Ever wondered what the top colleges in the US are?

US News and World Report’s college rankings try to determine the top colleges in the country every year. This year’s rankings placed Princeton and Harvard again at the top of the list of national universities.

Remember, no school is #1 for everyone! The US News and World Report college rankings prioritize schools with a great reputation and high-scoring students, but they leave out the strengths of specific majors, college social activities and many other things that will determine the kind of school that’s right for you.

To find colleges that have exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll need to do more research than looking at rankings. Go to a school’s website, talk to a college counselor or go on a college visit to see it for yourself!

The US News and World Report Top 25 Colleges

What national universities made the grade? Check out the top 25 colleges according to the US News and World Report rankings. Schools with the same number indicates there was a tie among multiple schools.

1. Princeton University
2. Harvard University
3. Yale University
4. Columbia University
4. Stanford University
4. University of Chicago
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
8. Duke University
9. University of Pennsylvania
10. California Institute of Technology
10. Johns Hopkins University
12. Northwestern University
12. Dartmouth College
14. Brown University
15. Cornell University
15. Vanderbilt University
15. Washington University of St. Louis
18. University of Notre Dame
18. Rice University
20. University of California – Berkeley
21. Georgetown University
21. Emory University
23. Carnegie Mellon University
23. University of California – Los Angeles
23. University of Southern California

How Colleges Are Ranked

How does the US News and World Report come up with these college rankings?

Some of the main contributions to the college rankings are the opinions of high-ranking officials at peer colleges, such as university presidents and deans of admissions.

Other important factors in the college rankings include graduation rate, information about admitted students (their average test scores and high school class rank, for instance) and faculty information (the average salary of professors and class size). A college’s financial resources and alumni donation rate are also considered in the college rankings.

One feature of the 2016 college rankings is the inclusion of statistics on borrowing, costs and graduation rates – all important considerations for students looking to apply to college for the 2016-2017 academic year.

You can see the US News and World Report’s full breakdown on exactly how their 2016 best college rankings were determined here.

But remember, at the end of the day the most important thing is to select the school that’s right for you, whether it ranks in US News and World Report’s best colleges or not.

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