U. S. News & World Report Best Colleges Ranking

The U. S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings compare US universities and are the best-known national university rankings in the USA. The rankings are published online and in printed form every year in September. Publisher is the American news magazine U. S. News & World Report. The U. S. News & World Report Best College Rankings are designed to help prospective students choose the right institution of higher education.

Methodology of the U. S. 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.
    • In addition, 2200 consultants from public and private high schools were interviewed for National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges.
  • Proportion of those who continue their studies (22.5%)
    • Graduate ratio over a period of six years (80%)
    • Proportion of first semesters continuing their studies in the second academic year (20%)
  • Quality of teaching (20%)
    • Seminar size: The highest score is awarded for seminars with less than 20 students, for seminars with 50 or more participants the universities receive zero points. (40 %)
    • Average salary of employees (35%)
    • Proportion of professors with the highest qualification in their field (15%)
    • Number of employees and students (5 %)
    • Proportion of full-time employees (5 %)
  • Selectivity in the selection of candidates (12.5%)
    • SAT and ACT scores in reading and mathematics (65%)
    • Proportion of first semesters in National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges with a high school diploma in the upper 10% of the year, or proportion of first semesters in Regional Universities and Regional Colleges with a high school diploma in the upper 25% (25%) range.
    • Ratio of admitted students to applicants (10%)
  • Budget: measured in terms of expenditure per student on seminars, research, student services and other education-related expenditure (10%)
  • Changes in the graduate ratio: difference between the actual and predicted graduate ratios within six years (7.5%)
  • Proportion of living alumni with bachelor’s degree who donate to their former university (5 %)

On the basis of these indicators, a ranking is determined which evaluates the universities as an overall institution. More differentiated ranking views are not available in the freely accessible online version. In order to view them, interested parties must apply for annual access to the US News College Compass, which is subject to a fee.

National Universities Rankings

The core of the U. S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings are the National Universities Rankings. They register universities that offer undergraduate and postgraduate study programmes and also carry out research work.

The Top 10 of the current National Universities Ranking

  • 1st place: Princeton University
  • 2nd place: Harvard University
  • 3rd place: University of Chicago
  • 3rd place: Yale University
  • 5th place: Columbia University
  • 5th place: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Rank 5: Stanford University
  • Place 8: University of Pennsylvania
  • Place 9: Duke University
  • 10th place: California Institute of Technology

Regional Universities Rankings

The U. S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings also includes the Regional Universities Rankings. This category includes universities that offer many undergraduate and several master’s degree programmes. They offer, if at all, only a few 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-run institutions of higher education in the U. S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. The University of California Berkeley is ranked number one in the National Universities‘ Top Public Schools ranking, closely followed by the University of California Los Angeles, with the University of California Santa Barbara, the University of California Irvine and the University of California San Diego among the top ten.

Of course, there is also a Top Public School Ranking for each of the four regions in the Regional Universities category. In the ranking for Region West, College Contact’s partner universities are among the top 10.

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: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  • 4th place: California State Polytechnic University – Pomona
  • 5th place: Evergreen State College
  • 6th place: San José State University
  • 6th place: University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
  • 8th place: California State University Chico
  • 9th place: California State University Long Beach
  • 10th place: Central Washington University

Further rankings within the framework of the U. S. 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 offer almost exclusively undergraduate degree programmes and at least 50 percent of graduates hold a degree in the humanities or natural sciences. The Regional Colleges are awarded less than 50 percent of the degrees in these areas. Regional Colleges also offer undergraduate degree programmes. Your degree programme may also include degree programmes in the graduate sector. The Regional Colleges are divided into the same groups as the Regional Universities. The High Point University is the number one in the Regional Colleges South category.

In addition, U. S. News and World Report, along with the Best Colleges Rankings, also publishes a number of smaller rankings. However, other methods are used than in the U. S. 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. It lists the best universities for undergraduate studies in engineering. Both rankings still offer subordinate rankings for individual subjects in the respective areas, such as finance and management or mechanical engineering and chemical engineering. If you are interested in studying these subjects, you can get a good impression.

In addition, a list of universities with the most international students will be published. Particularly international universities include Boston University and Northeastern University.

Meaningfulness of the U. S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings

Unlike some other university rankings, the U. S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings do not focus on research. Instead, the focus is on the quality of teaching. This increases the informative value for those interested in a semester abroad or a complete bachelor’s or master’s degree in the USA.

A critical point of view is the need to acquire annual access to the US News College Compass in order to be able to view more differentiated ranking views.

The results of the U. S. News and World Report Best Colleges Rankings, as well as those of all other university rankings, can only serve as an indication of the study situation at the individual universities. A higher education institution should not be selected on the basis of its rankings alone.

Website of the U. S. News & World Report Rankings: