The Best Colleges In The United States For Higher Education

When thinking about higher education, why not keep some of the best schools in mind? Every year across the country, there are droves of applicants trying to enroll in the best schools.

Deciding which one to go to is a difficult one. Our list of the top colleges should help make the decision easier!

University of Florida

One of the most noticeable attractive details about the University of Florida is the gigantic size of its campus. It stretches over 2,000 hectares with more than 900 buildings.

Football - NCAA - Florida vs. Hawaii
Tim Larson/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images
Tim Larson/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

Programs like law, dentistry, and veterinary medicine are offered at 16 academic colleges and over 150 research centers and institutes.

Stanford University

Considered one of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions, Stanford University in California graduates 95% of its enrollees. Stanford is spread across 8,180 acres, making it one of the largest in the U.S.

Stanford University
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images
David Butow/Corbis via Getty Images

Several of Stanford’s programs are ranked among the best nationally. Seven schools comprise the main campus.

Harvard University

Harvard University is one of the world’s most famous colleges based on its prestigious reputation.

Harvard University
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Established back in 1636, Harvard is the oldest school in the United States. The graduation rate is a solid 98%, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 5-to-1. Located in the gorgeous city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, there is little this university does not offer.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M University is in College Station, Texas, and owns the country’s largest student body. It has over 130 courses through 17 colleges and is home to 21 research institutes.

Texas A&M University
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Known as the Aggies in college sports, Texas A&M spans over 5,500 acres and has one of six military schools.

Princeton University

As of 2021, Princeton University had an endowment of $37.7 billion, the largest per student in the United States. It has Ivy League status and was established in 1746.

Princeton University
Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Princeton graduates an astonishing 98% of its students. The main campus is spread across 600 acres in Princeton, New Jersey.

University of Michigan

Nestled away in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan is widely considered an Ivy League public research college. Michigan offers students a lively campus culture (especially during football season!) and a vast array of academic programs.

Central Florida v Michigan
Dave Reginek/Getty Images
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Popular subjects among the 280 being offered are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Yale University

Established in 1701, Yale University is the third oldest college in the United States. It has a worldwide reputation as one of the top institutions for higher learning and a graduation rate of 96%.

Yale
Getty Images
Getty Images

Yale has an Ivy League designation and competes athletically in the N.C.A.A. as the Yale Bulldogs.

Columbia University

Columbia University, established in 1754, is located in New York City. Its 96% graduation rate and 120-credit bachelor’s programs are its more enticing attributes.

Columbia University
James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images
James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

The campus of Columbia is organized into four undergraduate and sixteen graduate schools. Its library is the third largest, with over 15 million books.

Brown University

Brown University is tucked away in Providence, Rhode Island, but its location takes nothing away from its impressive features. Brown has 95% graduation rate and 6-to-1 student to faculty ratio.

Brown University
Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Ivy League college was the first to legislate equal educational opportunities to every prospective student regardless of religious affiliation.

Dartmouth College

Somewhat buried in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League institution. Dartmouth was established in 1769, some 253 years ago and was initially intended to educate Indigenous people in Christian theology.

Dartmouth College
Cheryl Senter/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Cheryl Senter/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dartmouth spans across 269 acres, has a graduation rate of 95% and offers 120-credit bachelor’s programs.

Colgate University

Colgate University, located in the small New York town of Hamilton, is one of the country’s leading liberal arts schools. Colgate was established back in 1819.

Colgate University
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

It is ranked consistently among the most beautiful campuses in the United States because of the hills, lakes, and trees comprising its landscape.

The Juilliard School

Unlike many of the top-ranked universities in the U.S., The Juilliard School is a private institution for performing arts. The Juilliard conservatory is New York City and it can brag about its graduation rate of 94%.

The Juilliard School
ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images
ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images

Juilliard has a 5-to-1 student to faculty ratio, offering dance, drama, and music programs.

Northwestern University

Situated in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University has an exceptional array of academic and technical programs. Founded in 1851, Northwestern is Illinois’ oldest university and proudly celebrates a 95% graduation rate.

Northwestern University
Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Northwestern is made of eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools in medicine, business, journalism, law, and engineering spanning the campus.

Duke University

Duke University is spread across 3,500 hectares in Durham, North Carolina. Its graduation rate is 96%.

Duke
Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Jim R. Bounds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The campus has a gothic style to its architecture, most noticeable when viewing Duke Chapel. Duke is classified as one of the country’s top ten research schools, spending over $1 billion per year.

Cornell University

Ranked as one of the world’s best universities, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has plenty to boast about to its prospective students. Cornell has a graduation rate of 95% and provides 372 undergraduate degree-granting programs.

Sage Chapel at Cornell University
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Cornell has seven undergraduate colleges, seven graduate divisions, and a satellite campus in Qatar.

University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine campus is a miniature city with ten campuses. UCI has 87 undergraduate and 129 graduate degree programs on its academic calendar.

UCI
Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Biology, economics, and social psychology are UCI’s most popular programs. It largely influences research indicated by the $436.6 million it spent in 2018.

University of Texas, Austin

Founded in 1883, the University of Texas at Austin is among the top colleges in the world. Texas is known for its engineering and business programs and offers over 100 undergraduate and 170 graduate degrees to potential students.

University of Texas at Austin
Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images
Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

Texas has produced 13 Nobel Prize winners and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners.

University of Maryland, College Park

The University of Maryland, College Park, nicknamed UMD for short, offers potential enrollees more than 90 majors, over 200 programs with degrees available, 107 majors, and 83 doctoral courses spread over 12 schools and colleges.

University of Maryland, College Park
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post via Getty Images

UMD’s close distance to the nation’s capital resulted in research partnerships with the federal government.

University of Notre Dame

Known primarily as a private Catholic school, the University of Notre Dame is rich in academic and sports history. Notre Dame is situated in Indiana, just on the outskirts of South Bend.

Notre Dame University
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The college is trademarked by its Golden Dome. Its N.C.A.A. team is nicknamed the “Fighting Irish.”

Vanderbilt University

Established in 1873, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, advertises that all of its facilities are located on a 330-acre campus.

Vanderbilt
Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Named after railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, the school boasts 11 billionaires, eight Nobel Prize laureates, three Pulitzer Prize-winners, 27 Rhodes Scholars, one Grammy winner, and five former Olympic medalists as alumni.

Temple University

Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest providers of professional education in the world. Students are educated in programs such as law, medicine, podiatry, pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, and architecture.

temple-university
Matt Rourke/AP/Getty Images
Matt Rourke/AP/Getty Images

Temple has six campuses spread across 163 acres of Pennsylvania and locations in Rome, Italy, and also Japan.

Rice University

Located deep in Houston, Texas, Rice University boasts a 94% graduation rate. Students roaming the 300-acre campus have an academic menu of courses like artificial heart research, space science, and nanotechnology.

Rice University
Craig Hartley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Craig Hartley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In 2019, Rice received $156 million in sponsored research funding. They also have a close relationship with N.A.S.A.

Georgetown University

Immediately, prospective students to Georgetown University should note the school’s 94% graduation rate, 220 programs available, and admits 17% of its applicants.

Georgetown University
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

Georgetown is home to the Hoyas, their N.C.A.A. men’s and women’s sports teams. Its flagship building, Healy Hall, has been declared a National Historic Landmark in the U.S.

John Hopkins University

John Hopkins University is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the U.S. and the world. The school was named after philanthropist John Hopkins who donated $7 million to establish it in 1876.

Johns Hopkins University
JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images
JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images

The private research college is credited with its contributions to surgical innovations and water purification.

University of Virgina

Ranked among the best academic institutions in the entire U.S., the University of Virginia is also one of the oldest, established in 1819.

University of Virginia
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Its campus displays Jeffersonian architecture that has become the college’s trademark. Former U.S. presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe served as its original governing Board of Visitors.

University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina is among the few public colleges that have such a prestigious reputation that they have been labelled a public version of an Ivy League school.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Virginia at North Carolina
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UNC-Chapel Hill has 74 bachelor degree programs in areas of study like political science, biology, and psychology to offer students.

University of Washington, Seattle

The University of Washington, Seattle, is nestled in the heart of Seattle. It is predominantly known for its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs.

University of Washington, Seattle
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

The school is one of the oldest colleges on the West Coast of the United States. It was established back on November 4, 1861.

University of Chicago

Among the features to attract potential students and endear the University of Chicago to parents is its 96% graduation rate. The college is located in Illinois and has 232 programs available to be studied.

University of Chicago
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The University of Chicago has a 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, and they offer internships and research opportunities.

University of Southern California

The University of California’s most attractive feature is location, location, and location. USC is in the ideal spot near downtown.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Fresno State at USC
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Within 23 distinct schools, engineering, business, communications, and performing arts students are encouraged to pursue a combination of disciplines. USC is the oldest private research university in California.

Swarthmore College

What Swarthmore College lacks in the size of its campus, it makes up for it with a 97% graduation rate. Located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Swarthmore is known for its elite liberal arts programs.

Swarthmore College
GHI/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
GHI/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Established back in 1864, Swarthmore College is one of the country’s first coeducational colleges.