America's Top Colleges

America's Top Colleges
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America's Top Colleges

The best years of life are also among the most expensive. Choose with care.

Our annual ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions focuses on the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, graduation rates and low levels of debt. Unlike other lists, we pointedly ignore ephemeral measures such as school "reputation" and ill-conceived metrics that reward wasteful spending. We try and evaluate the college purchase as a consumer would: Is it worth spending as much as a quarter of a million dollars for this degree? The rankings are prepared exclusively for Forbes by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a Washington, D.C. think tank founded by Ohio University economist Richard Vedder.

Total Cost: $54,921

Student Population: 2141

SAT Range: 1310-1530

% of applicants admitted: 20%

For more on Williams

Total Cost: $52,715

Student Population: 7592

SAT Range: 1400-1580

Percent Admitted: 10%

For more on Princeton

Total Cost: Free

Student Population: 4621

SAT Range: 1140-1350

Percent Admitted: 14%

For more on United States Military Academy

Total Cost: $54,322

Student Population: 1744

SAT Range: 1340-1540

Percent Admitted 16%

For more on Amherst

Total Cost: $55,918

Student Population: 18498

SAT Range: 1360-1550

Percent Admitted: 8%

For more on Stanford

Total Cost: $53,950

Student Population: 27651

SAT Range: 1390-1590

Percent Admitted 7%

For more on Harvard

Total Cost: $55,632

Student Population: 1190

SAT Range: 1300-1490

Percent Admitted 25%

For more on Haverford

Total Cost: $57,590

Student Population: 15094

SAT Range: 1400-1560

Percent Admitted 27%

For more on University of Chicago

Total Cost: $53,210

Student Population: 10384

SAT Range: 1410-1560

Percent Admitted 11%

For more on MIT

Total Cost: Free

Student Population: 4620

SAT Range: 1230-1380

Percent Admitted 17%

For more on United States Air Force Academy