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Best colleges in America,Forbes top 50,Top 10 Universities Colleges of USA, US News list of colleges,Rankings of top Best 100 Colleges Schools University United States  2013, World Ranking of USA Universities 2013 Click here..

 

Best Colleges in America

 

When it comes to assessing the value of a college, only one thing matters: how much that school will help you succeed in life.  And with college tuition at record highs and staggering unemployment rates, it’s more important than ever to select a school wisely.

For our fourth annual list of the Best Colleges in America, we asked real professionals in a variety of industries—most of whom have hiring experience—what they consider to be the best colleges in America.

And for the third year in a row, our readers have determined that the number one school in America is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Almost 1,500 of our readers responded, of which 90.7 percent had bachelor’s degrees and 64.8 percent had hiring experience. Almost 30 percent of the respondents work in finance, 22 percent work in technology, 9.9 percent work in education, 9.9 are current students, 9.2 percent work in media and marketing, and 8 percent work in law.

Despite the high cost of tuition and large amounts of student debt, 52.2 percent of respondents said that college is still worth it. However, other people said that the value of college depends on factors such as the caliber of the school, major and coursework, the quality of the education, the cost of tuition and financial aid packages, potential return on investment, and social opportunities.

“Certain majors are worth it – finance, engineering, comp sci. Other majors are not worth paying 40k a year in order to still earn only 30k after graduation,” one respondent wrote.

Other respondents stressed the quality of the education and the opportunities to learn as the most important part of a college education. One respondent wrote that “There’s a huge intellectual growth you experience in college.”

 

#50 Davidson College

Location: Davidson, North Carolina

Enrollment: 1,756

Rating: 2.71 out of 5

Davidson fell four spots from last year’s ranking. The school ranked higher at #30 in Forbes and #12 on US News’ list of liberal arts college.

Reader comment: “Davidson provides the same quality of education as Harvard at much lower cost.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#49 University of California — Davis

Location: Davis, Calif.

Enrollment: 25,096

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

This is the first year that U.C. Davis made our list. The California school ranked much lower at #156 on Forbes’ college list and came in at #38 on US News’ universities list.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#48 Wake Forest University

Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Enrollment: 4,775

Rating: 2.76 out of 5

Wake Forest returned to our list after dropping off last year. The school ranked #53 in Forbes’ college list and #27 in US News’ universities list.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#47 Bowdoin College

Location: Brunswick, Maine

Enrollment: 1,778

Rating: 2.77 out of 5

Bowdoin fell three spots from last year’s list. The small school ranked much higher at #14 on Forbes’ college list and #6 on US News’ liberal arts colleges list.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#46 Wesleyan University

Location: Middletown, Conn.

Enrollment: 2,882

Rating: 2.78 out of 5

Wesleyan rose one spot from last year’s list. The school ranked much higher at #15 on Forbes’ college list. It came in at #17 on US News’ liberal arts college list.

Reader comment: “I find that these lists of top schools, & brightest students, are always skewed toward the big universities. I believe some of the most brilliant people I know, or have met, are graduates of the top small liberal arts schools. I was accepted at Yale but decided to go to a smaller school, Wesleyan. You need to give more credit to schools like Williams, Amherst, Oberlin, Middlebury, & Wesleyan.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#45 Vassar College

Location: Poughkeepsie, New York

Enrollment: 2,386

Rating: 2.80 out of 5

Vassar rose three spots from last year’s list. The school ranked much higher #20 overall in Forbes and #10 in US News’ list of liberal arts colleges.

Reader comment: “Vassar alums have a unique bond that attracts personally and professionally.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#44 Colgate University

#44 Colgate University

Location: Hamilton, New York

Enrollment: 2,947

Rating: 2.84 out of 5

Colgate rose six spots from #50 on last year’s list. The small liberal arts school ranked at #48 in Forbes, and at #18 in US News’ liberal arts colleges ranking.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#43 University of Wisconsin — Madison

Location: Madison, Wisc.

Enrollment: 30,367

Rating: 2.88 out of 5

Wisconsin held the same spot from last year’s list. The school ranked #41 in US News’ list of national universities and at a much lower #147 in Forbes.

Reader comment: “UW Madison is a large school with graduate programs and as such provides a rich environment to study a large variety of subjects. And as an undergraduate I was able to also take graduate level classes providing me with great insight not just from the professor but from my classmates as well. Additionally the environment which was rich in research labs provided opportunities for me to work in labs and then ultimately find a willing lab for a senior research project. The extra-curricular opportunities were also endless. I miss those days.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#42 MIddlebury College

#42 MIddlebury College

bgblogging via Flickr

Location: MIddlebury, Vermont

Enrollment: 2,507

Rating: 2.89 out of 5

Middlebury dropped three spots from last year’s list. The small school also ranked #42 in Forbes, but it scored much higher at #4 in US News’ list of liberal arts colleges.

Reader comment“It’s a myth kids have to go to one of the top 10 to have a great college experience. Any of the top 50 colleges can provide a very good education for most students. Nonetheless, there are many reasons small liberal arts school like Middlebury rank so highly: excellent profs dedicated to teaching; small class sizes and discussion groups; strong sense of community; and increasing diversity.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#41 College of William & Mary

Location: Williamsburg, Virg.

Enrollment: 6,071

Rating: 2.95 out of 5

William & Mary held the same spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #40 in Forbes and #33 in US News’ list of universities.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#40 University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, Calif.

Enrollment: 17,414

Rating: 2.96 out of 5

USC held the same spot from last year’s list. The school ranked much lower at #95 in Forbes. It came in at #24 US News’ universities list.

Reader comment: “USC has one of the largest, most well-connected alumni networks in the world. If there is a trail you want to blaze, odds are someone has already done it before and they are more than willing to tell you about it and help you along your way.”

“The University of Southern California has a remarkable international program (study abroad, international internships, exchanges, etc.) that boosts the students’ understanding of the world. USC deserves a higher recognition.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#39 Boston College

Location: Boston, Mass.

Enrollment: 9,088

Rating: 2.96 out of 5

BC held the same spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #26 in Forbes and at #31 US News’ universities list.

 Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#38 Tufts University

Location: Medford, Mass.

Enrollment: 5,194

Rating: 2.99 out of 5

Tiebreaker: Tufts had more ’5′ ratings than Boston College.

Tufts fell one spot from last year’s list. The school ranked #32 in Forbes and at #28 in US News’ universities list.

Reader comment: “Tufts brings in smart, earnest kids and sends out global scholars hellbent on improving the world.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#37 Swarthmore College

Location: Swarthmore, Penn.

Enrollment: 1,545

Rating: 2.99 out of 5

Tiebreaker: Swarthmore had more ’5′ ratings than Tufts.

Swarthmore fell one spot from last year’s list. The school ranked much higher at #10 in Forbes and #3 in US News’ list of liberal arts colleges.

Reader comment: “In the “real world” among most employers and the general public the elite liberal arts schools (Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, etc.) do not get the credit they deserve.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#36 Wellesley College

Location: Wellesley, Mass.

Enrollment: 2,502

Rating: 3.01 out of 5

Wellesley moved up six spots from last year. The school ranked much higher in both Forbes (#16) and US News’ list of liberal arts colleges (#6).

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#35 Washington University in St. Louis

#35 Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University of St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Enrollment: 7,239

Rating: 3.03 out of 5

Wash U moved up three spots from last year. The school ranked much higher in US News’ national universities ranking at #14. It ranked #71 in Forbes.

Reader comments: “Washington University breeds students who are not just book smart, but succeed immensely in their professional careers. Students who graduate from Washington University go on to the best medical and law schools, get hired at Goldman Sachs, Bain, Deloitte, McKinnsey, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, etc. Recently there has been some great entrepreneurs out of the university as well.”

“I got a BS and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis. The best thing that I learned at school was flexibility, critical thinking, responsibility, and the ability to teach myself. These skills have helped me more in the work place than anything.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#34 Harvey Mudd College

Location: Claremont, Calif.

Enrollment: 777

Rating: 3.03 out of 5

Tiebreaker: Harvey Mudd had more ’5′ ratings than Wash U.

Harvey Mudd gained one spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #28 in Forbes and at #12 in US News’ National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking.

Reader comments: “Harvey Mudd Offers the best education and the best deal on education.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#33 Emory University

#33 Emory University


Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Enrollment: 7,441

Rating: 3.07 out of 5

Emory dropped three spots from last year’s list. The school ranked at #46 in Forbes and at #20 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “Goizueta Business School at Emory helped me live my dreams.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#32 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Location: Troy, New York

Enrollment: 5,322

Rating: 3.14 out of 5

This is the first year that RPI made our list. The school ranked much lower in Forbes at #323, but it made the #41 spot in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#31 University of California — Los Angeles

Location: Los Angeles, Calif.

Enrollment: 27,199

Rating: 3.15 out of 5

UCLA dropped two spots from  last year’s list. The California state school ranked at #45 in Forbes and at #24 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Comments: “If the top public schools (Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, Mich) can keep their tuitions down, I don’t see why they won’t over take the other top schools – at least for US students.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#30 Amherst College

#30 Amherst College

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Amherst, Mass.

Enrollment: 1,791

Our rating: 3.18 out of 5

Amherst dropped eight spots, from #22, on last year’s list. The New England school ranked at #2 in US News’ National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking. It also ranked high, at #13, overall in Forbes.

Reader comments: “In the “real world” among most employers and the general public the elite liberal arts schools (Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, etc.) do not get the credit they deserve.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#29 Rice University

Location: Houston, Tex.

Enrollment: 3,755

Rating: 3.20 out of 5

Rice dropped four spots from last year’s list. The Texas school ranked at #37 in Forbes and at #17 in US News’ National Universities ranking. 

Reader comments: “Rice has been consistently undervalued for years.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#28 Vanderbilt University

Location: Nashville, Tenn.

Enrollment: 6,817

Rating: 3.20 out of 5

Tiebreaker: Vanderbilt had more ’5′ ratings than Rice.

Vanderbilt gained three spots from last year’s list. The southern school ranked at #33 in Forbes and at #17 in US News’ universities list.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#27 Williams College

#27 Williams College

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Williamstown, Mass.

Enrollment: 2,053

Rating: 3.21 out of 5

Williams dropped one spot from last year’s list. However, the school took the number one spot in US News’ ranking of the best National Liberal Arts Colleges and the number two spot in Forbes.

Reader comments: “In the “real world” among most employers and the general public the elite liberal arts schools (Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, etc.) do not get the credit they deserve.”

“I believe some of the most brilliant people I know, or have met, are graduates of the top small liberal arts schools. I was accepted at Yale but decided to go to a smaller school, Wesleyan. You need to give more credit to schools like Williams, Amherst, Oberlin, Middlebury, & Wesleyan.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#26 University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Enrollment: 18,430

Rating: 3.23 out of 5

UNC gained two spots from last year’s list. The school ranked at #47 in Forbes and at #30 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#25 New York University

#25 New York University

NYU graduation at Yankee Stadium on May 16, 2012.

Location: New York, New York

Enrollment: 22,280

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

NYU dropped one spot from last year’s list. The Manhattan school ranked at #97 in Forbes and at #32 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts is considered one of the most respected training grounds for young actors in the world. However, I speak from experience when I say, “it is not worth thousands of dollars in debt.” I look at all of the STEM majors at NYU and wish that I studied something in that area. Those fields are where the jobs are. Either learn an actual skill in college or don’t go at all.”

“Schools like Columbia or NYU and other urban schools are highly effective as their students tend to have real life experiences during their studies. Interns can attend class and work in a broad array of fields during school, as opposed to rural students who tend to have a more limited exposure.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#24 Georgia Institute of Technology

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Enrollment: 13,948

Rating: 3.26 out of 5

Georgia Tech rose eight spots from #32 on last year’s list. The school ranked much lower though at #135 in Forbes. It took the #36 spot in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#23 University of Notre Dame

#23 University of Notre Dame

AP

Location: Notre Dame, Ind.

Enrollment: 8,452

Rating: 3.30 out of 5

Notre Dame rose four spots from last year’s list. The school ranked high on other college ratings, at #12 in Forbes and #17 in US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “While highly ranked private schools like Notre Dame, Boston College, Emerson, Vassar and Skidmore offer fine educations and a nice experience they are not worth the money.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#22 University of Virginia

#22 University of Virginia

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Charlottesville, Virg.

Enrollment: 15,762

Rating: 3.34 out of 5

UVA rose one spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #36 in Forbes and at #24 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “Honestly, the best people that I’ve seen in the industry have been from Stanford and UVA. Stanford produces more intellectually aware people who have an instinctive drive. UVA, and this comment may surprise a few people, produces some unbelievably well-rounded kids. I mean if you ever go there to recruit, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If I were to make a law that made sure that all businesses had its employees only from one school, UVA’s company would beat all others, without the slightest doubt.”

“While the star universities are all well represented in the alternative asset industry,I have noticed a disproportionate share of the truly bright people across hedge funds and private equity come from UVA’s undergraduate business school. As a public school, it seems UVA offers quite a strong value proposition, especially for those who enroll in the business program.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#21 University of Michigan — Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.

Enrollment: 24,407

Rating: 3.36 out of 5

U Michigan rose two spots from last year’s list. It took the #57 spot in Forbes and the #25 spot in US News’ national universities ranking.

Reader comments: “Michigan has great academics, active alum network and students have minimal attitude.”

“Generally, a first rate student from UMichigan is equivalent to an ivy first rater, but the networking factor is not as good.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#20 Georgetown University

#20 Georgetown University

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Washington, D.C.

Enrollment: 7,590

Rating: 3.53 out of 5

Georgetown held the same spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #38 in Forbes and at #25 in US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “Small liberal arts colleges such as Haverford or particular programs such as Georgetown’s School of Business are the best type of programs.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#19 Northwestern University

#19 Northwestern University

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Evanston, Ill.

Enrollment: 8,475

Rating: 3.59 out of 5

Northwestern held the same spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #22 in Forbes and at #12 in US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “I was hired at my current job almost solely because I went to Northwestern. I think that’s crazy but I’ll take it.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#18 Carnegie Mellon University

#18 Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, Penn.

Enrollment: 6,281

Rating: 3.65 out of 5

Carnegie Mellon fell one spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #69 in Forbes and at #23 in US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “Carnegie Mellon has Hi-tech companies recruiting Computer Science and Engineering undergraduates before they graduate.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#17 Brown University

#17 Brown University

_Gene_ at flickr

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Enrollment: 6,380

Rating: 3.65 out of 5

Tiebreaker: Brown had more ’5′ ratings than Carnegie Mellon.

Brown fell two spots from last year’s list. The school ranked at #15 in US News’ National Universities ranking and at #19 overall in Forbes.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#16 University of California – Berkeley

#16 University of California - Berkeley

University of California — Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, Calif.

Enrollment: 25,885

Rating3.70 out of 5

UC Berkeley fell two spots from last year’s list. The school ranked at #21 in US News’ National Universities ranking and at #50 overall in Forbes.

Reader comments: “If the top public schools (Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, Mich) can keep their tuitions down, I don’t see why they won’t over take the other top schools – at least for US students.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#15 Duke University

#15 Duke University

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Enrollment: 25,885

Rating: 3.74 out of 5

Duke fell three spots from last year’s list. It took the #24 spot in Forbes, and a much higher spot at #8 in US News’ list of national universities.

Reader comments: “Duke University: Work Hard, Play Harder.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#14 University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, Ill.

Enrollment: 5,388

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

U Chicago fell three spots from last year’s list. The school ranked much higher on other major rankings, taking the #4 spot in both Forbes and US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “I’ve hired hundreds of people over my career. I no longer hire people from unserious universities where kids can and do graduate being ignorant and sloppy thinkers. The remaining serious universities include University of Chicago, MIT, Caltech and Carnegie-Mellon.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#13 United States Military Academy

Location: West Point, New York

Enrollment: 4,624

Rating: 3.78 out of 5

Like Navy, Army gained five spots from last year’s list, showing that military schools are gaining in popularity. The school ranked high in other rankings as well, at #7 in Forbes and at #18 in US News’ National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking.

Reader comments: “Graduates of military colleges (US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Coast Guard Academy, Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel) have an advantage in knowing how to both lead and work in teams.”

“If you are a business Entrepreneur, just one to 2 years of select business classes…real world training and education come from real world jobs here and overseas…better to join the Military and get the best education possible while serving your country…then enter the business world!”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#12 Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Enrollment: 5,980

Rating: 3.81 out of 5

Hopkins dropped one spot from last year’s list. The school ranked at #67 in Forbes and at #13 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “The “Ivy+” schools have a prestige value that outweighs almost any cost… The “next dozen” also are worth stretching for….Hopkins, Berkeley, Claremont, Michigan, Wisconsin, Amherst, Williams, Chicago, Duke, NYU, Rice, NYU, Swarthmore.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#11 United States Naval Academy

Location: Annapolis, Maryland

Enrollment: 4,576

Rating: 3.81 out of 5

Tiebreaker: Navy had more ’5′ ratings than Hopkins.

Like Army, Navy gained five spots from last year’s list, demonstrating a rise in interest in U.S. military schools. The academy ranked at #14 in US News’ National Liberal Arts Colleges ranking and at #43 overall in Forbes.

Tie breaker: United States Naval Academy had 37.6% excellent ratings, while Johns Hopkins had 31.0% excellent ratings.

Reader comments: “Graduates of military colleges (US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, US Coast Guard Academy, Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel) have an advantage in knowing how to both lead and work in teams.”

“If success is judged by the percentage of graduates with decent paying jobs 3 months after graduation, then Westpoint and the Naval academy probably come out much better than the private liberal arts colleges.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#10 Cornell University

#10 Cornell University

Courtesy of Jason Barell

Location: Ithaca, New York

Enrollment: 14,167

Rating: 3.83 out of 5

Cornell held the same spot from last year’s list. The upstate New York Ivy ranked lower in Forbes at #51, but higher in US News’ list of national universities at #15.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#9 University of Pennsylvania

#9 University of Pennsylvania

Wikipedia

Location: Philadelphia, Penn.

Enrollment: 9,779

Rating: 3.85 out of 5

U Penn held the same spot from last year’s list. The Ivy-league school ranked at #17 in Forbes and at #8 in US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “There’s a difference between best “schools” and best “universities”. Take Penn, for example. Wharton is the best undergrad business school and Penn’s nursing school is the best undergrad nursing program. They both are “extremely helpful” in landing jobs after graduation. Many majors in Penn’s college of arts and sciences will not be so helpful, however. Grade by program, not by university. Kids aspiring to college need to focus less on the sports team and more about individual programs.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#8 Dartmouth College

Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Enrollment: 4,194

Rating: 3.89 out of 5

Dartmouth held the same spot from last year’s list. The school ranked lower in Forbes at #34, but maintained a spot in the top 10 in US News’ national universities list at #10.

Reader comments: “Dartmouth, Colgate, Wiliams and Yale — great launchers of careers.”

“Even top students from elite universities can suffer in the job market if they did not choose an in-demand major. I still have several friends from Brown, Dartmouth, and Columbia who majored in English, Writing, and other Humanities subjects currently less valued (due both to surplus of Humanities majors looking for jobs and technical requirements of many hiring institutions) in the job market who are still unemployed or underemployed while looking for more challenging work.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#7 Columbia University

#7 Columbia University

Wikimedia Commons

Location: New York, New York

Enrollment: 6,027

Rating: 4.00 out of 5

Columbia held the same spot from last year’s list. The Manhattan Ivy-league school ranked at #8 in Forbes and #4 in US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “Universities with global perspective such as Columbia prepare students for the world and global opportunity set.”

“Schools like Columbia or NYU and other urban schools are highly effective as their students tend to have real life experiences during their studies. Interns can attend class and work in a broad array of fields during school, as opposed to rural students who tend to have a more limited exposure.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#6 California Institute of Technology

#6 California Institute of Technology

Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology

Location: Pasadena, Calif.

Enrollment: 978

Rating: 4.16 out of 5

Cal Tech held the same spot from last year’s list. The tech school ranked at #18 in Forbes and #10 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#5 Princeton University

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Enrollment: 5,249

Rating: 4.19 out of 5

Princeton dropped one spot from last year’s list. However, the Ivy-league school held the #1 spots in both Forbes and US News’ national universities list.

Reader comments: “In the game of public vs. private schools, name recognition is everything. Schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. have instant recognition by EVERYBODY, even people who have never attended college. This type of recognition coupled with the fact that these schools can attract and keep world-class instructors with their massive endowments will ALWAYS put all other schools at a disadvantage.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#4 Yale University

#4 Yale University

Wikimedia Commons

Location: New Haven, Conn.

Enrollment: 5,349

Rating: 4.26 out of 5

Yale gained one spot from last year’s list. The elite Ivy-league school held the #5 spot in Forbes and the #3 spot in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “I’ve found that I’ve met idiots from Yale and geniuses from state schools–it all depends on how hard you work and how much you choose to challenge yourself. The school may give you a better chance at getting a job interview, but after your first or second job, it’s your work that counts. But that initial boost is oh so useful.

“The “Ivy+” schools have a prestige value that outweighs almost any cost. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, Penn, Dartmouth, Brown, MIT, Caltech, Stamford.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#3 Harvard University

#3 Harvard University

AP

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

Enrollment: 6,657

Rating: 4.32 out of 5

Harvard held the same spot from last year’s list. The Ivy-league school ranked at #6 in Forbes and at #1 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “In the game of public vs. private schools, name recognition is everything. Schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. have instant recognition by EVERYBODY, even people who have never attended college. This type of recognition coupled with the fact that these schools can attract and keep world-class instructors with their massive endowments will ALWAYS put all other schools at a disadvantage.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#2 Stanford University

#2 Stanford University

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Stanford, Calif.

Enrollment: 6,988

Rating: 4.37 out of 5

Stanford held the same spot from last year’s list. The California school ranked at #3 in Forbes and #5 in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “In today’s world, it’s the alumni network that means the most to employers – gone are the days when Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and Yale had a monopoly over top alumni. Now Stanford leads the charge with founders of technology companies, top business executives from Stanford’s top-ranked GSB, high-level government leaders, legal scholars, engineers, and finance professionals.”

“Honestly, the best people that I’ve seen in the industry have been from Stanford and UVA. Stanford produces more intellectually aware people who have an instinctive drive. ”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges.

#1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

Enrollment: 4,384

Rating: 4.50 out of 5

This is the third year in a row that MIT has held the top spot on our list. The top-tier school ranked high in other ratings too, taking the #11 spot in Forbes and the #5 spot in US News’ National Universities ranking.

Reader comments: “It’s all about ROI and what exactly are you going to do with the degree? I have colleagues that have MITs degree… they’re sitting right here with me, and twice the loan debts.

While I’m admittedly biased, I still believe the Big Ten schools are a phenomenal deal for engineering and technology degrees. Their graduates have a good industry reputation, the education quality is adequate and in-state tuition is far less than comparable programs at big-name private schools… The one exception was MIT; the two grads I knew were absolutely brilliant R&D technologists.”

Business Insider’s rating is based on a simple and pragmatic survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Our ranking tends to favor more famous schools, perhaps rightly so. We also reference Forbes’ US college ranking and US News’ rankings of US universities and liberal arts colleges


Source: Business Insider.


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