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Top Ranked U.S. Colleges


The Best Colleges in America Ranked for 2018

These are the best four year colleges in the United States as ranked by CollegeSimply. Our ranking methodology is purely statistical and not subjective in nature. Measuring factors include but are not limited to: student body intellect as indicated by admission scores, graduation rate and admission selectivity. In order to be considered for the ranking, a school must offer four year undergraduate degrees, selectively admit students and be a non-profit institution. Leading our 2018 ranking as the best college in the United States is Yale University.

List of The Best Colleges & Universities in America
Rank College National Academic Rank1 National Selectivity Rank2 National Graduation Rank3
1 Yale University 2 4 1
2 Harvard University 4 2 2
3 Princeton University 5 5 6
4 Stanford University 9 1 9
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 6 8 21
6 University of Chicago 3 7 28
7 Columbia University in the City of New York 7 6 24
8 Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering 10 18 10
9 Pomona College 23 12 11
10 Dartmouth College 13 16 13
11 University of Pennsylvania 15 14 8
12 Northwestern University 11 24 17
13 Amherst College 19 26 4
14 Brown University 16 11 15
15 Duke University 14 17 18
16 Vanderbilt University 8 21 37
17 California Institute of Technology 1 9 69
18 University of Notre Dame 27 42 3
19 Williams College 20 40 12
20 Washington University in St Louis 12 37 23
21 Swarthmore College 31 20 14
22 Rice University 17 31 38
23 Georgetown University 37 36 16
24 Cornell University 30 28 25
25 Johns Hopkins University 24 25 41
26 Claremont McKenna College 22 15 39
27 University of California Berkeley 26 32 51
28 Carleton College 29 46 22
29 Harvey Mudd College 18 22 99
30 University of California Los Angeles 36 33 52
31 Tufts University 28 30 56
32 Haverford College 25 65 36
33 University of Southern California 32 39 53
34 Middlebury College 35 38 59
35 Carnegie Mellon University 21 59 75
36 Emory University 38 55 54
37 Grinnell College 33 62 64
38 Vassar College 42 68 45
39 Boston College 45 75 42
40 Colby College 50 52 40
41 University of Michigan Ann Arbor 41 67 57
42 University of Virginia Main Campus 56 83 19
43 Colgate University 62 70 34
44 Davidson College 59 50 35
45 Washington and Lee University 57 60 49
46 Brandeis University 46 107 43
47 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 64 87 61
48 University of California San Diego 49 103 89
49 Bucknell University 88 64 47
50 Oberlin College 60 78 67

Ranking Methodology

Overall Rank is calculated based on the following school characteristics.

1National Academic Rank is calculated using standardized test admission data as well as GPA data for admitted freshman.
2National Selectivity Rank is based on admission selectivity for incoming students starting the 2015-2016 academic year.
3National Graduation Rank is based on the percentage of students graduating with bachelor's degrees within six years.