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Princeton, Harvard top new USNWR ‘Best Colleges’ list

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Sept. 9 (UPI) — Four of the top five colleges in the United States are Ivy League schools — Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and Yale — U.S. News and World Report said Monday in its new ranking of about 400 institutions.

The magazine’s annual “Best Colleges” list evaluated the schools on a variety of criteria, including some that were weighed for the first time — including “social mobility” and “academic programs to look for.” The new list, the 35th edition, placed great emphasis on data points like graduation and retention rates.

Princeton topped the list and Harvard was ranked second. Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale tied for third. Princeton was ranked No. 1 overall, as well as on the “Best Value” and “Best Undergraduate Teaching” lists. The first 19 schools on the list are private institutions.

The overall ranking categories were adjusted per Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which the magazine said is the most accepted classification system in U.S. higher education.

“New this year, the proportion of students who are first-generation college students was added to the graduation rate performance calculations, which determines whether schools are exceeding U.S. News‘ expectations in graduating their students,” it said.

“In effect, this gave schools more credit for their graduation rates when accomplished with higher proportions of students who were the first in their immediate families to attend college.”

Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, Duke University and Johns Hopkins University round out the top 10.

U.S. News ranked UCLA as the top public university (No. 20 overall), Williams College was No. 1 for liberal arts, Stanford for veterans, Arizona State University for innovation and the University of California, Riverside for social mobility.

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