, this year USNWR made an important change in the way faculty compensation is calculated. Issue Year 2021 removes non-salary compensation including benefits from the calculations, which explains why our value for faculty compensation dropped. Faculty salary is weighted at 7% and is the two-year average full-time faculty salaries for assistant, associate, and full professors for 2019-2020 based on definitions from the American Association of University Professors. In fact, UH ranks #64 in Faculty Compensation Rank, up from #96 last year. UH shares this rank with institutions like University of Southern California, University of Denver, University of Georgia, and Illinois Institute of Technology.