America’s 15 Best Colleges of 2011

US News & World Report recently released its annual rankings of the best U.S. colleges, based on its 16-factor evaluation of more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools.
This year the study put a decidedly stronger emphasis on graduation rates in its ranking factors, which also includes SAT scores, retention rates, selectivity, alumni giving, and reputation among peers. A new addition to the criteria this year was the opinion of high school guidance counselors.

Of public universities, the University of California, Berkeley ranked highest on the list at # 22, while Williams College (Massachusetts) ranked as the top liberal arts school in the U.S., for the second year in a row.

In the report’s “Up and Comers” category, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County earned # 1 among U.S. universities, and an overall ranking of # 159.

America’s 15 Best Colleges of 2011

  1. Harvard University
  2. Princeton University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University
  5. Stanford University
  6. University of Pennsylvania
  7. California Institute of Technology
  8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  9. Dartmouth College
  10. Duke University
  11. University of Chicago
  12. Northwestern University
  13. Johns Hopkins University
  14. Washington University
  15. Brown University

*source: US News & World Report

The report, compiled annually since 1985 by US News & World Report, is considered one of today’s leading ranking systems on American colleges. The report also has its critics, including Kevin Carey of Education Sector, who is quoted as saying, “The U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine’s rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity.”

Here’s more information on picking the right college or university.

Until next time,

Scott Weingold

Related Articles:
How to Pick the Right College in 2011

Colleges with the Best Return on Investment


Return to College Made Simple's Free Reports

Find us on Facebook! Find us on Facebook!

Increase Your SAT Scores Learn How to Increase the SAT Score... By 203 Point or More
Just tell us where to send the full report...
We'll also send you - at no charge - the College Funding Made Simple e-Course, delivered to your email inbox in 12 parts, by topic. With each part, you'll come away with valuable, actionable insights proven to help parents and students in the college admissions and funding process.

NO-SPAM PLEDGE: We believe that your personal information should stay that way. Rest assured, your email address is 100% confidential, and under no circumstance will we ever rent, sell or give away your email address outside of our own network without you specifically requesting us to do so.

1 Comment

Regina CacicedoAugust 22nd, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I viewed the college webmeniar last week and found it to be very informative and honest. I was very impressed with the honesty and personal approached of the of the prsenter (scott)r – i am looking forward to speaking with one of your representatives this coming week.

Regina CAcicedo
Belen JEsuit Prep School – Mom –

Leave a comment
Your comment

Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.