American Council of Trustees and Alumni Releases Annual University Ratings Report

Today, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) released What Will They Learn? 2021-22, its annual assessment of the core academic requirements at over 1,100 U.S. colleges and universities. 
The report, along with its companion website,, is a powerful college choice tool that helps students, parents, and high school counselors select institutions that are most likely to prepare graduates for rewarding careers and informed citizenship. The report assigns a letter grade to 1,133 universities based on how many of the following core subjects they require students to study as a condition of graduation: Composition, Literature, Foreign Language, U.S. Government or History, Economics, Mathematics, and Natural Science.
Most college ranking systems, like the U.S. News & World Report, do not evaluate what students actually learn in the classroom. What Will They Learn? is the only rating system that examines the course catalogs of each school to provide an urgently needed, alternative assessment based on an institution’s core curriculum, the program of study that all students share. ACTA’s research team also collects data on several indicators that predict student success after college, including student-to-faculty ratios, campus-specific student loan default rates, graduation rates, the state of free expression on campus, and cost of attendance.
Some Key Findings:
Why It Matters: 
What Will They Learn? has been documenting for the last 13 years the crisis of weak core curriculum requirements. In addition to helping students choose the right college for the right reasons, ACTA works with college and university leaders on campuses around the country to strengthen curricula and raise academic standards. 
“Fires are burning all over the academy: tuition is skyrocketing, campus protections for free speech are crumbling, and students are learning less and less,” said ACTA President Michael Poliakoff. “It’s no wonder confidence in higher education is falling. Campus leaders owe it to their students to improve the academic experience so that graduates are prepared for professional success and informed citizenship.” 
“Choosing the right college or university is one of the most important decisions young people make,” said Jonathan Pidluzny, ACTA’s vice president of academic affairs. “Unfortunately, most college ranking systems drive prices up without improving the quality of education being delivered. That is why we built a college choice tool focused on what schools are actually teaching.”
Find the 2021-2022 ratings here. Visit ACTA’s interactive college choice tool here.
ABOUT ACTA: Founded in 1995, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) is an independent, nonprofit organization committed to academic freedom, academic excellence, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. ACTA is the only national organization dedicated to working with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality education at an affordable price. 
For more information or press inquiries, please contact Bridget Lewis at or (702) 773-2111, or Gabrielle Anglin at or (260) 609-3486.
Source: American Council of Trustees and Alumni