U.S. News & World Report’s 35th edition of the Best Colleges ranking has been released. Every year, the news outlet publishes a list that ranks colleges and universities based on academic quality, graduation rates, and other factors. For the first time, schools in Puerto Rico, Guam and other U.S. territories were included and graduation rates for first-generation college students were factored in. U.S. News looked at 1,400 colleges and universities for its rankings this year.
For the ninth straight year, Princeton University was named the No. 1 college among national universities, beating out rival Harvard University, which came in second. Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Yale University tied for third place. Williams College was named No. 1 among national liberal arts schools for the 17th year in a row, followed by Amherst College in second place. Swarthmore College and Wellesley College tied for third.
For the first time, U.S. News has issued a Top Performers on Social Mobility ranking. According to the report, the new ranking analyzes enrollment and graduation rates of low-income students and “evaluates which schools best serve underrepresented students”. University of California – Riverside, University of California – Santa Cruz, and University of California – Irvine took the top three spots for national universities under the new ranking. For liberal arts colleges, Cornell College took the top spot, followed by Agnes Scott College and Houghton College.
The college rankings are often used by high school students and their parents to determine which schools would be best to apply to. Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News said, “We’ve found the best institutions to be ones committed to academically and financially supporting their students through graduation. They draw in high-quality professors and set students up for postgraduate success.”