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Princeton University campus
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/davedgdPrinceton University campus

What is the best college in the country?

Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Ever wonder what the best college in the country is? The U.S. News & World Report has the answer for you.

According to the media company, which published its annual best colleges in America ranking today, Princeton University is the top national university in the U.S. while Williams College in Massachusetts earns the top spot (for the 14th consecutive year!) on the best national liberal arts colleges list.

If considering a public school among national universities, pay close attention to the University of California—Berkeley, which is ranked number one for the 19th year while the United States Naval Academy in Maryland earns the top spot among public schools within national liberal arts colleges.

The study, which takes into account over 1,800 U.S.-based school, bases its rankings on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education—the most widely accepted and used classification system in higher education. The methodology considers 15 different categories, including graduation rates, retention rates, academic excellence and class size ("Research has shown that smaller classes foster a productive and positive learning environment," said chief data strategist at U.S. News Robert Morse).

Find the 2017 rankings below: 

National Universities
1. Princeton University (NJ)
2. Harvard University (MA)
3. University of Chicago (IL) (tie)
3. Yale University (CT) (tie)
5. Columbia University (NY) (tie)
5. Stanford University (CA) (tie)
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
8. Duke University (NC) (tie)
8. University of Pennsylvania (tie)
10. Johns Hopkins University (MD)

National Liberal Arts Colleges
1. Williams College (MA)
2. Amherst College (MA)
3. Wellesley College (MA)
4. Middlebury College (VT) (tie)
4. Swarthmore College (PA) (tie)
6. Bowdoin College (ME)
7. Carleton College (MN) (tie)
7. Pomona College (CA) (tie)
9. Claremont McKenna College (CA) (tie)
9. Davidson College (NC) (tie)

Top Public Schools: National Universities
1. University of California—Berkeley
2. University of California—Los Angeles (tie)
2. University of Virginia (tie)
4. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
5. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

Top Public Schools: National Liberal Arts Colleges
1. United States Naval Academy (MD)
2. United States Military Academy (NY)
3. United States Air Force Academy (CO)
4. Virginia Military Institute
5. New College of Florida

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