The US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings compare US universities and are the best-known national university rankings in the US. The rankings are published online and in print every September. The publisher is the American news magazine US News & World Report. The US News & World Report Best College Rankings are designed to help future students choose the right college for them.
Methodology of the US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings
There are a total of seven categories with a total of 15 indicators for the evaluation of all university categories in the Best Colleges Rankings:
- Academic reputation in the undergraduate sector (22.5%)
- Based on a survey of high-ranking academics such as university presidents, rectors and deans
- For the National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges, 2,200 advisors from public and private high schools were also surveyed
- Proportion of those who continue or complete their studies (22.5%)
- Graduation rate over a period of six years (80%)
- Proportion of freshmen who continue their studies in the 2nd year of study (20%)
- Quality of teaching (20%)
- Seminar size: The highest number of points is awarded for seminars with fewer than 20 students; the universities receive zero points for seminars with 50 participants or more. (40%)
- Average salary of employees (35%)
- Proportion of professors with the highest possible qualification in their field (15%)
- Ratio between employees and students (5%)
- Share of full-time employees (5%)
- Selectivity in applicant selection (12.5%)
- SAT and ACT scores from reading and math (65%)
- Proportion of freshmen at national universities and liberal arts colleges with a high school degree in the upper 10% of the class and proportion of freshmen at regional universities and regional colleges with a high school degree in the upper 25% (25%)
- Ratio between admitted students and applicants (10%)
- Budget: As measured by the per student spending on seminars, research, student services, and other education-related expenses (10%)
- Changes in the graduation rate: Difference between the actual and the predicted graduation rate within six years (7.5%)
- Proportion of living alumni with a bachelor’s degree who donate for their former university (5%)
These indicators are used to determine a ranking that evaluates the universities as an overall institution. More differentiated ranking views are not available in the freely accessible online version. In order to be able to view it, interested parties must apply for a paid annual access to the US News College Compass.
US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings
The heart of the US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings are the National Universities Rankings. They include universities that offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs and also do research.
The top 10 of the current National Universities Ranking
- 1st place: Princeton University
- 2nd place: Harvard University
- 3rd place: Columbia University
- 3rd place: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- 3rd place: University of Chicago
- 3rd place: Yale University
- 7th place: Stanford University
- 8th place: Duke University
- 8th place: University of Pennsylvania
- 10th place: John Hopkins University
Other partner universities in the top 150
- 19th place: University of California Los Angeles
- 22nd place: University of California Berkeley
- 30th place: University of California Santa Barbara
- 33rd place: University of California Irvine
- 38th place: University of California Davis
- 41st place: University of California San Diego
- 44th place: Boston University
- 44th place: Northeastern University
- 49th place: University of Wisconsin-Madison
- 76th place: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
- 85th place: Michigan State University
- 85th place: University of California Riverside
- 85th place: University of San Diego
- 127th place: San Diego State University
Regional Universities Rankings
The US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings also include the Regional Universities Rankings. Universities that offer many undergraduate courses and a few Masters courses fall into this category. They offer few, if any, opportunities for doctoral studies. The regional universities are divided into four groups for the ranking: North, South, Midwest, West. There is a separate ranking for each of these groups.
Top public schools
The Top Public Schools Ranking lists the best state universities from the rankings that belong to the US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. In the ranking of the top public schools from the National Universities Ranking, the University of California Berkeley occupies first place, closely followed by the University of California Los Angeles in 2. The top 10 also include the University of California Santa Barbara, the University of California Irvine and the University of California San Diego.
Of course, there is also a top public school ranking for each of the four regions in the Regional Universities category.
Top 10 of the Top Public Schools Ranking for the Regional Universities (West)
- 1st place: California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
- 2nd place: Western Washington University
- 3rd place: California State University Long Beach
- 4th place: California State Polytechnic University – Pomona
- 5th place: San José State University
- 6th place: California State University Monterey Bay
- 7th place: Evergreen State College
- 7th place: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
- 9th place: California State University Chico
- 10th place: California State University Stanislaus
Further rankings in the context of the US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings
The Best Colleges Rankings also include the Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings and the Regional Colleges Rankings. Liberal arts colleges almost exclusively offer undergraduate programs, and at least 50 percent of graduates graduate in the humanities or natural sciences. At regional colleges, fewer than 50 percent of degrees are awarded in these areas. Also regional colleges offer mainly courses at undergraduate at range. Your courses may also include courses in the graduate area. The Regional colleges are divided into the same groups as regional universities.
In addition, US News and World Report publishes numerous smaller rankings along with the Best Colleges Rankings. However, different methods are used here than in the US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings.
The smaller rankings include, for example, the Best Undergraduate Business Programs ranking, a ranking of the best business schools in the undergraduate sector. It is based on a survey as well as the ranking of the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. This lists the best universities for undergraduate engineering studies. Both rankings offer subordinate rankings for individual subjects in the respective areas, such as finance and management or mechanical and chemical engineering. Anyone interested in studying these subjects can get a good picture.
In addition, a list of the universities with the most international students is published. The particularly international universities include, for example, Boston University and Northeastern University.
Significance of the US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings
Unlike some other college rankings, the US News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings do not focus on the research area. Instead, the focus is on the quality of teaching. This increases the informative value for those who are interested in a semester abroad or a complete bachelor’s or master’s degree in the USA. Learn more about USA and North America on cheeroutdoor.
The need to purchase annual access to the US News College Compass in order to be able to view more differentiated ranking views is to be viewed critically.
The results of the US News and World Report Best Colleges Rankings, like those of all other university rankings, can only serve as a guide for the study situation at the individual universities. You shouldn’t choose a university based on its placement in university rankings alone.