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These are the top colleges and top ‘value schools,’ according to US News & World Report’s latest rankings

MIT ranked No. 6 among the “best value” schools in New England, according to US News & World Report.Christopher Harting

Five institutions of higher learning in Massachusetts were named among the 50 best universities in the country, according to the latest college rankings from US News & World Report.

Princeton ranked No. 1 overall among the nation’s top colleges, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at No. 2 and Harvard University at No. 3, according to the annual list. Other highly ranked institutions in Massachusetts included Boston College at No. 39, Tufts University at No. 40, and Boston University at No. 43.

US News & World Report looked at approximately 1,500 colleges and universities and evaluated them on 19 measures of academic quality — this year changing its methodology to put more emphasis on social mobility and the outcomes of graduating students.


US News said more than 50 percent of an institution’s rank now comprises “varying outcome measures related to success in enrolling and graduating students from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success.”

In addition to those changes, five factors — class size, faculty with terminal degrees, alumni giving, high school class standing, and the proportion of graduates who borrow federal loans — were removed from the criteria.

The publication’s rankings — of high schools, colleges, and medical and law schools — receive widespread attention every year, but they have come under increased scrutiny amid concerns about inequities in education and the methodologies used to rank schools. Many of the country’s top medical and law schools have chosen to boycott the list.

In terms of the best liberal arts colleges in the country, Williams College in Williamstown ranked No. 1 this year. Amherst College was ranked No. 2, and Wellesley College was in a three-way tie for fourth place, along with Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and Pomona College in California.


Among the “best value” schools in New England, Harvard University came in first place, followed by Yale University in third place. MIT ranked No. 6, and Dartmouth College came in at No. 8, while Brown University ranked No. 11, and Boston University came in at No. 25.

Best value schools were ranked on academic quality and the net cost of attendance for an out-of-state student who received an average level of need-based financial aid. “The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” according to US News.

2024 Best National University Rankings (including ties)

1. Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)

3. Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)

4. Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)

5. Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)

6. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pa.)

7. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, Calif.)

8. Duke University (Durham, N.C.)

9. Brown University (Providence, R.I.)

9. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.)

9. Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)

12. Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)

12. University of Chicago

15. University of California, Berkeley

15. University of California, Los Angeles

17. Rice University (Houston, Texas)

18. Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.)

18. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.)

20. University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)

21. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

22. Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)

22. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

24. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

24. Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.)

24. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)

24. Washington University in St. Louis


28. University of California, Davis

1. Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.)

2. Amherst College (Amherst, Mass.)

3. US Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)

4. Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)

4. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pa.)

4. Wellesley College (Wellesley, Mass.)

7. US Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

8. US Military Academy at West Point (West Point, N.Y.)

9. Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine)

9. Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota)

11. Barnard College (New York, N.Y.)

11. Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, Calif.)

11. Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.)

11. Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa)

11. Wesleyan College (Middletown, Conn.)

16. Davidson College (Davidson, N.C.)

16. Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.)

16. Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, Calif.)

16. Smith College (Northampton, Mass.)

16. Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)

21. Colgate University (Hamilton, N.Y.)

21. Haverford College (Haverford, Pa.)

21. Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Va.)

24. Bates College (Lewiston, Maine)

25. Colby College (Waterville, Maine)

25. University of Richmond (Virginia)

1. Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)

2. Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)

3. Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)

4. Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)

5. Rice University (Houston, Texas)

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)

7. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.)

8. Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.)

9. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.)

10. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, Calif.)

11. Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)

12. University of Chicago

13. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pa.)

14. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

15. Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)

16. Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah)

17. Duke University (Durham, N.C.)


18. Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Mo.)

19. University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.)

20. Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)

21. Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.)

22. Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.)

23. University of Idaho (Moscow, Idaho)

24. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

25. Boston University

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.