What’s the Top List of Top Colleges?

What’s the Top List of Top Colleges?


‘Tis the season for college ranking roundups, as senior year of high school begins and the Common App introduces a whole new level of tension between 17-year-olds and their parents.

So how can students choose one Definitive List of Best Colleges, anyway? What are these lists, and why give them any weight? Who gets to make them up?

Well, we decided on an answer to the last question, at least: We do. Here are the applicants for Top List of Top Colleges 2014, with their top three picks. (Teaser: There’s a surprising overlap between U.S. News and World Reports, America’s 25 Douchiest Colleges, and EdSurge alma maters...)

From the veritable blue-blooded trust fund legacy of college rankings, U.S. News and World Reports:

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Yale University

From Time’s “Money’s Best Colleges,” shrewdly evaluating which university is most likely to guarantee the big bucks after graduation:

  1. Babson College
  2. Webb Institute
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The New York TimesCollege Access Index, based on freshmen receiving a Pell Grant (a need-based grant to low-income students):

  1. Vassar College
  2. Grinnell College
  3. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

The popularity contest of Parchment's Student Choice College Rankings, showing where students choose to enroll when admitted to multiple colleges:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Harvard University

A list of America’s Worst Colleges--as Washington Monthly extrapolates from Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, “While good schools are basically all alike, every crappy school is crappy in its own way”:

  1. Shimer College
  2. Southern Vermont College
  3. Becker College

GQ’s reputable America’s 25 Douchiest Colleges, with eerie similarities to the top 25 picks from U.S. News and World Reports:

  1. Brown University
  2. Duke University
  3. Princeton University

And the list to top all lists... Colleges statistically most likely to get you hired at EdSurge:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Yale University
  3. toss-up between Georgetown University, UC Irvine, Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, Dartmouth College, Boston College, Northwestern University, UC Boulder, University of Virginia, University of Washington, UC San Diego, Santa Clara University, UC Berkeley, Temple University, Coursera, ABC Bartending and Harvard University
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