The Best Colleges of 2016


U.S. News & World Report has released its 2016 edition of Best Colleges, which features rankings of 1,376 schools. The rankings were based on 16 measures of academic quality and outcomes including graduation and retention rates. takes a look at the list of top national universities.

1. 1. Princeton University

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This private institution is located in New Jersey. Princeton was the first university to offer a "no loan" policy to financially needy students, giving grants instead of loans to accepted students who need help paying tuition.

2. 2. Harvard University

Harvard, which is a private Ivy League institution, is located just outside of Boston. It is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world.

3. 3. Yale University

The New Haven, Connecticut school divides its students into 12 residential colleges that “foster a supportive environment for living, learning and socializing.”

4. 4. Columbia University

The most expensive of the top national universities, Columbia’s tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year ran at $51,008. The Ivy League institution guarantees students housing for all four years on campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood.

5. 4. Stanford University

Stanford University is situated in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco. Students at the school have many opportunities to get involved in research projects.

6. 4. University of Chicago

You can find the University of Chicago in the city’s Hyde Park community. Since 1987, it  has hosted the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, a four-day event considered the largest scavenger hunt in the world.

7. 7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

As the second school on the list located in Massachusetts, MIT is best known for its math, science and engineering education. The private research university also offers architecture, humanities, management and social science programs. MIT’s tuition and fees run slightly higher than Harvard’s at $46,704 for 2015-16 year.

8. 8. Duke University

The Durham, North Carolina private institution is known for many things including its outstanding men's basketball program. In terms of academics, Duke offers liberal arts and engineering programs for undergraduates.

9. 9. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. Students can study in one of four schools that grant undergraduate degrees.

10. 10. California Institute of Technology

Caltech, which focuses on science and engineering education, has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1. The Pasadena, California private institution “is actively involved in research projects with grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

11. 10. Johns Hopkins University:

The Baltimore, Maryland school offers academic programs in the “arts, humanities, social and natural sciences and engineering disciplines.” The Hopkins Blue Jays men’s lacrosse team is consistently dominant in the NCAA Division I.

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