Coursera university partners rise in new US college rankings as focus shifts to outcomes 

Coursera university partners rise in new US college rankings as focus shifts to outcomes 

By Marni Baker Stein, Chief Content Officer at Coursera

For over a decade, the best universities have partnered with Coursera to help reshape higher education by expanding access and outcomes for learners worldwide. The latest U.S. college rankings reflect this commitment and account for social mobility, educational equity, and student outcomes.

I want to congratulate our partners who were overwhelmingly represented across three leading U.S. college rankings recently released: U.S. News 2024 Best Colleges, Wall Street Journal/College Pulse 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S., and New York Times College-Access Index

2023 U.S. college ranking highlights

59 partners were featured in the 2024 U.S. News 2024 Best Colleges Ranking, with 55% of partners in the top 50.

59 partners featured in the latest WSJ ranking, with 32% of partners in the top 50.

50 partners featured in New York Times’ new College-Access Index, 14% in the top 50.

Our U.S. partners ranked highly in the top 20 of both the U.S. News and WSJ rankings. Princeton University topped both lists, while Stanford University and Yale University placed in the top five. Columbia University rounded off the top 5 in WSJ’s list of best colleges. Several institutions made major gains against the new criteria, further solidifying their groundbreaking progress.

Prioritizing student outcomes

As more students weigh the value and ROI of a college education, this year’s rankings rebalanced key factors. WSJ placed greater emphasis on outcomes, including graduation rates and graduate salaries. 

Our partners posted significant gains on outcomes like salary impact and graduation rates in WSJ’s rankings. Illinois Tech rose sharply to break into the top 25 at #23. Columbia University moved up 11 points to land at #5. Georgetown University jumped 20 places to come in at #12. 

University of Florida entered the top 20 at #15, ranking as the top public university in the country by WSJ. 

The University of Pennsylvania took the top spot as the college with the biggest impact on graduate salaries, adding $84,761 in value. This extends to their online programs, with U.S. graduates of Penn’s Master of Computer and Information Technology Online (MCIT) program earning an average salary of $129,947.

Advancing social mobility

The latest U.S. News rankings emphasized social mobility and outcomes by measuring first-generation graduation rates, graduate rates across all socioeconomic backgrounds, and increased earning potential. Many of our partners saw significant jumps in the U.S. national university rankings.  

The University of California, Davis, rose 10 spots to No. 28. Georgia Institute of Technology was up 11 spots to No. 33. University of Washington was up 15 places to No. 40, a tie with Rutgers-New Brunswick, which also rose 15 spots. 

The University of California, Berkeley moved up 5 points, from 20 to 15, and was once again ranked the No. 1 public school in the country by U.S. News.

Several partners were top performers on social mobility for their graduation rates of economically disadvantaged students, including the University of California, Irvine, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of California, Davis

Increasing access for diverse students

Several partners are featured in the New York Times’ College-Access Index, which ranked the most selective U.S. colleges on economic diversity. The ranking analyzed the share of students receiving Pell Grants, federal aid given to students in financial need. 

The University of New Mexico entered the top 10, at No. 9, with a freshman Pell share of 42%, up 4% since 2011. 

New entrants, including Illinois Tech (No. 35) and Louisiana State University (No. 48), broke into the top 50 on this list. 

We are so proud of our partners’ rankings this year, which reflect their incredible work expanding access and increasing attainment in higher education. Together, we’ve empowered more than 129 million learners — from all walks of life and nearly every country in the world — to transform their lives by learning from the best universities. 

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