The 48 best colleges in the northeastern US

Brown University graduationBrown University/FacebookBrown University took the No. 10 spot for best colleges in the northeast.

We recently released our seventh annual list of the best colleges in America, which included schools from all over the US.

We decided to narrow that list down to take a closer look at the top colleges in just the northeast.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology still occupied the No. 1 spot. Harvard slid up one notch to take Stanford’s place at No. 2, and Princeton moved up a spot to round out the top three.

To determine the rankings, we asked over 1,000 Business Insider readers to choose the
colleges that best prepare their students for success after graduation. We then combined those results with each school’s average SAT score from the college-data website College Board and the median starting salary from the employer-information website PayScale to come up with the final ranking. You can read the full methodology here.

Read on to see the top schools in the northeast.

Find out how your salary stacks up on PayScale.

48. Yeshiva University

Yeshiva University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1845

Median starting salary: Unavailable

Located across four campuses in New York City, Yeshiva University offers majors in three undergraduate colleges and 22 academic departments. The Jewish university also sponsors the Joint Israel Program, which partners students with other Jewish universities and seminaries while they study in Israel.

47. Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1915

Median starting salary: $US39,000

At Sarah Lawrence in Bronxville, New York, the curriculum is based around small seminars, studios, and workshops, allowing students to deeply engage with the material and each other. The school also gives students immense flexibility in choosing their courses, so each each student can personalise their studies according to their own interests and passions.

46. Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1995

Median starting salary: $US44,600

Located just outside Philadelphia in a town of the same name, Bryn Mawr College partners with other Pennsylvania schools, including Haverford and Swarthmore, allowing students to greatly expand their areas of study. The women's college also has partnerships with more than 70 different study abroad programs, so students can choose the experience that best suits them.

45. University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1855

Median starting salary: $US51,700

Even at a big school, students at the University of Connecticut, located in Storrs, are able to personalise their college experience with over 100 majors to choose from. Their future prospects are good as well: A plethora of Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer, Google, and Nike recruit UConn students on campus.

44. Smith College

Smith College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2030

Median starting salary: $US41,300

Within two years of graduation, nearly 91% of all Smith grads are employed full-time. The Northampton, Massachusetts-based women's college also hosts an annual career fair where more than 70 companies, including SC Johnson and Bank of America, recruit Smith students. As part of the Five College Consortium, students are able to register for classes and attend career fairs at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as well.

43. University of Rochester

University of Rochester/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2010

Median starting salary: $US49,400

The University of Rochester recognises that no two students learn the same way, so its unique curriculum has no required courses. Rather, students complete clusters of courses in subjects that reflect their own interests and priorities. The upstate New York school also received $US350 million in research funding last year, and has seven different facilities where students can participate in faculty-led research.

42. Barnard College

Barnard College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2035

Median starting salary: $US46,000

Barnard offers students the simultaneous experiences of a small liberal arts college and an urban life in New York City. The women's college sits adjacent to Columbia University, allowing students access to Columbia's vast pool of resources. One of the first colleges in the country to offer women the same liberal arts education as men, Barnard boasts several successful alumni, including Martha Stewart and author Jhumpa Lahiri.

41. Lafayette College

Layafette College

Average SAT score: 1935

Median starting salary: $US57,000

Post-graduation, Lafayette students immediately begin to make their mark in the world: Within six months, 95% of grads
are employed, enrolled in graduate school, completing internships, or volunteering. Students from the Easton, Pennsylvania-based school get real-world experience prior to graduation as well, as 78% complete internships by senior year.

40. Brandeis University

Brandeis University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2040

Median starting salary: $US44,600

Brandeis, located in Waltham, Massachusetts, is a liberal arts-focused university known for its English and history programs. The most popular majors for the class of 2013 were biology, economics, and psychology.

39. Haverford College

Haverford College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2115

Median starting salary: $US38,600

With fewer than 2,000 students, Haverford's small size allows students to receive a highly personalised college experience. Students at the Haverford, Pennsylvania-based school don't officially declare a major until the end of sophomore year, and are required to take classes across three major academic divisions, resulting in a diverse and well-rounded education.

38. Colby College

Colby College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2000

Median starting salary: $US47,800

Colby College in Waterville, Maine, aims to prepare students 'for postgraduate success in nearly every field imaginable.' And it does: On graduation day, 71% of Colby seniors from the class of 2014 had either received employment offers or been accepted into graduate school, and graduates landed coveted spots at name-brand companies, such as Bain & Co., Oracle, and JPMorgan, to boot.

37. College of the Holy Cross

College of the Holy Cross/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1965

Median starting salary: $US48,500

Not only does College of the Holy Cross prepare students to join the workforce after graduation, but it equips them to further their education as well. In fact, graduates from the Worcester, Massachusetts-based school have a 91% acceptance rate into both medical and law schools. The most popular majors include economics, political science, English, and psychology.

36. Syracuse University

Syracuse University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1755

Median starting salary: $US48,600

Syracuse has produced several high-profile alumni including Vice President Joe Biden and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. The university, located in Syracuse, New York, is known for its communications and architecture schools. For students wishing to continue their education past undergrad, Syracuse offers top programs in public affairs, information systems, and public management administration, all rated No. 1 in the country by US News.

35. Bates Colleges

Bates College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2040

Median starting salary: $US44,700

This year, a whopping 19 Bates students -- 14 of whom are undergraduates -- earned Fulbright fellowships, garnering the school a 'Fulbright Top Producer' distinction. Six months after graduation, 74% of the class of 2014 from the Lewiston, Maine-based school were employed full-time, with several students at top companies including Google, Accenture, and Chevron.

34. Vassar College

Vassar College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2110

Median starting salary: Unavailable

Originally a women's college, Vassar now provides both men and women with a top-notch liberal-arts education, and is ranked the No. 11 best liberal-arts college in the country by US News.

In addition to internships and study abroad programs, more than 500 students from the Poughkeepsie, New York-based school participate in a semester of field work, where they are placed in community organisations, nonprofits, government agencies, human services organisations, and businesses, typically in the Poughkeepsie area.

33. Wellesley College

Wellesley College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2095

Median starting salary: $US45,900

This women's college in Wellesley, Massachusetts, was ranked the No. 4 best liberal-arts school in the country by US News. Graduates go on to do great things, and the school's notable alumni include presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright.

32. Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2090

Median starting salary: $US44,400

Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Connecticut, offers over 1,000 unique classes across 45 areas of study. The most popular majors for the class of 2013 included psychology, English language and literature, and economics. Students also take advantage of opportunities off-campus, with more than 300 studying or completing internships abroad.

31. Fordham University

Fordham University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1880

Median starting salary: $US50,200

As a Jesuit school, Fordham's goals go beyond the academic and into real-world skills: The school aims to teach students to care for others, fight for justice, and strive for excellence in everything they do. That's not to say the academics aren't top-notch -- the Bronx, New York-based school has produced 103 Fulbright scholars since 2003 and allows students opportunities to perform research across both New York City and the country.

30. Hamilton College

Average SAT score: 2085

Median starting salary: $US57,600

The small liberal-arts college in Hamilton, New York, takes only top talent -- 75% of the class of 2018 were in the top 10% of their graduating high school classes, and 94% were in the top 20%. Hamilton grads have a great track record of earning prestigious awards; 92 were granted Fulbright Scholarships and 18 took Goldwater Scholarships in the last 15 years.

28. Pennsylvania State University

Penn State/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1780

Median starting salary: $US51,500

The largest public school in Pennsylvania, Penn State offers more than 160 undergraduate programs, including everything from criminology to music education. The State College, Pennsylvania-based school also has a trove of notable alumni, including Nike CEO Mark Parker, actor Ty Burrell, and astronaut Guion Bluford.

27. Villanova University

Average SAT score: 1960

Median starting salary: $US53,300

Founded in 1842 just outside Philadelphia by the Order of Saint Augustine, Villanova grants a liberal arts-based education in a large university setting. Among graduates of the class of 2014, 97% were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation, and 60% held at least one internship.

26. Boston University


Average SAT score: 1945

Median starting salary: $US50,100

The Boston University alumni community is full of Nobel Prize and Pulitzer winners, Fulbright scholars, and poets laureate. The school received over $US350.3 million in grants and contract awards last year, powering it as one of the top research universities in the country.

25. Bucknell University


Average SAT score: 1960

Median starting salary: $US56,800

A whopping 97% of Bucknell students report being employed, in graduate school, volunteering, or some combination thereof within nine months of graduation.

And if you think the median starting salary for Bucknell grads is high, it's important to note that the alumni median lifetime earnings are equally high; the Lewisburg, Pennsylvania-based school ranks No. 5 among liberal-arts colleges surveyed by PayScale.

24. Swarthmore College

Wikimedia Commons

Average SAT score: 2175

Median starting salary: $US51,000

The small liberal-arts school in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, offers its undergrads more than 600 courses and a challenging honours program, reserved for a select group of top students. Modelled on the tutorial system at Oxford University, Swarthmore's honours program is the only one of its kind in the US.

23. Lehigh University

Average SAT score: 1980

Median starting salary: $US60,400

Lehigh offers more than 2,000 courses, of which the average class size is 28 students.

Based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh is ranked third in the Northeast for salary potential among its graduates -- tied with MIT -- and 96% of students are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

21. Babson College

Babson College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1900

Median starting salary: $US61,300

Babson College has a top-notch reputation for fostering entrepreneurship on its Massachusetts campus and in the real world. It also has a partnership with the F.W. Olin College of Engineering and Wellesley College to 'build on existing initiatives and explore new academic, social, and business relationships,' which enables students to get involved in joint research and curricular projects, conferences and programs, and other services with the two other colleges.

20. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Average SAT score: 2090

Median starting salary: $US62,300

Troy, New York's RPI recently ranked 12th on our list of the best computer science and engineering schools in America. Accordingly, 53% of students opt for an engineering-related major, while another 10% major in computer and information sciences.

Alumni have gone on from RPI to make incredible contributions to their fields, inventing the floppy disk and making breakthroughs in MRI technologies.

19. Middlebury College

Middlebury College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2065

Median starting salary: $US51,900

Middlebury may be in the middle of rural Vermont, but it's not shut off from the world; in fact, the school is a leader in language instruction and international studies, and it offers 10 foreign-language tracks. An emphasis on writing in all classes broadens students' ability for critical thinking and expression.

18. Boston College

Boston College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 1950

Median starting salary: $US51,900

A Jesuit school, Boston College is committed to its liberal-arts core and to 'the continual process of intellectual inquiry and student formation.' The most popular undergraduate majors include economics, finance, and communication, but all students complete a certain number of liberal-arts courses.

'Jesuit institutions provide the most well-rounded education and prepare you for the real world,' one survey participant said.

17. Northeastern University

Northeastern University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2105

Median starting salary: $US54,100

Located in Boston, Northeastern has steadily climbed the ranks on US News' list: It was No. 42 in this year's ranking, up 56 spots from the publication's 2007 list.

Experiential learning opportunities ensure that students are exposed to real-world work, research, and study opportunities that will further them in their chosen fields far beyond life at Northeastern.

16. Bowdoin College

Courtesy of Daily Meal

Average SAT score: 2170

Median starting salary: Unavailable

Bowdoin College directs its liberal-arts education 'toward the common good.' More than half of students at the Brunswick, Maine-based school choose to study abroad in one of 46 countries, and many others participate in international volunteer or research opportunities through Bowdoin.

15. New York University

New York University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2015

Median starting salary: $US50,000

The largest private university in the US, New York University is known for its renowned drama and theatre programs in the Tisch School of the Arts. The school is also recognised for the Stern School of Business, ranked the No. 5 undergraduate business program by US News.

'Networking, research, mentoring expertise, along with a location that allows for great internships as well as life experiences. New York City can't be beat for these, so NYU rank(s) very high,' a survey taker said.

13 (TIE). Williams College

Wikimedia Commons

Average SAT score: 2190

Median starting salary: $US50,200

Often considered one of the best liberal-arts colleges in the country (and, this year, the second-best overall college in America by Forbes), Williams considers its education more than a four-year program. The Williamstown, Massachusetts, school takes 'an approach to living and learning that prepares students for the 'real world' and instills lifelong connections with each other and with Williams,' the website says.

13 (TIE). Tufts University

Tufts University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2165

Median starting salary: $US51,900

Just outside Boston, Tufts blends liberal arts and research, giving students access to the best of both worlds. The student-centered school offers research opportunities to students both while in school and after they finish their degrees.

Students can also spend a semester, a year, or a summer abroad, including at Tufts' own European Center in Talloires, France.

12. United States Military Academy

West Point - The US Military Academy

Average SAT score: 1880

Median starting salary: $US75,100

Getting into the Military Academy at West Point, located in the eponymous New York town, is no small feat: The Academy accepts only about 9% of applicants. For accepted students, each major -- ranging from American politics to nuclear engineering -- is specifically tailored to train 'officer-leaders of character to serve the Army and the Nation.'

11. Amherst College

Amherst College/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2170

Median starting salary: Unavailable

Amherst is part of the Five College Consortium, a community of colleges made up of Amherst, Smith, UMass at Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire that allows students to take classes at any of the schools. This gives students a broader access to different kinds of classes and learning styles and the ability to meet and network with different kinds of students.

10. Brown University

Brown University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2165

Median starting salary: $US55,100

The seventh-oldest college in the US, Brown is a leading research university with more than 40 specific centres of study, creating a plethora of opportunities for students to get involved with research projects. That is, if you can get in. The selective school in Providence, Rhode Island, accepts only 8.7% of applicants.

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2150

Median starting salary: $US62,300

Within three months of graduation, 77% of Carnegie Mellon's 2014 graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school. On top of that, 2014 grads from the Pittsburgh-based university landed jobs at elite companies including Google, Deloitte, and ExxonMobil.

8. Cornell University

Cornell University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2130

Median starting salary: $US58,200

Cornell strives to contribute to the world's knowledge in a way that 'prioritises public engagement to help improve the quality of life in our state, the nation, the world.' The Ithaca, New York-based school offers 80 fields of study and an active career-services office, which connects students with alumni for mentoring, networking, jobs, and internships.

7. Dartmouth College


Average SAT score: 2195

Median starting salary: $US55,500

At Dartmouth, students learn from the best -- the school is ranked No. 4 on US News' list of colleges with the best undergraduate teaching. Dartmouth, located in Hanover, New Hampshire, also offers a flexible academic calendar that allows students to easily fit in time for internships, work experience, and studying abroad.

6. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2190

Median starting salary: $US59,300

The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, located in Philadelphia, is routinely considered the best in the country at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. US News ranked it the No. 1 undergraduate business program overall, as well as naming it the best school for marketing, finance, management, and real estate. For students who aren't strictly interested in one subject, dual-degree programs make it possible to take advantage of any of Penn's 90 majors.

5. Columbia University

Columbia University in the City of New York/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2220

Median starting salary: $US59,200

Columbia counts 82 Nobel Laureates among its esteemed alumni and faculty, including two US presidents. The New York City-based Ivy League school also features several prestigious graduate programs for students planning to continue their education, including top-ranked law, business, engineering, and medical schools.

4. Yale University

Tony Fiorini/Yale University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2255

Median starting salary: $US58,500

Yale's undergraduate curriculum aims to provide a comprehensive liberal-arts education, and it allows students to choose from more than 65 different areas of study, including everything from anthropology to chemistry to modern Middle East studies. Not only that, but the New Haven, Connecticut-based school is a great deal for the money -- it's ranked the third-best-value undergraduate program in the country by US News.

3. Princeton University

Princeton University/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2250

Median starting salary: $US60,000

For the 2014-2015 academic year, Princeton admitted only 7.4% of its 26,642 applicants. Students who attend the selective New Jersey school can choose between 34 majors and more than 30 interdepartmental programs. Research is important across all departments, and the school provides students with ample opportunities for both mentorships with professors and independent research projects.

2. Harvard University

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences/Facebook

Average SAT score: 2260

Median starting salary: $US57,700

This Cambridge, Massachusetts-based university has produced 47 Nobel Laureates, 32 heads of state, and 48 Pulitzer Prize winners, and it offers outstanding graduate programs for students planning to continue their education, including top-ranked business and law schools.

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