US News names best colleges in America

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2017 Best Colleges rankings, and Princeton (N.J.) University came out on top among national universities for the sixth year in a row, according to The Washington Post.

U.S. News split its rankings into two categories: national universities and liberal arts colleges. National universities offer not only a full range of undergraduate majors, but also master's and PhD programs. Liberal arts colleges focus on undergraduate education and grant at least half of their degrees to liberal arts majors.

To calculate its rankings, U.S. News gathered data from each school on up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. The universities and colleges are weighed against each other and ranked based on their composite weighted score. Click here to read more about U.S. News' methodology.

Here are the top 20 national universities, according to U.S. News. The rankings total 20, although the list includes ties, which means there are more than 20 individual universities listed.

1. Princeton University
2. Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
3. University of Chicago
3. Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
5. Columbia University (New York City)
5. Stanford (Calif.) University
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)
8. Duke University (Durham, N.C.)
8. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
10. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.)
11. Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.)
12. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena)
12. Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)
14. Brown University (Providence, R.I.)
15. Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)
15. Rice University (Houston)
15. University of Notre Dame (Ind.)
15. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.)
19. Washington University in St. Louis
20. Emory University (Atlanta)
20. Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)
20. University of California–Berkeley (Calif.)

Here are the top 20 liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News. The rankings total 20, including ties.

1. Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.)
2. Amherst (Mass.) College
3. Wellesley (Mass.) College
4. Middlebury (Vt.) College
4. Swarthmore (Pa.) College
6. Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine)
7. Carleton College (Northfield, Minn.)
7. Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)
9. Claremont (Calif.) McKenna College
9. Davidson (N.C.) College
11. Washington and LeeUniversity (Lexington, Va.)
12. Colby College (Waterville, Maine)
12. Colgate University (Hamilton, N.Y.)
12. Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.)
12. Haverford (Pa.) College
12. Smith College (Northampton, Mass.)
12. United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)
12. Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
19. Grinnell (Iowa) College
19. United States Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.)

Click here to access the full rankings and view other rankings and lists.

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