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Which are the top 10 universities in the United States?

For those who attend a top university, attaining the right degree and forming networks can set you on a career path to success and financial stability.

Top 10 universities in the United States
Lexington Herald-LeaderGetty

Choosing where you want to attend college can be a daunting task, and depending on the school you decide on the competition to get in can be fierce. Acceptance rates at top universities can be extremely low, many of the most selective report accepting less than one in ten of candidates that apply.

Then there is the question of tuition, prestige and reputation comes with a hefty price tag. The benefits can pay off after graduation though with networks built over the course of ones university career and ongoing help from the institution to advance a professional’s career long after graduation.

It’s no wonder then that those that attend Ivy League school graduates report higher earnings than their peers that attended other schools. The median Ivy League grad makes over twice what graduates of all other schools do ten years after starting university. The top ten percent of earners that graduated from an Ivy League school can make in excess of triple that of their counter parts at other institutions of higher education.

The top 10 universities in the United States

For the 2021-2022 school year, US News created their 37th edition of the Best National University Rankings. It looks at 1,466 higher education institutions that grant US bachelor’s degrees. Prospective university students and their families can use comparisons to create a shortlist of possible colleges examining the 17 measures of academic quality assessed.

RankSchoolTuition and Fees
#1Princeton University$56,010
#2Columbia University $63,530
#2Harvard University $55,587
#2Massachusetts Institute of Technology$55,878
#5Yale University $59,950
#6Stanford University $56,169
#6University of Chicago $60,963
#8University of Pennsylvania$61,710
#9California Institute of Technology $58,680
#9Duke University $60,489
#9Johns Hopkins University$58,720
#9Northwestern University $60,984

All of the schools in the top ten will cost a student annually between less than $56,000 to attend Harvard University to over $63,000 at Columbia University. In order to cover the cost students without sufficient financial means will need to consider taking out student loans.

The upside is that highly selective universities also have very high graduation rates, only the California Institute of Technology was below 90 percent, the majority were above 95 percent. Graduation rates have ticked up over the years to reach 60 percent of bachelor’s degree seekers nationwide. The average for those that finish in four years is 41 percent nationally, but generally at least twice that at the top schools.

The acceptance rate was the lowest at Stanford University in 2020 sending an admission invitation to just 4.34 percent of the 47,498 applicants. All of the top ten schools accepted less than 10 percent of applicants.


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