Rate Colleges: Find Ratings and Reviews for U.S. Colleges

Many U.S. colleges are well-known for their sports, overall academics or individual academic programs. Students can find updated annual ratings and reviews of U.S. colleges focusing on academics and student life from U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes Magazine.

Which Publications Rate and Review U.S. Colleges?

Students can find rankings and reviews for a variety of categories, including best liberal arts colleges, most politically active campuses and schools with the best professors. Individuals can explore these categories through three well-known publications: U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes Magazine.

U.S. News & World Report

Each year, U.S. News & World Report releases school rankings in several categories (www.usnews.com). These categories include national universities, liberal arts colleges, master's universities, baccalaureate colleges, historically black colleges and universities, business programs and engineering programs. Specialized lists include up-and-coming colleges, best undergrad teaching and unranked specialty schools.

Ratings are based on an institution's reporting of 16 indicators of academics. Some of these include retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates and alumni giving. Below is a listing of the top national universities and top liberal arts colleges.

2014 Top National Universities2014 Top Liberal Arts Colleges
Princeton UniversityWilliams College
Harvard UniversityAmherst College
Yale UniversitySwarthmore College
Columbia UniversityBowdoin College
Stanford UniversityMiddlebury College
University of ChicagoPomona College
Duke UniversityCarleton College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Wellesley College
University of Pennsylvania Claremont McKenna College
California Institute of Technology Davidson College

The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review rates colleges in over 62 categories that include both academic and social aspects of the college experience (www.princetonreview.com). Student life ratings include colleges where students do the most studying, best college towns, most politically active schools and happiest students. The company also publishes its Best 371 Colleges list every year based on student surveys.

The Princeton Review's Best Value Colleges rankings combine information about financial aid and tuition payments with academic standards to rate colleges by bang for the buck. The best value lists were compiled based on surveys completed by administrators and students for both public and private schools.

2014 Best Value Public Colleges2014 Best Value Private Colleges
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Williams College
New College of FloridaHarvard College
University of Virginia Swarthmore College
North Carolina State University Yale University
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Princeton University
University of California - Los Angeles The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
University of Florida Vassar College
College of William and Mary Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Truman State University Amherst College
State University of New York at BinghamtonPomona College

Forbes Magazine

Forbes Magazine is a business publication that applies business-like standards to ranking colleges from the perspective of the student (www.forbes.com). Rating criteria include alumni prestige, 4-year graduation rates and professor ratings. In 2013, Forbes ranked the nation's best colleges as follows:

  • Stanford University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • Columbia University
  • Swarthmore College
  • United States Military Academy
  • Harvard University
  • Williams College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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