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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 3 1
2 Harvard University 4 1 2
3 Princeton University 7 5 6
4 Stanford University 10 2 9
5 University of Chicago 3 8 28
6 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 6 9 21
7 University of Pennsylvania 15 13 8
8 Columbia University in the City of New York 8 6 24
9 Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering 11 16 10
10 Pomona College 22 11 11
11 Amherst College 19 26 4
12 Northwestern University 18 17 17
13 University of Notre Dame 23 43 3
14 Dartmouth College 20 18 13
15 Vanderbilt University 9 20 37
16 California Institute of Technology 1 7 69
17 Brown University 16 14 15
18 Duke University 14 19 18
19 Johns Hopkins University 12 23 41
20 Rice University 17 31 38
21 Swarthmore College 29 24 14
22 Washington University in St Louis 13 39 23
23 Georgetown University 30 38 16
24 Williams College 24 42 12
25 Cornell University 28 29 25
26 University of California Berkeley 21 35 51
27 Claremont McKenna College 41 10 39
28 Harvey Mudd College 5 22 99
29 Tufts University 32 27 56
30 Carleton College 25 54 22
31 Haverford College 33 48 36
32 University of Southern California 34 36 53
33 University of California Los Angeles 44 40 52
34 Grinnell College 27 46 64
35 Colby College 53 44 40
36 Carnegie Mellon University 26 51 75
37 Emory University 35 64 54
38 Middlebury College 40 34 59
39 Davidson College 66 47 35
40 Vassar College 39 74 45
41 University of Michigan 38 84 57
42 Colgate University 55 86 34
43 University of Virginia Main Campus 56 91 19
44 Hamilton College 48 71 60
45 Washington and Lee University 57 62 49
46 Boston College 54 94 42
47 Brandeis University 46 107 43
48 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 72 75 61
49 Oberlin College 60 79 67
50 Kenyon College 67 76 73

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 2016-2017 academic year.
3National Graduation Rank is based on the percentage of students graduating with bachelor's degrees within six years.