Here's How We Came Up With Our List Of The Best Colleges In America

The mighty MIT, which monopolized our Best Colleges list for the last four years, now yields to a new No. 1: Stanford University.

For our sixth annual list of the Best Colleges in America, we conducted a survey that asked thousands of professionals around the world to rank the best colleges in the U.S.

While more than 7,000 people took the survey, we filtered the results to include only the 1,500 professionals who said they make hiring decisions at least occasionally.

Participants rated colleges based on how well they prepare their students for success after graduation on a scale of 1 (“very poorly”) to 5 (“very well”). The top 50 schools made it into our final list, ranked by their average scores. Where scores were tied, tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with a lower tuition pushing a school higher up in the ranking.

Nearly 94% of survey-takers said they had a bachelor’s degree.

Respondents work in a variety of industries. The majority (28.7%) work in finance, while technology (18.3%) was the second-most common industry. The remaining 53% were divided between a number of other industries:

More than half of survey participants reported being in the workforce for 10 or more years; another near-quarter of survey respondents are new to the workforce, having three years of experience or less:

Eighty-nine per cent of those who took our survey said that a job candidate’s college major is somewhat or very influential to the hiring decision. When asked which majors will bring graduates the most success, almost 30% said business and 26% said engineering. Liberal arts came in third, followed by computer science and communications:

In response to the question of what is the most valuable asset college provides, the majority of survey participants said that they think academics is most valuable. Brand value/reputation was rated second-most valuable, while network, workplace skills, and social experience followed third, fourth, and fifth, respectively:

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