The top 50 colleges in the United States, ranked

Duke University/FacebookDuke University ranked No. 7.
  • Harvard, MIT, and Yale are the top three colleges in the US.
  • The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education released its rankings for the best colleges in America in 2019.
  • The ranking was based on 15 key indicators, including post-graduation salary, diversity of the school, and student instruction.

The Wall Street Journal released its rankings for the top colleges in the US in 2019.

The ranking, which was done in conjunction with Times Higher Education, was based on 15 key indicators, which were grouped as Outcomes, Resources, Engagement, and Environment.

Outcomes (40% of the ranking) judged aspects like post-graduation salaries and how much debt they take on. The average salary for students 10 years after entering Yale University, for instance, is $US74,467, while 1.5% of students default on loans.

Resources (30%) accounted for how much the school spends on instruction and student services.

Engagement (20%) drew from student feedback on teaching, interactions with faculty, and other topics.

Environment (10%) assessed the college’s diversity.

The Journal also included the average net price of each university – the published cost of attendance minus average grant and scholarship aid.

Below, we included the top 50 colleges and universities, as well as where they ranked in last year’s list for 2018. See if your school made the cut:


50. Bryn Mawr College

Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Outcomes: 87

Resources: 35

Engagement: 501-600

Environment: 127

Average net price: $US31,900

2018 ranking: 49


48. Lehigh University (tie)

Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Outcomes: 65

Resources: 38

Engagement: 126

Environment: 356

Average net price: $US27,478

2018 ranking: 50


48. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (tie)

Location: Champaign, Illinois

Outcomes: 31

Resources: 306

Engagement: 34

Environment: 93

Average net price: $US16,683

2018 ranking: 48


47. University of Miami

Location: Coral Gables, Florida

Outcomes: 68

Resources: 78

Engagement: 34

Environment: 78

Average net price: $US37,424

2018 ranking: 44


46. Wesleyan University

Location: Middletown, Connecticut

Outcomes: 64

Resources: 35

Engagement: 345

Environment: 193

Average net price: $US20,490

2018 ranking: 45


45. University of California, San Diego

Location: La Jolla, California

Outcomes: 32

Resources: 186

Engagement: 387

Environment: 13

Average net price: $US14,770

2018 ranking: 47


44. Bowdoin College

Location: Brunswick, Maine

Outcomes: 47

Resources: 38

Engagement: 142

Environment: 501-600

Average net price: $US24,888

2018 ranking: 39


43. Purdue University West Lafayette

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

Outcomes: 37

Resources: 92

Engagement: 68

Environment: 338

Average net price: $US11,693

2018 ranking: 43


41. Smith College (tie)

Location: Northampton, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 58

Resources: 40

Engagement: 304

Environment: 153

Average net price: $US24,258

2018 ranking: 37


41. University of California, Davis (tie)

Location: Davis, California

Outcomes: 35

Resources: 171

Engagement: 201

Environment: 8

Average net price: $US16,039

2018 ranking: 46


39. Haverford College (tie)

Location: Haverford, Pennsylvania

Outcomes: 50

Resources: 25

Engagement: 459

Environment: 323

Average net price: $US21,144

2018 ranking: 42


39. Case Western Reserve University (tie)

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Outcomes: 53

Resources: 32

Engagement: 459

Environment: 225

Average net price: $US33,124

2018 ranking: 34


37. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (tie)

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Outcomes: 29

Resources: 99

Engagement: 246

Environment: 417

Average net price: $US10,077

2018 ranking: 33


37. Middlebury College (tie)

Location: Middlebury, Vermont

Outcomes: 42

Resources: 37

Engagement: 499

Environment: 450

Average net price: $US21,437

2018 ranking: 36


36. Boston University

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 52

Resources: 58

Engagement: 68

Environment: 210

Average net price: $US31,539

2018 ranking: 40


35. Carleton College

Location: Northfield, Minnesota

Outcomes: 44

Resources: 47

Engagement: 217

Environment: 292

Average net price: $US28,587

2018 ranking: 38


33. Claremont McKenna College (tie)

Location: Claremont, California

Outcomes: 50

Resources: 28

Engagement: 246

Environment: 225

Average net price: $US30,527

2018 ranking: 35


33. University of California, Berkeley (tie)

Location: Berkeley, California

Outcomes: 30

Resources: 181

Engagement: 126

Environment: 24

Average net price: $US17,160

2018 ranking: 40


32. Tufts University

Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 48

Resources: 18

Engagement: 246

Environment: 323

Average net price: $US28,076

2018 ranking: 32


31. Swarthmore College

Location: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Outcomes: 49

Resources: 30

Engagement: 91

Environment: 105

Average net price: $US19,641

2018 ranking: 30


30. Georgetown University

Location: Washington, D.C.

Outcomes: 33

Resources: 50

Engagement: 142

Environment: 246

Average net price: $US26,625

2018 ranking: 31


29. Wellesley College

Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 43

Resources: 25

Engagement: 217

Environment: 141

Average net price: $US20,013

2018 ranking: 28


28. University of Michigan — Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Outcomes: 20

Resources: 91

Engagement: 12

Environment: 309

Average net price: $US16,107

2018 ranking: 27


27. New York University

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Location: New York City

Outcomes: 39

Resources: 44

Engagement: 68

Environment: 78

Average net price: $US35,147

2018 ranking: 29


26. University of Notre Dame

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Outcomes: 24

Resources: 28

Engagement: 68

Environment: 500

Average net price: $US26,683

2018 ranking: 24


25. University of California, Los Angeles

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Location: Los Angeles, California

Outcomes: 22

Resources: 119

Engagement: 16

Environment: 8

Average net price: $US14,236

2018 ranking: 25


24. Pomona College

Location: Claremont, California

Outcomes: 39

Resources: 24

Engagement: 217

Environment: 46

Average net price: $US18,140

2018 ranking: 26


23. Williams College

Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 16

Resources: 25

Engagement: 501-600

Environment: 167

Average net price: $US18,167

2018 ranking: 22


22. Amherst College

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 13

Resources: 30

Engagement: 601-800

Environment: 105

Average net price: $US19,055

2018 ranking: 23


21. Johns Hopkins University

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Outcomes: 19

Resources: 22

Engagement: 345

Environment: 118

Average net price: $US27,352

2018 ranking: 17 (tie)


20. Emory University

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Outcomes: 24

Resources: 19

Engagement: 170

Environment: 78

Average net price: $US24,804

2018 ranking: 19


19. Vanderbilt University

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Outcomes: 23

Resources: 5

Engagement: 68

Environment: 406

Average net price: $US23,150

2018 ranking: 21


18. Washington University in St Louis

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

Outcomes: 20

Resources: 16

Engagement: 34

Environment: 246

Average net price: $US28,824

2018 ranking: 11 (tie)


17. University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, California

Outcomes: 24

Resources: 20

Engagement: 6

Environment: 69

Average net price: $US32,932

2018 ranking: 15 (tie)


16. Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Outcomes: 13

Resources: 20

Engagement: 16

Environment: 193

Average net price: $US35,250

2018 ranking: 20


14. Rice University (tie)

Location: Houston, Texas

Outcomes: 24

Resources: 7

Engagement: 34

Environment: 134

Average net price: $US22,061

2018 ranking: 14


14. University of Chicago (tie)

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Outcomes: 12

Resources: 10

Engagement: 499

Environment: 141

Average net price: $US31,068

2018 ranking: 11 (tie)


13. Northwestern University

Location: Evanston, Illinois

Outcomes: 17

Resources: 7

Engagement: 34

Environment: 270

Average net price: $US29,326

2018 ranking: 15 (tie)


12. Dartmouth College

Location: Hanover, New Hampshire

Outcomes: 7

Resources: 12

Engagement: 25

Environment: 292

Average net price: $US21,177

2018 ranking: 17 (tie)


11. Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, New York

Outcomes: 11

Resources: 13

Engagement: 52

Environment: 193

Average net price: $US30,014

2018 ranking: 10


10. University of Pennsylvania

f11photo/Shutterstock

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Outcomes: 10

Resources: 10

Engagement: 106

Environment: 153

Average net price: $US22,944

2018 ranking: 9


9. Princeton University

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Outcomes: 4

Resources: 4

Engagement: 501-600

Environment: 167

Average net price: $US17,732

2018 ranking: 9


7. Duke University (tie)

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Outcomes: 1

Resources: 15

Engagement: 68

Environment: 180

Average net price: $US19,950

2018 ranking: 5


7. Brown University (tie)

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Outcomes: 15

Resources: 6

Engagement: 6

Environment: 141

Average net price: $US25,264

2018 ranking: 11 (tie)


6. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California

Outcomes: 9

Resources: 16

Engagement: 52

Environment: 46

Average net price: $US16,695

2018 ranking: 3 (tie)


5. California Institute of Technology

Location: Pasadena, California

Outcomes: 7

Resources: 1

Engagement: 601-800

Environment: 246

Average net price: $US26,839

2018 ranking: 7


4. Columbia University

Location: New York City

Outcomes: 5

Resources: 9

Engagement: 170

Environment: 54

Average net price: $US22,973

2018 ranking: 2


3. Yale University

f11photo/Shutterstock

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Outcomes: 1

Resources: 13

Engagement: 68

Environment: 105

Average net price: $US18,319

2018 ranking: 6


2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 5

Resources: 3

Engagement: 304

Environment: 118

Average net price: $US21,576

2018 ranking: 3 (tie)


1. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Outcomes: 1

Resources: 2

Engagement: 142

Environment: 134

Average net price: $US16,205

2018 ranking: 1

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