Top 30 Best Colleges in U.S.

If you have the grades and resume, there is no reason to sell yourself short of going to an Ivy League school or one of the best colleges the U.S.

Though tuition is twice as expensive as some state colleges, most students at Ivy League schools and National Universities are able to get their tuition funded through scholarships offered by the school.

You might wonder how The U.S. News ranks which schools are considered the best. First, schools are categorized by their mission and eligibility for grant money. The quality of the institutions are based on factors such as freshman retention, graduation rates and the strength of the faculty.

These rankings may aid you in your college search, whether you are looking for a private school or public, if you have the what at it takes, do not be afraid to apply to big the best schools. Here are the 30 best colleges in the U.S. according to U.S. News.

#30 – University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

Located in Chapel Hill, NC, this public institution has a suburban setting and follows semester-based academic calendar. Tuition for in-state is estimated $7,694 and out-of-state tuition is $28,446 as of the 2012 – 2013 academic school year.

#29 – University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

This public institution was established in 1817 and is located in the city of Ann Arbor. The student to faculty ratio is 16:1 and the total enrollment is 27,407. This past year the in-state tuition was $13,437 and out-of-state was $39,109.

#28 – Tufts University

A private school in Medford, MA, with an enrollment of 5,194. Tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 academic year were estimated $44,665.

#27 – Wake Forest University

Located in the suburban town of Winston-Salem, NC, Wake Forest has an enrollment of 4,775. Most students live on campus. The college’s gender distribution is 48 percent male students and 52 percent female. Tuition and fees are estimated at $43,200.

#26 – University of Virginia

A public institution founded in 1819. They offer a Greek system, where 33 percent of the students are involved in a fraternity or sorority. Located in the suburban town of Charlottesville, VA, it’s tuition for out-of-state students for 2012 – 2013 was an estimated $38,018.

#25 – University of Southern California

With a competitive football team and located in the urban city of Los Angeles, USC is sure to diversify your education with studies in Letters, Arts and Sciences. The tuition and fees are $44,463.

#24 – University of California–Los Angeles

This public university is just five miles away from the ocean. Its enrollment is 27,199 and they offer more than 130 majors to undergraduate students. Out-of-state tuition and fees are estimated at $35,570.

#23 – Carnegie Mellon University 

A private school in Pittsburgh, founded by Andrew Carnegie. The school specializes in engineering, business, computer science and fine arts. The tuition and fees during the 2012-2013 school year were $45,124.

#22 – University of California–Berkeley

UC Berkeley overlooks the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, Calif. For in-state students tuition is $11,767 and out-of-state students tuition is $34,645.

#21 – Georgetown University

The oldest Catholic university in the country, it is located in Washington, D.C. The enrollment is 7,590 and tuition and fees are $42,870.

#20 – Emory University

Students have a choice os starting their education at Emory College, in Atlanta or at Oxford College, a smaller campus about 40 miles away. Emory University is a private school with tuition and fees of $42,980.

#19 – Vanderbilt University

A private university located in Nashville, TN. Vanderbilt is a high selective school with an enrollment of 6,817. Tuition and fees in the 2012-2013 academic year were $42,118.

#18 – University of Notre Dame

A private, independent, Catholic university in South Bend, IN. Their athletic teams are known as the Fighting Irish, they play in the NCAA Division I. The tuition for students this year was $42,971.

#17 – Rice University

Located in the Museum District of Houston, TX. It is a private institution that has a need-blind admission policy and is helpful for students who are accepted and need help paying tuition.

#16 – Cornell University

A private school in the rural town of Ithaca, N.Y. What started out as one of the first colleges for hotel administration and veterinary medicine, Cornell now offers a wide variety of undergraduate programs.

#15 – Brown University

A private, Ivy League school in Providence, R.I. They have 70 concentration programs and their Liberal Medical Education promises both an undergraduate and medical degree in just eight years.

#14 – Washington University in St. Louis

A quarter of the students are involved in Greek life and students can study architecture, arts, business and engineering. Located in the suburbs if St. Louis, MO, students payed tuition and fees of $43,707 during this past school year.

#13 – John Hopkins University 

Set in the urban city of Baltimore, MD, John Hopkins University is a private institution with an enrollment of 5,980 and tuition of $43,930.

#12 – Northwestern University

A private school in Evanston, Ill. Only 30 minutes from Chicago. Students have the option to design their own non-traditional degree program. The tuition for Northwestern is $43, 779 as of the 2012-2013 school year.

#11 – Dartmouth College

A private institution in Hanover, N.H., uses quarters not semester to divide the school year. Dartmouth is home to the nation’s oldest and largest collegiate club called the Outing Club which offers outdoor activities, expeditions gear rentals and courses. Tuition for Dartmouth is estimated at $45,042.

#10 – California Institute of Technology 

Focuses on sciences ad engineering, the student-to-faculty ratio is 3:1 which makes their enrollment only 978. It is private school located in Pasadena, Calif. The tuition is set at $39,588

#9 – University of Pennsylvania 

Founded by Benjamin Franklin, this university is a private institution located in Philadelphia. The tuition is $43,738 and the enrollment is 9,779.

#8 – Duke University

A private school located in Durham, N.C., known for their men’s basketball program. Duke has an enrollment of 6,680 and tuition of $43,623.

#7 – Stanford University 

Located 30 miles from San Francisco, the private institution gives students many opportunities to be involved with research projects. The cost for the 2012-2013 year was $41,787

#6 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Though it is know for its math, science and engineering programs, MIT also offers programs in humanities, architecture and management. The school is located in Cambridge, Mass., near downtown Boston.

#5 – University of Chicago

This private institution offers a big-city setting and is home to the largest scavenger hunt in the world. The tuition is $44,574 and enrollment is 5,388.

#4 – Columbia University

This Ivy League, private school offer students housing for all four years in campus. It also has three undergraduate schools. The enrollment is 6,027 and the tuition is estimates to be $47,246.

#3 – Yale University

Located in New Haven, CT, students are divided into 12 residential colleges. The enrollment is 5,349 and the estimated tuition is $42,300.

#2 – Princeton University 

Princeton was the first university to offer a “no loan” policy to financially needy students. Instead of loans students were offered grants to help pay for their tuition. The cost of Princeton’s tuition and fees this year was $38,650.

#1 – Harvard

You are probably not surprised that Harvard is number one. However, it is well deserved. This Ivy League is the oldest college in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world. Tuition and fees at Harvard are estimated to be $40,866

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Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing degrees in public relations, journalism and marketing. Besides being in class, Rachel can be found working at the campus newspaper, Central Michigan Life in the advertising department or watching re-runs of "Friends." She hopes to one day move to a big city and find her dream job. Rachel enjoys fashion, eating healthy (with the occasional bowl of ice cream), fitness, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
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