The 20 best colleges, according to Business Insider

Student well-being is among the most important factors

Business Insider released this week its annual list of the best colleges in the country, focusing on student outcomes and on-campus quality of life. 

This year, the publication used a new methodology for its rankings. According to Alex Morrell, Business Insider's lists and rankings editor, researchers gave less weight to reputation and selectivity. Instead, they focused more on "hard measures that demonstrate a school's efficacy," Morrell writes.

Researchers gave the greatest weight to each institution's four-year graduation rate and student employment outcomes. Other factors included:

  • Full-time retention rate;
  • Average annual cost (after accounting for scholarships and financial aid);
  • Average SAT score of incoming students; and
  • Admittance rate.

Business Insider also awarded points to institutions for their student-life experience. The publication partnered with school research company Niche to evaluate the community liveliness at each college and university. Niche's metrics included:

  • Campus quality;
  • Diversity;
  • Social scene;
  • Student retention;
  • Safety; and
  • Athletics.

After tallying up scores, Business Insider ranked the top 50 schools out of several thousand candidates. See their full list here, and see the top 20 institutions below:

1. Princeton University

2. Harvard University

3. Yale University

4. Stanford University

5. Vanderbilt University

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

7. University of Pennsylvania

8. Rice University

9. University of Virginia

10. Columbia University

11. Georgetown University

12. University of Michigan

13. University of Notre Dame

14. University of California, Berkeley

15. Cornell University

16. Duke University

17. Washington University in St. Louis

18. Colgate University

19. University of California, Los Angeles

20. Brown University

(Martin et al., Business Insider, 8/22; Morrell, Business Insider, 8/22). 

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