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Best Colleges | #1 Official Top Universities Rankings | America/USA College List

Ranking of Best Colleges & Universities in the USA


Official Ranking of America's Best Schools

*List of the Top Colleges and Universities by College Admissions Experts.

by College and University Rankings Expert - Ross Blankenship

Renowned Author of Bestselling Book, "Admit You! Top Secrets to Increase Your SAT and ACT Scores and Get Accepted to the Best Colleges and Ivy League Universities"

Best Colleges and Universities in America. Ranking by Experts.   You can also  purchase the best colleges full list + receive 90+ minutes with the World's Leading College Admissions Expert here.   Be sure to  read this entire article about top colleges  to find out why!

Best Colleges and Universities in America. Ranking by Experts.

You can also purchase the best colleges full list + receive 90+ minutes with the World's Leading College Admissions Expert here.

Be sure to read this entire article about top colleges to find out why!

Are you searching for the best colleges and top universities in America/United States? You have arrived. Our official rankings of the best colleges in America will guide you to making the right decisions upon your college acceptances.

Well, we've done the rankings research for you so you can decide which colleges and top universities you should consider applying to - these college rankings provide you with comprehensive inside data on the admissions process and how competitive and selective each top college is overall.  Our rankings of America's top colleges continue to be cited by leading academics and institutions including the best Ivy League Schools.

What makes a college or university "the best school?"  And what factors go into your official ranking of the best colleges in America.  Well, there are a number of well-researched factors that make a college, great... however, we've compiled reasons why these schools are the best for you to consider.

Here are key FACTORS that go into our official rankings of the best colleges and university in the USA/America:

  1. Acceptance Rates (Selectivity)

  2. Location/Geography

  3. Academic quality

  4. SAT Scores (Average and Median)

  5. ACT Scores (Average and Median)

  6. Student to Faculty Ratio

  7. Enrollment Size and Retention Rate

  8. School Endowment

  9. Admissions Yield Rate

  10. Peer Review by Professors and Other Universities

  11. Overall Student Satisfaction Score

  12. Overall Professor Satisfaction Score

  13. Overall TTP Score (Weighted towards all factors above + career potential of students)

Within this official list of the best college schools (To Download Click Here), we're also adding these bonuses:

  • Signed version of bestselling book on admission to colleges called "Admit You! How to Get Accepted to the Best Ranked Colleges and Universities in the USA."

  • A 90-minute session ($750 value) with the World's Leading Expert on Medical School Admissions, and lifetime access to access these top college rankings, anytime.

  • Lifetime Access to Rankings and 10 Inside Tips to Get Accepted to Top 10 Schools.

You can also share this best college school list with friends, family, colleagues.  

And be sure to READ ALL the way to the bottom as we've got some surprise insider tips to share with you on the college admissions process, strategies, and ways how to get accepted to the most selective (highest/lowest acceptance) universities.  

Best Universities and Colleges in America
4.97 stars – 12,818 reviews


Which top Colleges are included in the 

World's Best University Rankings?

Best Colleges and Universities  in the World - Rankings by Experts.

Best Colleges and Universities in the World - Rankings by Experts.

It's really hard to get accepted to the best colleges, but downloading these top university rankings will help you gain a HUGE advantage.

Top Colleges and Universities  -  Ranking and Review of the Best.    More than 13,888 downloads and purchases so far!

Top Colleges and Universities - Ranking and Review of the Best.

More than 13,888 downloads and purchases so far!

I think you'd agree with me that getting accepted to top colleges is getting tougher each year.  Right

With admissions rates in the sub-12% range for some of the best colleges in America, you need to have every advantage necessary to win, including the admissions research data that shows which colleges are the most selective, offer the best opportunities for career advancement, and provide you the best possible education to pursue paths in medicine, law, science, engineering, or other professional career paths.

Because we know it's very challenging to get accepted to these colleges and universities, our admissions formula - and SAT Test Prep and ACT Test Prep - can help you gain admission to elite schools like Stanford University, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, UPenn, Princeton, MIT, UC-Berkeley, Rice, Vanderbilt, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, The University of Chicago...and many more top universities.

In fact, when it comes to applying to colleges schools, you might apply to more than 10+ schools using the infamous "Common Application" aka "The Common App," which was designed as a uniform tool to apply to multiple universities at the same time.  

In these college/university rankings, we focus on the nation’s best schools.  And we call these colleges the best in the world, because candidly there aren't any better schools than in the United States.  The most amazing part of these school isn't the fact that they are so selective, with acceptance rates lower than 20%, or that they have massive school endowments (examples: Harvard and Yale), but rather that college counselors know these brand names and continue to recommend these schools to their students because of the amazing faculty and academic reputation of each academic institutions we've ranked.

Maybe you're not looking to apply to the most difficult/lowest acceptance rate colleges or universities... does that mean you shouldn't buy this exclusive rankings list?  

                  Wrong!  In fact, quite the opposite...

                  These college rankings are for every high school student and parent who's considering applying to a top college.  Why is this list so highly recommended for you?

                  I consider our advice like training for a 4-minute mile. By following our recipes for success, you will be ready to apply to any top college and university from coast-to-coast - from Stanford on the West Coast, Washington University (St. Louis) in Midwest, to Harvard and Yale on the East Coast. Even if you are not the next Roger Bannister, who in 1954 was the first person to run a 4-minute mile, preparing at this academic level will only strengthen your chance of meeting any other goals. There's more good news, however: If you go through the process as if you are applying to the nation’s elite top colleges and universities, you will increase your chances of getting into every other college when you apply through application portals like the Common App.

Official Ranking of Best Colleges in America/USA

Top Universities and Colleges Ranking:

  1. Stanford University

  2. University of Chicago

  3. Harvard University

  4. Princeton University

  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  6. Cornell University

  7. Columbia University

  8. Duke University

  9. Johns Hopkins University

  10. University of Pennsylvania

  11. Northwestern University

  12. California Institute of Tech.

  13. Dartmouth University

  14. Rice University

  15. University of Notre Dame

  16. Brown University

  17. Vanderbilt University

  18. Washington University (St. Louis)

  19. Emory University

  20. Carnegie Mellon

  21. Tufts University

  22. Georgetown University

  23. University of Cal-Berkeley

  24. University of Michigan

  25. University of Rochester


What's included when you purchase these "World's Best Colleges Rankings."

  • Lifetime Access to Top Report on Best Colleges/Universities (Inside Admissions Data)

  • 90+ Minute Session with the World's Leading Expert on College Admissions (Bestselling Author/Admit You!)

  • Signed and newest released bestselling college admissions guide, "Admit You!"

  • Acceptance Rates to Best Colleges

  • SAT and ACT Scores (Median and Averages) for Top 25 Colleges and Universities

World's Best Rankings with 100% Full Lifetime Access.
from 349.00
  • 100% All-Access, 365 Days Per Year, Lifetime Membership to "World's Best Rankings."
  • Unique Link to Share with your Friends, Family, & Colleagues.
  • Updated Annual Report with All-Access Rankings.
  • Exclusive Signed Book by Expert Ross D. Blankenship.
  • Detailed Insider Report on What You Need to Know about Acceptance at Each of the Best Schools.
  • ****Get BONUS 90-Minute Admissions Session with World's Leading Admissions Expert (Only + $150 to Add-On).****

Good news: the above lifetime membership is a one-time charge and you will not be billed for anything else, ever.  

Full Lifetime Access:
Click Here to Get Access Now.

   So what factors go into Top Test Prep’s official university rankings?

          I know, I keep saying “the top colleges,” without telling you which ones I mean. The curiosity is probably too much to bear; everyone wants to know what’s the best. In this section, we’ll preview our top colleges list of the best universities in America.

          These college rankings are based on a variety of factors. First are statistics: SAT and ACT median scores, GPA averages from high school applicants, and college acceptance rates are all direct indicators of a school’s selectivity. The more selective a college is, the better the quality of the student body. A college diploma is also more impressive when it comes from a highly selective school.

          Next, student-to-faculty ratios are key in assessing the general quality of the academic experience at a school. The depth and breadth of research opportunities available are important, as research experience is a big part of the undergraduate experience for many students, and is crucial for both graduate school and employment prospects. Finally, graduation rates, career services, and job placement are important, especially as it becomes harder to land a great job after graduation. The schools on this list are the best in the country, in terms of overall experience, both before graduation and after.

           As much as college rankings can tell you, it’s important to remember that the differences come from the details within.  For one thing, many of the top 25 are neck and neck, for example, Harvard and Princeton. However, there’s a big difference in terms of character. Each one of these schools has a different feel and flavor, and the idiosyncrasies and particularities of a school will be what draw you to it in the end. In other words: to see how much you like a school, it’s important to go visit. Nonetheless, these are the best schools in the country in terms of all-around excellence, and they are the ones you want to shoot for; if you shoot for the best, you’ll get into the rest.   

           The character of each school on our list is also a measure of the "Peer Review" and "Ranking by Experts" in the field of college admissions.  Though it might seem subjective, we've got enough of a data sample from experts on admissions that we've made this data about characteristics, objective.  

            Remember, these college rankings (and Bonus College School Admissions Guide which is Included) is for every student who is considering applying to one of our top 25 schools. Your heart might not be set on the Ivy League, Washington University in St. Louis, Johns Hopkins University or some other great university, but by heeding our recommendations you will put yourself in a good position to matriculate to the school of your choice.

           So how can you use these official rankings to your advantage when you're applying to top colleges?

Example 1: Let's say you're applying to an Ivy League College like Harvard, Cornell, or Yale.  Before seeing our rankings and insider data, you may not have known what the odds of acceptance were for you if you received a 1400+ on your SAT, or were below the median score.  Thus, how would you know how much test prep and studying you would need to get your score up?  You also might not have realized how many AP Exams you are recommended to take, whether you should use the SAT exam or ACT exam, or whether these top colleges have big or small classes.  All of these factors could be used to add information to your admissions essays as well as your overall study plan.

Example 2: Let's say you're considering applying to a Top 25 College from our official list, but you're afraid because you're not sure whether or not your SAT or ACT scores fit within the range of applicants.  Perhaps you're unsure if you'd even get waitlisted at a top college.  Well, not only do our rankings information provide you with the exact SAT and ACT scores you need to get, but we also tell you how likely you're going to be admitted and what (if there's any) waitlist for applicants.  With our college rankings, there's no more uncertainty or doubt as to your chances of acceptance, and how well you need to do in order to get into a top university.

The bottom line: if you have our rankings data, your chances of getting accepted could increase (historically by 12,000+ surveys) by more than 58%.

So what other critical factors go into our official best university rankings?

  • College Acceptance rates:

    How selective a college is to which you're applying...

  • Location and Geography:

  • Do you want a hot, warm, or cold school year-round? Well, why does it matter? The fact is the science says that your weather environment will affect your happiness (and thus how well you do) by all accounts.

  • Average and Median SAT and ACT Scores:

    Your test scores matter. However, we'll not only tell you what score you should get, but also what your odds are of being accepted once you do (this conversation will come in our bonus admissions session with our leading expert).

  • Student to Faculty Ratio:

    A way of measuring how much you're getting out of your degree... meaning how much money is being invested in your actual undergraduate education.

  • Endowment Size:

    Endowment Size matters, right? The endowment, believe it or not, is one of the most important factors you can consider when applying to a top university. If a school has been around a long time (like Stanford or Harvard), that shows it's been in business and knows what they're doing. A large endowment will give you a measure also of whether the college is fiscally responsible and how much alumni have given back (which also indicates how satisfied the alumni were attending).

       If you’re applying to the schools in our best colleges rankings in America, buckle up: what you're about to purchase (this exclusive list) will help guide you through every step of the process.  And again, if you’re not applying to one of these top universities, the admissions tips, pointers, and candid advice from our expert college counselors will help you no matter your situation. You should consider including at least a couple of these schools on your list.  You never can go wrong aiming for the best universities in the United States.  

Added Bonus Awards included in these Official Best Colleges Rankings...

"Best Colleges Universities in USA"

"Best Colleges Universities in USA"

Not only will you receive instant access to year's of data and research on these top universities, but you'll also get plenty of extra bonuses added into these college rankings.

For example, we're including top colleges with the following criteria for you to evaluate which universities are the best:

  • Highest SAT scores and ACT scores.

  • Lowest Acceptance Rate.

  • Biggest Endowment for Universities.

  • Biggest Waitlist for Applicants (# of Acceptances).

  • Highest Reported Career Salaries.

  • Most Prestigious Universities.

  • Best All-Around College/University.

We've evaluated more than 180+ colleges and universities and awarded 7 of the top schools these awards above.  These awards are updated each year as we refine our rankings and add/subtract schools from our list.  We also only chose the best colleges in our primary list, so you can save time and focus on the hardest schools in which you'd like to get accepted.

Why you need to buy this list of the best colleges...

(Limited Time Offer for Rankings List)

So you're about to spend close to $350,000 on your college tuition and journey to becoming a professional?  Well, what if I told you that the $349 dollars you're about to spend by purchasing the best rankings is the best money you'll ever spend.  That's right... think about it like this:

                  We researched, wrote, and distributed these colleges/universities rankings to help thousands of high school students and parents, just like you, who are seeking admission to the most competitive universities.   The college admissions process is unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.  You will be tested repeatedly: from your SAT/ACT exams, which test your understanding of core reasoning and logic skills. You will be challenged and pushed to your physical and mental limit, pressured by your colleagues – probably your parents – and everyone around you.   But who cares?  Isn’t that the point?  Life is tough and the more pressure you can deal with, the better student and young professional, you'll become one day.

Whether you become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, scientist, government official, or professor, whatever you want to become, the road to success just got easier. 

Remember: the college admissions process is a marathon, not a sprint.  The SAT exam is nearly 4+ hours - the ACT concordance-wise is the same - and student stress levels are at an all-time high.   We’ll make sure you don’t stress...  In fact, we’ll help you not only with this insider admissions data, but also get the serious test prep you need to prepare for your SAT and ACT exams.

Ranking of Top Colleges in America by Experts on University Rankings.

Ranking of Top Colleges in America by Experts on University Rankings.


Bonus tips to Prepare for your SAT + ACT Exam .... Just Because... We want you to GET ACCEPTED.

3 Frequently Asked Questions about College & University Admissions:

 Here are the questions we receive from both parents and students in our SAT and ACT test prep programs.

(1) Which exam should I take... the SAT or ACT?

Best Ways How to Prepare for the SAT exam and ACT Exam ... click above image.

Best Ways How to Prepare for the SAT exam and ACT Exam... click above image.

    If you’re an excellent natural test-taker and always do well on tests without a lot of preparation — in other words, if you’re an 800-pound Gorilla — go with the SAT. Chances are you’ll know all the material already, and you’ll just need to work on your strategies and the timing of the whole thing, which is important for both tests. You know you’re a Gorilla if you’re envied for your ability to waltz into exams and come out with the best score in the class. You study but aren’t systematic in your studying, and often find questions boring or unimaginative.

The SAT will quench your thirst for complicated, confusing questions, and the smaller amount of material to cover will mean that you can focus more on strategy and timing. The SAT won’t be like any test you’ve encountered in high school, but you’ll relish the challenge. To be fair, you could do well on either test, but the SAT will suit you better.

            If you’ve always been able to do well on tests as long as you work hard and are well-prepared — if you’re a Deer — then go with the ACT. The ACT will throw you fewer curveballs, as long as you know the material. You know you’re a Deer if you start preparing for big tests a week in advance. You go over all the notes you’ve made in class, and then make more notes, based on the material to be covered on the test. You might even copy out notes you’ve already made to help your memory, and you collect stacks of notecards with rubber bands around them.

            One student I counseled, “Alison,” fit this description exactly. She came from one of the best public schools in the Washington, D.C., area, where she had always been taught that memorization was the key to success on tests. This had worked for Alison all throughout high school, but she decided to take the SAT instead of the ACT. While neither test is a test of memorization, Alison might have been better suited to the ACT, because she had such a command of the material in her high school curriculum. The simpler nature of the ACT questions also suits Deer (quick, agile, and gets it) like Alison.

(2) What score do you need to get accepted to the top colleges?

     Well, this is answered in-depth when you purchase the list.  But as a preview, we can say we've seen a range of competitive scores that ranges from the 1300s to the 1500s.  Buy the list, and you won't regret the inside information you get.  Plus, when you add the 90+ minute bonus lesson with our college admissions expert (for $150 more), you'll also get your precise odds of getting admitted.

(3) Do I have a higher chance of being admitted if I apply as an early-action or early-decision candidate?

    Always apply early. Early, early, early. I always say, the earlier the better. Even if you’re applying as a regular candidate, it’s better to get the application in earlier rather than later, although that’s another issue. Early Action, Early Decision, Non-Binding, Binding, it doesn’t matter. There is no question that applying as an early applicant can improve your chances. Most people say that you should apply early because the acceptance rate is higher, but — beware! — the early pool is more competitive. Doubling the acceptance rate, however, is well worth the higher level of competition. The reason that admissions offices accept so many early applicants is that it helps to raise their yield, or matriculation rate. To keep up that number, they want to accept the people who will say “yes.”

If you’re trying to decide to which school you should apply early, visit. And if you can afford to visit, don’t apply early to any school before you’ve been to the campus. They want to know that you want to be there, and are not simply trying to game the system. Visiting a campus gives you powerful anecdotes to convince them of that. When you visit, use innovative tactics: don’t just go on the admissions tours. Leave the tour to go sit in on a class or arrange a meeting with a professor from a department that excites you. I knew a student who left a guided tour of a school to go see the music department, because she was an accomplished pianist. She ended up playing part of a Mozart sonata for a professor there. Not only did the tour guide hear about it but the music department called the admissions office to put in a good word for her. Are you surprised that she ended up getting in?

Everything you need to know about test prep, tutoring and how to increase your SAT and ACT exam scores...

Courses and Test Prep Tutoring

            Test-prep courses and tutoring work because they will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. If you can, get one-on-one tutoring. Test prep is idiosyncratic, and every student needs a different kind of help. The process can be stressful, and it’s important to be able to voice your anxieties, and not worry about looking bad. This is easy when you have an understanding and supportive tutor, and not so easy when you’re in a prep class with 10 other students.

College Admissions Counseling - Experts.

College Admissions Counseling - Experts.

            Getting a private tutor is also important, because you might have some preconceived notions about how to prep, especially if you’re a good student who knows how to study. Alison is a good example. She came from a school where students do well on the SAT and she scored right around the 2000 mark on her first try. Once we started our sessions at Top Test Prep, it became clear that her prep efforts had been focused on memorization: math formulas, vocabulary words, and examples to use in the essay. While some memorization is important, neither the SAT nor the ACT is a test of memorization. Both are much more about understanding the question from the test’s perspective. You need to be able to explain how you reached your answer, and not just on the math section.

Once Alison started looking at questions from this perspective and took a bunch of practice tests, it wasn’t difficult for her to raise her score. Alison’s tutor asked her to explain her process of reasoning, out loud — to become the teacher herself. She would list out the steps she had taken to find the area of the base of a certain cylinder, or how she had determined the right paraphrase of a sentence from a reading passage. Her tutor corrected and simplified her reasoning, and provided the other possible trains of thought that could have brought her to the same correct answer. Alison began to get used to the way the questions on the SAT are structured, and needed less and less help to identify the pieces of evidence embedded in each question on her own.

Three Types of Students for the SAT vs. ACT: The Richter Scale

            Having a tutor also provides you with a reality check. It’s not always easy to raise your score, even if you’re an intelligent student like Alison. Every student requires different amounts of effort. Over the years, I’ve seen three general types of test-takers, all of whom correspond to our categories from Chapter Two.

  • The 800-pound Gorilla: A Gorilla is an excellent test-taker who succeeds with minimal preparation. John fell into this category. A Gorilla will score close to 2200, or a 32-33 on the ACT, on his or her first try.

  • The Deer: The Deer is a student who succeeds on tests when she works hard and approaches the test well prepared. Deer score in the 2000 range on their first attempt. Deer can improve their scores if they take lots of practice tests and address their problems, like Alison did.

  • The Beaver: Beavers are students who work hard, but are not always successful on the SAT or the ACT. They score significantly below a 2000 on their first attempt, and may not be able to go much higher. Alex was in this category.

These different types of students have different starting points in preparation.  Find our what type of student you are during your 90+ minute session with our admissions counseling expert (included below).

When should you start preparing for your SAT and ACT?  After you've purchase the package herein, we can add several options to help you best prepare.

Now that you have your admissions game plan: you're ready to begin, start with this purchase.

World's Best Rankings with 100% Full Lifetime Access.
from 349.00
  • 100% All-Access, 365 Days Per Year, Lifetime Membership to "World's Best Rankings."
  • Unique Link to Share with your Friends, Family, & Colleagues.
  • Updated Annual Report with All-Access Rankings.
  • Exclusive Signed Book by Expert Ross D. Blankenship.
  • Detailed Insider Report on What You Need to Know about Acceptance at Each of the Best Schools.
  • ****Get BONUS 90-Minute Admissions Session with World's Leading Admissions Expert (Only + $150 to Add-On).****

Good news: the above lifetime membership is a one-time charge and you will not be billed for anything else, ever.  

Full Lifetime Access:
Click Here to Get Access Now.