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U.S. News & World Report Releases 2018 Best Colleges Rankings

2017-09-12 12:01

– New edition features postgraduate salary data on 1,000 schools –

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in education rankings, today announced the 2018 Best Colleges rankings to help prospective students and their families research more than 1,800 U.S.-based universities. Princeton University is No. 1 for Best National Universities for the seventh year in a row. For the 15th consecutive year, Williams College takes the top spot for Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.

California schools and military academies perform strongly in this year's top public universities rankings. For the first time, the University of California—Los Angeles moves up to No. 1 for Top Public Schools among National Universities, tying with the University of California—Berkeley. The United States Military Academy ranks No. 1 for Top Public Schools among National Liberal Arts Colleges.  

The U.S. News rankings methodology focuses on academic excellence, with schools evaluated on hundreds of data points and up to 15 measures of academic quality. Overall, the rankings emphasize student outcomes – such as graduation and freshman retention rates – which carry the most weight at 30 percent. The top National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges have significantly higher graduation and freshman retention rates than other schools.

  • The average six-year graduation rate is 96 percent for the top 10 National Universities and 92.5 percent for the top 10 National Liberal Arts Colleges.
  • The average freshman retention rate is 98.3 percent for the top 10 National Universities and 96.5 percent for the top 10 National Liberal Arts Colleges.
  • For comparison, the average six-year graduation rate among all numerically ranked schools on the National Universities list is 71.7 percent, and the average freshman retention rate is 87.2 percent.
  • For comparison, the average six-year graduation rate among all numerically ranked schools on the National Liberal Arts Colleges list is 75.7 percent, and the average freshman retention rate is 85.7 percent.

"Students and families interested in attending a U.S. university should pay close attention to graduation and retention rates. These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially," said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News. "Traveling across the world for college brings a unique set of challenges, so students should also look into a school's international student services, such as orientation programs, language classes and organized social activities. These can all set students up for success in a new learning environment."

To help international students who are interested in studying abroad, the 2018 edition of Best Colleges includes a list of colleges and universities with the Most International Students. In addition, U.S. News offers a resource center in Chinese to prepare Chinese students applying to U.S. universities. The special editorial section includes information on the admissions process, working with agents, paying for college and more.

New in the 2018 edition:

  • For the first time, U.S. News is offering postgraduate salary information on 1,000 schools. Using data provided by PayScale, U.S. News is displaying alumni salary information on school profile pages. Subscribers to the U.S. News College Compass, which provides access to the complete rankings and data, will also see salaries broken down by major per school. Additionally, the College Compass tool includes salary data U.S. News collected directly from colleges on the 2015-16 graduating class. Salary was not a factor in determining the rankings.

For students with specific career paths in mind, U.S. News ranks the top schools in undergraduate engineering and business. The rankings also encompass the Most Innovative Schools and a list of the A-plus Schools for B Students.

In an exclusive arrangement, the launch of the 2018 Best Colleges is being sponsored by Fidelity Investments. To learn more about the U.S. News College Compass, or to order a copy of the "Best Colleges 2018" guidebook (ISBN 978-1-931469-87-6), visit the online U.S. News store.

2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges

National Universities – Top 5     

National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 5

1. Princeton University (NJ)   

1. Williams College (MA)

2. Harvard University (MA)       

2. Amherst College (MA)

3. University of Chicago (tie)   

3. Bowdoin College (ME) (tie)

3. Yale University (CT) (tie)   

3. Swarthmore College (PA) (tie)

5. Columbia University (NY) (tie) 

3. Wellesley College (MA) (tie)

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)  

5. Stanford University (CA) (tie)                       

Top Public Schools

National Universities – Top 5         

National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 5

1. University of California—Berkeley (tie)  

1. United States Military Academy (NY)

1. University of California—Los Angeles (tie)           

2. United States Naval Academy (MD)

3. University of Virginia          

3. United States Air Force Academy (CO)

4. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor   

4. Virginia Military Institute

5. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill   

5. St. Mary's College of Maryland

Schools with the Most International Students

National Universities    

National Liberal Arts Colleges 

Florida Institute of Technology: 33%        

Soka University of America (CA): 43%

The New School (NY): 32%             

Mount Holyoke College (MA): 27%

University of Tulsa (OK): 24%              

St. John's College (NM): 25%

Carnegie Mellon University (PA): 23%    

Bryn Mawr College (PA): 23%

Boston University (MA): 22%         

Earlham College (IN): 23%

Illinois Institute of Technology: 22%

Suffolk University (MA): 22%


For more information, visit Best Colleges and continue the conversation on Weibo.

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, provides consumer advice, rankings, news and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 30 million people visit each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.


Source: U.S. News & World Report
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