US News and World Report ranks the best colleges for 2024 | College Connection

The highly anticipated Best Colleges rankings by U.S. News and World Report have been posted online, with the most elite schools retaining their rankings.

Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology held their places from the 2023 rankings as the No. 1 and No. 2 Best National Universities, respectively. Yale, which last year tied Harvard and Stanford for third place, slipped down to the No. 5 spot.

While colleges often discuss opting out of the rankings – by not providing U.S. News with the statistical data they request – most find that it’s in their best interest to participate.

In a recent New York Times article, the impact of the rankings was undeniable. “The rankings remain a front door, an easy way to reach and enchant possible applicants. And their reach goes beyond prospective students since proud alumni and donors track them, too,” the report said.

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In addition to ranking the Best National Universities, also listed are rankings for the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, Best Regional Universities, Best Regional Colleges, and Top 30 Public National Universities. Perhaps most helpful to students, who know what field they plan to pursue in college, are the rankings for Best Business Programs, Best Engineering Programs, Best Computer Science Programs, and Best Nursing Programs.

There are even “specialties” listed under each category. In addition to identifying Best Business Programs in general, which include such east coast schools as Penn State, University of Maryland, University of Connecticut, Rutgers, Villanova, Bentley, Fordham, Lehigh, Drexel and University of Delaware, students can identify colleges with highly ranked majors in a multitude of areas including Accounting, Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management and Marketing.

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Similar information is offered for specialties in Engineering Programs, including Biomedical, Civil, Chemical, Electrical, and Mechanical. Computer Science specialties are listed for Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Game Development, and other areas.

While some colleges may have a gripe with how their particular institution is ranked, the overall opinion is that, with more than 2,500 four-year institutions in the U.S., it’s important to stay on the radar of those immersed in the college application process.

Susan Alaimo is the founder & director of Collegebound Review, offering PSAT/SAT® preparation & private college advising by Ivy League educated instructors. Visit or call 908-369-5362.

This article originally appeared on US News & World Report Best Colleges 2024 rankings list