Image courtesy of Princeton

Princeton, Williams Top Annual
List of Colleges and Universities

| published September 22, 2017 |

By Thursday Review editors

Newsmagazine U.S. News released its annual list of the best U.S. colleges and universities, and at the top of that much-followed ranking is Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey—considered by U.S. News’ metrics to be the best college with a “full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs.”

Princeton beat out Harvard, which came in at number two, and the University of Chicago and Yale University, which were tied at number three.

Coming in at the top of the list for liberal arts colleges is Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Williams landed in first place above Amherst College, which came in at number two, and Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine), Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania), and Wellesley (Wellesley, Massachusetts).

U.S. News has developed and maintained the ranking for decades, and its much-anticipated list—though certainly not meant to use as an iron-clad guide for any family with a young person considering colleges—has over the years become one of the most respected and popular rankings of the academic quality, and cost-effectiveness, of hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S.

The magazine also has separate rankings for a variety of other categories, including historically black colleges and universities, regional schools, engineering schools, business departments, and public universities and colleges.

For example, among publicly-funded colleges, the University of California (Berkeley) tops the list, followed by UCLA, the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Among mostly African American colleges, the best schools—according to U.S. News—include Spelman College (Atlanta), which tops the list, followed by Howard University (Washington, D.C.), Hampton University (Virginia), Morehouse College (Atlanta), Xavier University (New Orleans), and Florida A&M (Tallahassee, FL).

Also among the major national colleges and universities, those on the list topped by Princeton, Harvard, Chicago, and Yale: Columbia (New York, NY) at number five, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at number six, Stanford (Stanford, CA) at number seven, the University of Pennsylvania at number eight, Duke University (Durham, NC) at number nine, and the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena).

Among liberal arts schools, the following colleges round out the top ten: Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT) at number six; Pomona College (Claremont, CA); Carleton College (Northfield, MN), Claremont-McKenna College (Claremont, CA), Davidson College (Davidson, NC), and Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA).

The U.S. News annual rankings include academic information, tuition and fees, and a variety of data on more than 1,800 American colleges and universities.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Chalk Messages and Free Speech on Campus; Thursday Review editors; Thursday Review; April 10, 2016.

Graduation Day, Annapolis; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; May 22, 2015.