These are the best colleges in the U.S. for 2017 — see if yours is on the list

When it comes to getting a college education, we all have different priorities, needs, and wants. Still, it can be really interesting to see what schools receive top rankings, especially year after year. That’s why so many people love checking out U.S. News‘ annual Best Colleges List. Because no matter where you went to school, you have to stop and wonder if your alumna mater made the list, right?

Luckily for us, U.S. News breaks up their ranking into several different categories of colleges, including: Top National Universities, Top Liberal Arts Colleges, Top National Public Universities, and Top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges. As Megan Friedman explains over at Seventeen, the individual rankings consider a variety of factors, including class size, retention rate, graduation rate, student to faculty ratio, and opinions from education experts. So, what are the top winners in each category? Let’s check them out below:

Top 10 National Universities

1. Princeton University

2. Harvard University

3. University of Chicago (tie)

3. Yale University (tie)

5. Columbia University (tie)

5. Stanford University (tie)

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

8. Duke University (tie)

8. University of Pennsylvania (tie)

10. Johns Hopkins University

Top 10 National Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Williams College

2. Amherst College

3. Wellesley College

4. Middlebury College (tie)

4. Swarthmore College (tie)

6. Bowdoin College

7. Carleton College (tie)

7. Pomona College (tie)

9. Claremont McKenna College (tie)

9. Davidson College (tie)

Top 5 National Public Universities:


1. University of California—Berkeley

2. University of California—Los Angeles (tie)

2. University of Virginia (tie)

4. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

5. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hil

Top 5 Public National Liberal Arts Colleges

1. United States Naval Academy

2. United States Military Academy

3. United States Air Force Academy

4. Virginia Military Institute

5. New College of Florida

Whether or not your school made the list, it’s always good to have pride in the place you got your education. For many of us, college is a time of great exploration, growth, and development, and regardless to what the rankings say, the best school for you is the one where you will learn and challenge yourself in a safe and healthy way. And what’s better than that?