The reputation of the university you attend will precede you when you apply for jobs. The quality of education you receive will also affect how well you perform in any position you take. When you’re searching for the best university, you may need to think beyond your country’s current borders to elsewhere in the world. Attending a university overseas may be one of the smartest choices you make in life, and, if you’re fortunate enough to live close to a top university, the choice is even easier.
Although there are different lists of which universities are the best in the United States, these five have consistently made it to the top of those lists. The criteria used to measure what “best” means may vary between lists, and the points assigned to them are somewhat subjective, depending on which organization or person is doing the assigning of points. With that in mind, here are five of the U.S.’ best universities you should consider attending.
1.) The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
In 2018, the research firm Quacquarelli Symonds ranked MIT the top university in its list of the 39 best universities in the world. It earned 100 points out of 100. MIT has a student population of 11,376, according to the US News and World Report, which ranked the university the fifth best in the United States. Forbes has ranked it fourth in the U.S. Nearly 70 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. Some of the more popular majors include Engineering, Computer and information Sciences and Support Services, Mathematics and Statistics, Physical Sciences, and Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
The Fall 2016 acceptance rate was just 8 percent, so make sure your grades are up to snuff when you apply. If you’re worried about cost, know that 60 percent of full-time students get some kind of financial aid based on need. Tuition and fees were $49,892 in the 2017-2018 academic year, and room and board totaled $14,720. MIT’s four-year graduation rate is 84 percent.
2.) Harvard University
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard was created in 1636 and is the oldest university in the United States. It has grown from just nine students and one instructor to over 20,000 students, and over 360,000 alumni live in the U.S. and around the world. Harvard is number one on Forbes’ list of the best college in the United States, and it sits second in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. In the Quacquarelli Symonds rankings, Harvard holds the third place spot with 98.5 points.
The median starting salary of alumni is $66,500, and its Fall 2016 acceptance rate was 5 percent. Seventy-four percent of its classes have fewer than 20 students, and the four-year graduation rate is 86%. Over half of full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid, and the tuition and fees were $48,949 for the 2017-2018 school year. Room and board totaled $16,660.
3.) Stanford University
Stanford University in California is another of the U.S.’ best universities. It ranks second on the Quacquarelli Symonds list with 98.6 points, and it is third on Forbes’ list. The U.S. News and World Report ranks Stanford at number 5. Stanford has seven schools, and three of them are just graduate schools. Their graduate programs in education, engineering, law, medicine and business are highly-ranked.
The Fall 2016 acceptance rate was also just five percent, like Harvard. The total enrollment in 2018 was 16,914 students, and the tuition and fees totaled $49,617. Room and board costs $15,112. Forty-seven percent of full-time undergraduate students receive aid based on need. The median starting salary of alumni is $70,700. The four-year graduation rate is 75%.
4.) Yale University
Ranked second on Forbes’ list, Yale is known to be one of the top universities in the country. On the US News and World Report list, Yale ties with the University of Chicago for third place. The Quarcquarelli Symonds ranking places Yale in 15th place in the world with 89.6 points. Yale is not too much younger than Harvard, being founded in 1701. It has well-known drama and music programs. The university has highly-ranked law, management, medicine, art, and nursing schools. The forestry and environmental studies and divinity schools are also highly-rated. The percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students is 75.2.
The median alumni starting salary is $63,200, and its fall 2016 acceptance rate is six percent. The four-year graduation rate is higher Stanford at 86 percent. Total enrollment is 12,458, and half of full-time undergraduates receive financial aid based on need. Tuition and fees were $51,400 for the 2017-2018 academic year, and room and board cost $15,500.
Founded in 1746, Princeton is one of the oldest and most respected universities in the U.S. At number one on the US News and World Report list, it is located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is number two on Forbes’ list and number 13 and 90.9 points in the Quarcquarelli Symonds rankings of the best universities in the world. It is the home of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as well as the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The median starting salary of alumni is $68,400, and seven percent of applicants were accepted for the fall of 2016. Seventy-three percent of classes have fewer than 20 students, and 89% of students graduate within four years, making this the highest four-year graduation rate on this list. Total enrollment is 8,181, and sixty percent of full-time undergraduate student receive aid based on need to pay for the $47,140 for tuition and fees (as of the 2017-2018 academic year). Room and board cost $15,610.