The 2020 Top Consensus Ranked Colleges & Universities list is a best schools ranking that is designed to show prospective college students where their top choices rank across the board. The College Consensus ranking of best colleges and universities combines data from the most respected college ranking publications and the most reliable student review sites online.
How Do We Create Our 2020 Ranking of the Best Colleges?
The College Consensus methodology pulls together rankings from U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Money, and Wallethub, averaging all of a given school’s numbers to get the Publisher Rating. Then we average student reviews from sites like Cappex, Niche, Student Review, and more, to get the full picture of how students see their colleges, which we call the Student Review Rating. Put them together, and we have the College Consensus.
The top universities ranking is the real deal – the ranking of the best colleges nationwide. Regardless of size, location, form, or classification, these are the colleges and universities that have the best schools ranking based on publisher and student ratings. It’s not mixing apples and oranges – it’s crunching the numbers, pure and simple, to see which colleges the experts admire, and which ones the students love. Read more about our rankings methodology and sources at our about page.
What Makes the 2020 College Consensus Ranking Different?
This ranking of the best colleges will look different from other similar rankings, simply because it’s an aggregate ranking. It’s not reliant on self-reported surveys sent out to the schools, or disgruntled students reviews, or mystery shopper investigations: it’s everything, objectively analyzed and ranked. Some colleges that get overlooked in other rankings get their chance to shine; some universities that hog all the glory get their proper place in the ecosystem.
This ranking covers all of the colleges and universities in America, regardless of size, location, or classification. College Consensus has also broken down rankings of the Best National Research Universities, for students who want the opportunities a major research institution offers. For students interested in a more intimate, residential experience, we have also ranked the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. For students interested in online learning, see our ranking of the Best Online Colleges & Universities.
The Top Consensus Ranked Colleges & Universities are listed in descending order by their Consensus score.
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA
Stanford UniversityStanford, CA
Princeton UniversityPrinceton, NJ
Harvard UniversityCambridge, MA
Pomona CollegeClaremont, CA
University of Notre DameNotre Dame, IN
Duke UniversityDurham, NC
Brown UniversityProvidence, RI
Williams CollegeWilliamstown, MA
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA
Amherst CollegeAmherst, MA
Vanderbilt UniversityNashville, TN
Rice UniversityHouston, TX
University of Michigan-Ann ArborAnn Arbor, MI
Washington and Lee UniversityLexington, VA
Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremont, CA
Dartmouth CollegeHanover, NH
University of California-Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA
Bowdoin CollegeBrunswick, ME
Bates CollegeLewiston, ME
University of California-BerkeleyBerkeley, CA
Cornell UniversityIthaca, NY
Washington University in St LouisSaint Louis, MO
University of ChicagoChicago, IL
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, NC
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew York, NY
Northwestern UniversityEvanston, IL
University of Virginia-Main CampusCharlottesville, VA
Harvey Mudd CollegeClaremont, CA
Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmore, PA
Georgetown UniversityWashington, DC
California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CA
Wellesley CollegeWellesley, MA
University of California-Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CA
Wesleyan UniversityMiddletown, CT
California State University-StanislausTurlock, CA
University of FloridaGainesville, FL
Colgate UniversityHamilton, NY
Vassar CollegePoughkeepsie, NY
The University of Texas at AustinAustin, TX
Middlebury CollegeMiddlebury, VT
University of California-DavisDavis, CA
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
University of California-IrvineIrvine, CA
University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadison, WI
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaign, IL
Tufts UniversityMedford, MA
Bryn Mawr CollegeBryn Mawr, PA
College of the Holy CrossWorcester, MA
Scripps CollegeClaremont, CA
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main CampusAtlanta, GA
University of Washington-Seattle CampusSeattle, WA
Davidson CollegeDavidson, NC
Macalester CollegeSaint Paul, MN
Barnard CollegeNew York, NY
Hamilton CollegeClinton, NY
Carleton CollegeNorthfield, MN
Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, MD
University of RichmondUniversity of Richmond, VA
University of California-San DiegoLa Jolla, CA
Emory UniversityAtlanta, GA
Pitzer CollegeClaremont, CA
Smith CollegeNorthampton, MA
Haverford CollegeHaverford, PA
Wake Forest UniversityWinston-Salem, NC
Purdue University-Main CampusWest Lafayette, IN
Colby CollegeWaterville, ME
California State University-Channel IslandsCamarillo, CA
Texas A & M University-College StationCollege Station, TX
Boston CollegeChestnut Hill, MA
Colorado CollegeColorado Springs, CO
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and ArtNew York, NY
College of William and MaryWilliamsburg, VA
Grinnell CollegeGrinnell, IA
Lafayette CollegeEaston, PA
Augustana UniversitySioux Falls, SD
Lehigh UniversityBethlehem, PA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg)Blacksburg, VA
Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing, MI
Tulane University of LouisianaNew Orleans, LA
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoSan Luis Obispo, CA
Union College (NY)Schenectady, NY
University of Maryland-College ParkCollege Park, MD
Brigham Young University-ProvoProvo, UT
Bentley UniversityWaltham, MA
California State University-Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA
Taylor UniversityUpland, IN
California State University-Monterey BaySeaside, CA
New York UniversityNew York, NY
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew York, NY
California State University-Long BeachLong Beach, CA
California State University-Dominguez HillsCarson, CA
Whitman CollegeWalla Walla, WA
CUNY Brooklyn CollegeBrooklyn, NY
Bucknell UniversityLewisburg, PA
Trinity UniversitySan Antonio, TX
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolis, MN
University of GeorgiaAthens, GA
Getting an education in your chosen field plays an important role in reaching your career goals. When you are looking at colleges or universities for your education, you want to focus on the best programs for your field. The challenge is comparing your options and selecting the schools that fit your needs and situation.
What Do the Best-Ranked Universities in the US Have in Common?
When you look at US university ranking, you will notice that many schools have a high rank for various reasons. The underlying reasons for the best ranked universities to reach the top of the list depend on the specific details in the list. According to Forbes, university ranking in USA programs focuses on the outcome of the education.
The best ranked universities in the United States have positive outcomes for their students. A student has support from the college or university to find a job or get started in their career. The universities with the highest ranks also look into the accomplishments of the alumni to measure success after school as an average among all of the students. If the college has a high rate of success among alumni, then the school has a high ranking.
What Makes the Most Prestigious Colleges in the World Stand Out?
When you look for the most prestigious colleges in the world, you want to understand the factors that make the university stand out. The top colleges in the world have a few key factors that stand out from other programs.
According to BBC News, branding plays a key role in prestige among colleges and universities. Schools that have a reputation for research and top quality educators have a higher rating than other universities. The history behind the school also plays a role in their reputation. When a school has a long history of excellence and quality education, it impacts the school’s reputation. Colleges and universities with a long history and a specific reputation stand out due to their history.
The most prestigious colleges in the world also stand out for their connections. The school has power due to connections in the government or in large organizations. The connections help the college or university gain access to funds for research projects or STEM programs. The focus on research helps a college or university stand out, particularly when it has the wealth to allow students and educators access to important tools used in their research projects.
How Do the Top Private Universities and the Best Public Universities Compare?
When you compare universities in the USA, you will inevitably look at the differences between private and public universities. The Washington Post points out that private schools often rank higher than public schools when the schools are put in the same ranking categories. Many systems of ranking universities and colleges develop separate lists for the public and private schools, which raises a concern about comparing the different programs.
The top private universities rank higher than public universities for three key reasons: they have more funds for research, the universities have a long history and the colleges have a high reputation for success after college. Reputation plays an important role in long-term success in a career. Public schools do not have the same level of prestige as a public university, especially when comparing the top ranked private universities to the top ranked public universities.
As a general rule, the top private universities do have a better reputation for excellence. The key consideration is the cost associated with the program. Public programs cost less for tuition, so you will want to evaluate the ranking of the university with the cost of your education. Keep in mind that a private university does offer support to help students start out in their career, but there are also public programs that help with your goals. When you want to attend a top ranked university, you will want to look into the reasons for the ranking system to evaluate the programs that fit your goals.
What are the Pros and Cons of University Education?
The pros and cons of university depend on your situation and your goals. The obvious advantage of education through a university is your career opportunities. A college education helps you network and build up your resume for a successful career. You have more opportunities and you may find that you are able to increase your earnings potential after graduation.
According to Fremont College, a key downside of higher education at a college or university is the time and cost involved in the process. An undergraduate degree takes around four years to complete and higher education may take longer. It also has the cost of tuition each semester. Depending on your field of study, it may not be necessary to seek higher education. You want to look into the details of your career goals before you assume that you need to attend a college or university for your career.
The best colleges and universities give you an advantage in your career and job potential. The key is focusing on the right education and making sure that you are not wasting your time with higher education. By comparing the programs and looking into the rankings of a college or university, you can find a program that fits your goals and helps with your career opportunities.