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6,814

Number of
4-year colleges

13,300,452

Students attending
4-year colleges

$18,574

Average
in-state tuition

$20,804

Average
out-of-state tuition

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Brown University

Providence, RI

9 Forbes
The mission of Brown University is to serve the community, the nation, and the world by discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry, and by educating and preparing students to discharge the offices of life with usefulness and reputation. We do this through a partnership of students and teachers in a

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Brown University

Providence, RI

Total undergraduates: 7,214
Acceptance rate: 9%
Average annual cost: $25,264
Average salary: $63,100
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

6 Forbes
Caltech is a world-renowned institution, where extraordinary faculty and students seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform our future.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

Total undergraduates: 1,002
Acceptance rate: 8%
Average annual cost: $26,839
Average salary: $74,200
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Duke University

Durham, NC

8 Forbes
Younger than most other prestigious colleges, Duke's schools of business, divinity, engineering, environment, law, medicine, nursing, and public policy consistently rank among the very best.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Duke University

Durham, NC

Total undergraduates: 7,184
Acceptance rate: 10%
Average annual cost: $19,950
Average salary: $77,900
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

1 Forbes
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Total undergraduates: 13,844
Acceptance rate: 5%
Average annual cost: $16,205
Average salary: $90,900
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

5 Forbes
MIT’s mission is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Total undergraduates: 4,680
Acceptance rate: 7%
Average annual cost: $21,576
Average salary: $94,200
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Pomona College

Claremont, CA

10 Forbes

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Pomona College

Claremont, CA

Total undergraduates: 1,665
Acceptance rate: 9%
Average annual cost: $18,140
Average salary: $56,600
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

4 Forbes
As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Total undergraduates: 5,659
Acceptance rate: 6%
Average annual cost: $17,732
Average salary: $80,500
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

2 Forbes
Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, Stanford is one of the world's leading teaching and research universities.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Total undergraduates: 8,402
Acceptance rate: 4%
Average annual cost: $16,695
Average salary: $85,700
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

7 Forbes
Penn has a proud tradition of intellectual rigor and boundary-breaking innovation that lives on through the creativity, entrepreneurship, and engagement of its faculty, students, and staff.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Total undergraduates: 13,437
Acceptance rate: 9%
Average annual cost: $22,944
Average salary: $82,400
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List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Yale University

New Haven, CT

3 Forbes
Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Total undergraduates: 6,483
Acceptance rate: 6%
Average annual cost: $18,319
Average salary: $83,200
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Our Methodology

We show up to 10 universities for our "best colleges" section. These universities are chosen based on Forbes or US News rank (depending on what you've chosen) and sorted alphabetically. If there are fewer than 10 universities that are Forbes (or US News) ranked, we add alphabetically. Forbes' 2016 Rank of America's Best Colleges factors in post-graduate success (including salaries and awards like MacArthur Fellowships, National Academy of Sciences seats, and performing arts honors), student debt, student satisfaction, graduation rate, and academic success (which includes how many students go on to get advanced degrees or receive prestigious fellowships).

Read more about the rankings. US News' 2016 Best Colleges Rankings are also based on a variety of factors, including graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate, and alumni giving rate. Read more about their methodology. You can also sign up for a free RaiseMe profile to customize your college search by location, popular majors and more!

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