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Freshman Year

Here Are the Top Colleges and Universities, As Ranked By Students

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College rankings are in no short supply, from U.S. News & World Report to Princeton Review to the international Times Higher Education.

But one set of newly released rankings are chosen by a different kind of experts: College students themselves.

Image: University of Mississippi cheerleaders cheer before a football game
University of Mississippi cheerleaders cheer before an NCAA college football game between Mississippi and Tennessee-Martin in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Thomas Graning / AP

Instructor-ranking site Rate My Professors’ 2014-2015 college lists include best universities, top junior and community colleges and — of utmost importance — hottest professors (we’ll spare you the breakdown of that one, but you can find all the rankings here).

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The site, which college students use to dish on their course experience as well as to look for input on which classes they should take, boasts over 16 million student ratings. The makers of the list combed those, weighted professors’ scores from this year and previous years and, to rank the colleges and universities, counted a combination of campus ratings and the schools’ professors’ scores.

RELATED: Harvard Tops U.S. News & World Report's List of Best Global Universities

The results are far different from those other lists — U.S. News & World Report's top university for 2016, Harvard, doesn't even crack the top five — but when was the last time U.S. News gave us something really useful, like the hottest professor in the country?

Highest rated universities

  1. University of Mississippi (Oxford, Mississippi)
  2. University of Wisconsin - Madison (Madison, Wisconsin)
  3. James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia)
  4. Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri)
  5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

RELATED: College Rankings Are Out, and Princeton Tops the List Again

Highest rated junior and community colleges

  1. Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara, California)
  2. Valencia College - Osceola Campus (Kissimmee, Florida)
  3. Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga, California)
  4. Paradise Valley Community College (Phoenix, Arizona)
  5. Palo Alto College (San Antonio, Texas)

Highest rated university professors

  1. Timothy Purnell (Health Science, Montclair State University)
  2. David Fauxcheux (Marketing, Southeastern Louisiana University)
  3. Pat Fitzsimmons (Math, Indian River State College)
  4. Chad Kuyper (Speech, Florida State College at Jacksonville)
  5. Jonathan Hernandez (Communication, California State University Fresno)