In a bit of a surprise for many academics, Harvard University has re-taken the number one slot in the college rankings of U.S. News and World Report. Princeton fell to the second position followed by Yale, MIT and Stanford. The rankings of the top ten universities and liberal arts colleges are below.
This is the first time that Harvard has been ranked as number one in 12 years.
Harvard appears to have focused on its greatest vulnerability in past years: class size. The percentage of students in classes under 20 students rose from 69 percent to 75 percent since last year’s report, while the percentage in classes bigger than 50 fell from 13 percent to 9 percent.
The magazine also includes a new “Up and Comers” — featuring George Mason University in Virginia, Clemson in South Carolina, the University of Southern California and Arizona State. This rankings have considerable impact on recruiting and, particularly for George Mason, it is likely to improve their application base even further in the coming year.
There were a lot of ties in the top ten this year. My college, University of Chicago, tied for eighth with Columbia and Duke. Overall, Chicago educators did well with Northwestern University ranking 12th. Here is the top ten (with ties at 4, 6, and 8):
1 Harvard University
2 Princeton University
3 Yale University
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
4 Stanford University
6 California Institute of Technology
6 University of Pennsylvania
8 Columbia University
8 Duke University
8 University of Chicago
The best liberal arts colleges are also ranked:
1 Amherst College
1 Williams College
3 Swarthmore College
4 Wellesley College
5 Middlebury College
6 Bowdoin College
6 Pomona College
8 Carleton College
9 Davidson College
10 Haverford College
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