New England colleges and universities score in latest U.S. News rankings

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BOSTON – U.S. News & World Report this week ranked five New England universities among the top 20 in the nation, and ranked seven of the region’s smaller colleges among the top 20 American liberal arts schools.

Although Princeton University (in New Jersey) claimed the top spot on the list of national universities for the sixth year in a row, Harvard (in Massachusetts) and Yale (in Connecticut) placed second and third, respectively. Yale shares third-place honors this year with the University of Chicago. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took seventh place this year. Dartmouth College (in New Hampshire) ranked 11th and Brown University (in Rhode Island) came in 14th.

Harvard Yard (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Harvard Yard (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

The five other New England universities that ranked in the top 50 are all located in the Boston area: Tufts (27); Boston College (31), Brandeis (34), and Boston University and Northeastern (tied at 39).

The below table shows universities located in New England that made U.S. News & World Report’s list of top 20 national universities:


Although New England did well on the national university rankings, the region’s strongest showing came in the category of national liberal arts schools. Home to the prestigious “potted ivies,” New England this year can boast five of the nation’s top 10 liberal arts colleges: Williams College took first-place honors for the 14th consecutive year. Two other Massachusetts colleges, Amherst and Wellesley, came in second and third, respectively, and Middlebury College in Vermont took fourth place. Bowdoin College in Maine ranked sixth. The only college in the top five located outside of New England was fifth-place finisher Swarthmore in Pennsylvania.

Williams College (Wikimedia)

Williams College (Wikimedia)

Other New England liberal arts colleges that made U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 include: College of the Holy Cross (32) and Mount Holyoke College (36) in Massachusetts; Bates College in Maine (27); and Wesleyan (21), Trinity (38), and Connecticut College (50) in Connecticut.

The below table shows colleges located in New England that made U.S. News & World Report’s list of top 20 liberal arts colleges:


With respect to public universities, the University of Connecticut ranked 60th overall, but ranked 20th on the list of public universities. UConn is the highest ranked public university in New England. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the second highest ranked public university in the region, clocking in at 27.

The below table shows U.S. New & World Report’s ranking of the top public universities in New England:


The highly-anticipated yearly ranking rates colleges based on a host of factors including selectivity, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, and graduation and retention rates. The U.S. News rankings also factor in alumni giving, which serves as an indirect measure of student satisfaction during their years on campus, as well as financial resources including endowments, a critical factor for many students. Read the full list here.