Feedback
College Game Plan

Princeton, Williams, U.C. Berkeley Top U.S. News & World Report College Rankings Again

The 2017 Best Colleges rankings are out from U.S. News & World Report — and there are some familiar schools in the top slots.

For the sixth straight year, Princeton University was named No. 1 in the "best national universities" category by the magazine, which surveys more than 1,800 colleges in America for its annual list.

Meanwhile, Williams College in Massachusetts took the top spot among best national liberal arts colleges for the fourteenth consecutive year. And University of California, Berkeley, was the top public school for the nineteenth year.

College Rankings That Really Matter 0:53

Schools are ranked on up to 15 different measures of academic quality, with the most emphasis on graduation and retention rates.

Related: Get tips and advice about college at College Game Plan

According to a press release from U.S. News & World Report:

  • The average six-year graduation rate for the top 10 national universities is 95 percent, and for top 10 national liberal arts colleges, it's 93.9 percent
  • And the average freshman retention rate for the top 10 national universities is 98.1 percent, and for the top 10 national liberal arts colleges, it's 96.6 percent.

By comparison, the average six-year graduation rate among all the ranked schools on the national universities list is 71.3 percent, and on the national liberal arts list, it's 75.2 percent.

Freshman retention rates for the whole list were 86.9 percent for national universities, and 85.6 percent for national liberal arts colleges.

Related: From Food to Financial Aid: Princeton Review's Best Colleges for 2017

The magazine encouraged college applicants and their parents to look at all factors when choosing a school.

“In addition to considering factors like location and cost, families should pay close attention to graduation and retention rates," Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, in the press release. "These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially. Getting into a good school means nothing if you cannot graduate.”

Here are the top national universities of 2017:

  • Princeton University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Chicago
  • Yale University
  • Columbia University
  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Duke University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Johns Hopkins University

And the top national liberal arts colleges of 2017:

  • Williams College
  • Amherst College
  • Wellesley College
  • Middlebury College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Carleton College
  • Pomona College
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Davidson College

Check out the full list here.