List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

What are the top 4-year colleges? Whether you’re looking to decide between a public or private university, find best-value colleges, or compare schools like Wesleyan University, Princeton University, and Brown University, we’ve got you covered.

We'll help you find the best colleges out there - and afford them too. Over 700,000 students and half of U.S. high schools use RaiseMe to earn scholarships for college starting in 9th grade. Follow colleges to start earning scholarships from our 200+ college partners, and get a head start on choosing and affording your dream college.

6,813

Number of
4-year colleges

13,381,015

Students attending
4-year colleges

$18,178

Average
in-state tuition

$20,357

Average
out-of-state tuition

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

10 US News
The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

Total undergraduates: 1,034
Acceptance rate: 8%
Average annual cost: $26,839
Average salary: $74,200
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

4 US News

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

Total undergraduates: 8,623
Acceptance rate: 6%
Average annual cost: $22,973
Average salary: $78,200
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Duke University

Durham, NC

8 US News

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Duke University

Durham, NC

Total undergraduates: 7,253
Acceptance rate: 10%
Average annual cost: $19,950
Average salary: $77,900
Follow
school gear image

Earn scholarships from colleges starting in high school

Over 500,000 high school students are earning scholarships for their grades, activities, and other achievements. Sign up for free and see how much you can earn!

Sign up for free

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

2 US News

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Total undergraduates: 14,128
Acceptance rate: 5%
Average annual cost: $16,205
Average salary: $90,900
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

7 US News

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
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

1 US News

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Total undergraduates: 5,666
Acceptance rate: 6%
Average annual cost: $17,732
Average salary: $80,500
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

4 US News
http://exploredegrees.stanford.edu/stanfordsmission/ From the Stanford University Founding Grant, November 11, 1885: ...the Nature, Object, and Purposes of the Institution Hereby Founded, to Be: Its nature, that of a university with such seminaries of learning as shall make it of the highest grade, including mechanical institutes, museums, galleries

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Total undergraduates: 8,302
Acceptance rate: 4%
Average annual cost: $16,695
Average salary: $85,700
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

4 US News
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, it holds top-ten positions in numerous national and international rankings and measures and is situated in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, offering a rich campus life in a big-city setting.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Total undergraduates: 6,046
Acceptance rate: 7%
Average annual cost: $31,068
Average salary: $65,500
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

9 US News
The University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest universities in America and, as a member of the Ivy League, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in all the world.

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Total undergraduates: 13,096
Acceptance rate: 9%
Average annual cost: $22,944
Average salary: $82,400
Follow

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Yale University

New Haven, CT

3 US News

List of the top U.S. colleges 2018

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Total undergraduates: 7,150
Acceptance rate: 6%
Average annual cost: $18,319
Average salary: $83,200
Follow

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!

paper airplane

Sign up with RaiseMe to personalize your college search - it's free!


Sign up for free