Best U.S. Colleges: Harvard, Williams at the Top

The 2011 Best Colleges study reveals how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 indicators of excellence. U.S. News Media Group has released the 2011 edition of Best Colleges, which includes rankings of over 1,400 U.S. schools.

Harvard University is ranked No. 1 among Best National Universities, while Williams College tops the list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.

The rankings, available online at, will also be published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, on newsstands beginning August 31.

Best National Universities

1. Harvard University (MA)

2. Princeton University (NJ)

3. Yale University (CT)

4. Columbia University (NY)

5. Stanford University (CA)

Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Williams College (MA)

2. Amherst College (MA)

3. Swarthmore College (PA)

4. Middlebury College (VT)

5. Wellesley College (MA)

“As soaring college costs make the decision more complicated than ever, U.S. News strives to provide students and families with the best information to help guide them through this process,” said U.S. News & World Report editor Brian Kelly.

“This year the challenge comes down to finding the right college–at a cost you can afford. The 2011 edition includes specialty rankings, online guides for admission and paying for college advice to help navigate your search.”

Among the factors in determining the rankings, the key measures are: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and for National Universities and National Liberal Art Colleges “graduation rate performance” and high school counselor ratings of colleges.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman