Whether you’re looking to explore different career opportunities, continue your education, or just find somewhere that feels like home, higher education is key when it comes to pursuing a future in the United States. College adds so much more to your life than just a diploma; it adds experiences, friends and memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re considering applying to colleges now or in the future, there are plenty of options out there for you.
Each school has its own distinct character and specialties that set it apart from all the others. While ranking systems can be somewhat subjective, each of these schools are known for offering excellent academics in their fields of study and at affordable tuition rates. The following universities have been chosen as top colleges because of their combination of financial aid packages, affordable tuition rates, accelerated degree programs, quality research facilities and proximity to potential job opportunities after graduation.
Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with few campuses located in Boston, Massachusetts, and Shanghai, China.
Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest higher education institution in the United States. It is also one of the most highly-regarded and selective universities in the world, with an acceptance rate of 5.3%.
The original Harvard Yard, located in Cambridge, has been home to the university’s main campus since 1873. The Harvard University Library is the largest academic library in the world, holding more than 32.9 million volumes.
Notable Alumni: Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, John Adams, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut.
Founded in 1701, Yale is the second-oldest higher education institution in the United States. Yale is also the third-wealthiest university in the world, with an estimated $50 billion endowment in 2016.
Notable Alumni: John Adams, William Howard Taft, John McCain, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton
Stanford University is a private research university located in Stanford, California.
Founded in 1885, Stanford is the eighth-oldest higher education institution in the United States. It is also one of the most selective universities in the world, with an acceptance rate of 5.4%.
Stanford’s athletic teams are called the Cardinal, and its official color is Cardinal Red. The university is well-known for its success in athletics, winning 112 NCAA championships, as well as producing a large number of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, with 8 billionaires and 5 United States Presidents among its alumni.
Notable Alumni: Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Bill Hewlett, John Hennessy, David Packard, Buck Parker
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey.
Founded in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest higher education institution in the United States. Princeton has been home to 13 U.S. presidents, such as Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who graduated from its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Notable Alumni: Bill Gates, Ted Cruz, John Adams, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, Albert Einstein
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university located in New York City.
Founded in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest higher education institution in the state of New York. It is also one of the most selective universities in the world, with an acceptance rate of 5.6%.
Notable Alumni: Barack Obama, John Adams, Herbert Hoover, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt
Cornell University is a private Ivy League research university located in Ithaca, New York.
Founded in 1865 in the state of New York, Cornell is a world-renowned research university that is also a member of the prestigious Ivy League.
Notable Alumni: Herbert Hoover, Bird Lincoln, Steve Wozniak, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Adams
The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university located in Chicago, Illinois.
Founded in 1890, the University of Chicago is the second-oldest university in the state of Illinois. It is also one of the most selective universities in the country, with an acceptance rate of 9.5%.
Notable Alumni: Einstein, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Robert E. Lee, Steve Wozniak, W.Bruce Harrison
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon is a highly selective research university that is also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It is also one of the most affordable colleges in the country, with an average net price of $18,000.
Notable Alumni: James P.Connery, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Ted Koppel, W. Bruce Harrison
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Founded in 1861, MIT is one of the world’s most prestigious and selective universities. It is also highly regarded for its engineering and computer science programs, which are consistently ranked among the best in the world.
Notable Alumni: Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Ted Koppel, James P. Connery, W. Bruce Harrison
Choosing the best college is a process. It’s a big decision that will impact your life in more ways than one. You have to choose a college that offers the best combination of academics, extracurricular activities, and financial aid. You also have to make sure the college will be a good fit for you. To make this easier for you, you should create a list of your top choices. Based on your interests and career goals, choose the best colleges in the United States.