US News releases 2021 Best Colleges Rankings in post-COVID era

The US News & World Report unveiled the 2021 US News Best Colleges ranking even as students and schools across the country are grappling with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the tenth straight year, Princeton tops the National University list
For the tenth straight year, Princeton tops the National University list. Photo courtesy: Princeton

"US News remains committed to providing data-driven information and guidance to help prospective students and their families understand their higher education options," an official statement read.

The 36th edition of the rankings feature more than 1,400 colleges and universities that grant baccalaureate degrees in the United States on 17 indicators of academic quality. 

"The pandemic has affected students across the country, canceling commencement ceremonies and switching classes from in person to remote," said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of US News. "Whether students have slightly altered their college plans or changed them entirely, it remains our mission to continue providing students and their families with the tools they need to help find the right school for them."

For the tenth straight year, Princeton tops the National University list, followed, also as in years past, by Harvard in second. Columbia was third, and MIT and Yale tied for fourth. Williams College heads up the list of National Liberal Arts Colleges, and UCLA once again claimed first place among Top Public Universities.

Of the top 20 national universities, 19 were private, not-for-profit institutions. UCLA was the only public school in the top 20. 

Here are this year's top institutions in various categories:

National Universities – Top 3 of 389

  1. Princeton University (NJ)
  2. Harvard University (MA)
  3. Columbia University (NY)

National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3 of 223

  1. Williams College (MA)
  2. Amherst College (MA)
  3. Swarthmore College (PA)

Top Public Schools

National Universities – Top 3 of 209

  1. University of California—Los Angeles
  2. University of California—Berkeley
  3. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

National Liberal Arts Colleges – Top 3 of 23

  1. United States Naval Academy (MD)
  2. United States Military Academy (NY)
  3. United States Air Force Academy (CO)
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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