• Our rankings—now out in our book The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition—are based on our surveys of 130,000 students attending these schools. Students rated everything from their financial aid to on-campus food. Grab a copy of the book—available here or wherever books are sold—to see our in-depth profiles of the schools.


    Harvard College

    Cambridge, MA
    • $40,418 Tuition
    • 1500 Avg SAT
    • 6,694 Enrolled

    Bully to those who get the chance to be a part of the “dynamic universe” that is Harvard College, who find themselves in an “amazing irresistible hell” that pushes them to the extremes of their intellect and ability. Unsurprisingly, the legendarily ...

    Cornell University

    Ithaca, NY
    • 1420 Avg SAT
    • 14,453 Enrolled

    The westernmost of the Ivies, Cornell University provides its students with a prestigious education, paired with “an unwavering commitment to leave a positive impact on the world.” The school is “more than a bunch of books and exams—it’s an ...

    Brown University

    Providence, RI
    • $46,408 Tuition
    • 1440 Avg SAT
    • 6,548 Enrolled

    Known for its somewhat unconventional (but still highly regarded) approaches to life and learning, Brown University remains the slightly odd man out of the Ivy League, and the school wouldn’t have it any other way. The school’s willingness to employ ...

    Boston University

    Boston, MA
    • $45,686 Tuition
    • 1300 Avg SAT
    • 18,017 Enrolled

    From the School: Is Boston University the right place for you? At BU, you'll be taught by Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Laureates, Fulbright Scholars, and MacArthur Fellows. With an average class size of 28 students and a faculty-to-student ...

    New York University

    New York, NY
    • $43,746 Tuition
    • 1340 Avg SAT
    • 24,985 Enrolled

    From the School: NYU is the largest private research university in America, yet retains a close-knit community that combines the intellectual atmosphere of a smallto medium-sized college with the myriad cultural offerings and research ...

    Stanford University

    Stanford, CA
    • $44,184 Tuition
    • 1480 Avg SAT
    • 7,089 Enrolled

    There are few universities that can match the prestige and caliber of Stanford University. At “the forefront of [nearly] every field of study,” it’s easy to understand why so many students are attracted to the school. Of course, far more than simply ...

    Princeton University

    Princeton, NJ
    • $40,170 Tuition
    • 1500 Avg SAT
    • 5,391 Enrolled

    From the School: Princeton combines the strengths of a major research university with the qualities of an outstanding liberal arts college. The University prepares its 5,100 undergraduates for lives of leadership and service. ...

    Boston College

    Chestnut Hill, MA
    • $46,670 Tuition
    • 1360 Avg SAT
    • 9,154 Enrolled

    Boston College, a small Jesuit school on the outskirts of Boston, “is all about educating the person as a whole.” Its strong core curriculum ensures all students receive a “well-rounded” liberal arts education regardless of their chosen major. ...

    Yale University

    New Haven, CT
    • $44,000 Tuition
    • 1500 Avg SAT
    • 5,438 Enrolled

    Listening to Yale students wax rhapsodic about their school, one can be forgiven for wondering whether they aren’t actually describing the platonic form of the university. By their own account, students here benefit not only from “amazing academics ...

    Duke University

    Durham, NC
    • $44,020 Tuition
    • 1460 Avg SAT
    • 6,655 Enrolled

    Duke University is “all about academic excellence complemented by highly competitive Division I sports and an enriching array of extracurricular activities,” making the university “an exciting, challenging, and enjoyable place to be.” Undergraduates ...

    Clemson University

    Clemson, SC
    • $30,826 Tuition
    • 16,931 Enrolled

    From the School: One of the country's most selective public research universities, Clemson was founded in 1889 with a mission to be a "high seminary of learning" dedicated to teaching, research, and service. Today, these three concepts remain ...

    Vanderbilt University

    Nashville, TN
    • $42,768 Tuition
    • 1500 Avg SAT
    • 6,851 Enrolled

    From the School: In 1873, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt endowed Vanderbilt University in the hope that it would "strengthen the ties which should exist between all sections of our common country." Today, Vanderbilt is a highly selective, ...

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse, NY
    • $40,380 Tuition
    • 1160 Avg SAT
    • 15,224 Enrolled

    The school spirit is definitely palpable the minute you set foot onto Syracuse's campus. Indeed, it's highly evident that "everyone here bleeds orange." Frankly; it's no surprise that 'Cuse undergrads truly love their school. The ...

    Northeastern University

    Boston, MA
    • $40,780 Tuition
    • 1390 Avg SAT
    • 17,107 Enrolled

    From the School: Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in worldwide experiential learning, urban engagement, and interdisciplinary research that ...

    University of California--Berkeley

    Berkeley, CA
    • $34,098 Tuition
    • 1380 Avg SAT
    • 25,951 Enrolled

    The flagship campus of the University of California school system with a "highly respectable name," UC Berkeley "has great faculty, great research, great classes, and everyone knows it." The school "really encourages us to go out and learn, ...

    University of Virginia

    Charlottesville, VA
    • $38,988 Tuition
    • 1360 Avg SAT
    • 16,483 Enrolled

    There is much to love about the University of Virginia, one of the country’s top public universities. Just to name a few: “Tradition, student self-governance, the honor system, the access to world renowned professors, [and] the beauty of the ...

    University of Southern California

    Los Angeles, CA
    • 1380 Avg SAT
    • 18,740 Enrolled

    The University of Southern California boasts “a dynamic and culturally diverse campus located in a world-class city which is equally dynamic and culturally diverse.” Everything related to cinema is “top notch.” Among the other 150 or so majors here, ...

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill, NC
    • $31,505 Tuition
    • 1300 Avg SAT
    • 18,350 Enrolled

    It’s quite an understatement to say students at UNC—Chapel Hill are proud of their school. One calls it his “dream school,” while another calls it the “perfect mixture of academics, sports, and social life.” Although its relative low cost makes UNC ...

    Georgetown University

    Washington, DC
    • 1420 Avg SAT
    • 7,595 Enrolled

    This moderately sized elite academic establishment stays true to its Jesuit foundations by educating its students with the idea of “cura personalis,” or “care for the whole person.” The “well-informed” student body perpetuates upon itself, creating ...

    Pennsylvania State University--University Park

    University Park, PA
    • $29,522 Tuition
    • 1180 Avg SAT
    • 40,085 Enrolled

    Immense “pride and a sense of community” pervade every aspect of life at Penn State. Students love the remarkable “school spirit” and “strong family feel” on this vibrant campus, and they are equally proud of the “quality education” they receive. An ...


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