Publications for U.S. College Ratings and Reviews
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. 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.
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review rates colleges in over 40 categories that include both academic and social aspects of the college experience. 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 380 Colleges list every year based on student surveys.
The Princeton Review's Colleges That Pay You Back list combines information about financial aid and tuition payments with academic standards to rate colleges by bang for the buck. The Princeton Review no longer ranks schools directly, and instead features several universities at the beginning of their list.
Forbes Magazine is a business publication that applies business-like standards to ranking colleges from the perspective of the student. Rating criteria include alumni prestige, 4-year graduation rates and professor ratings.