After leading the U.S. News & World Report Best National University Ranking in 2020, Princeton University has successfully retained its top standing for 2021. The list has familiar institutions at the top, even as there were changes brought about by the coronavirus.
“The pandemic has affected students across the country, canceling commencement ceremonies and switching classes from in person to remote,” said Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News.
“Whether students have slightly altered their college plans or changed them entirely, it remains our mission to continue providing students and their families with the tools they need to help find the right school for them.”
2021 Best Colleges Rankings
In the 36th edition of the education rankings, U.S. News assessed 1,452 bachelor’s degree-granting institutions on 17 measures of academic quality. This year, the publication added factors to their methodology.
Additional indicators pertaining to student debt, additional factors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the inclusion of test-blind schools seek to offer vital information for more sectors. This year, U.S. News also added an additional ranking of undergraduate computer science programs. All these changes were implemented in light of the pandemic.
— Johns Hopkins University (@JohnsHopkins) September 14, 2020
The national university rankings had the same top three with Princeton, followed by Harvard and Columbia. The top liberal arts colleges were led by Williams College, followed by Amherst College and Swarthmore College.
The University of California, Los Angeles was the top national university among public schools, followed by University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
The rankings are released to help college applicants to narrow down their higher education options.