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February 21, 2021 Releases Rankings of the Top Private Colleges & Universities in the U.S. for 2021

University Rankings

University Rankings, Caltech

Photo: California Institute of Technology Campus. Pasadena, CA. Image Credit: Michael Adams.

FORT WORTH, Texas, February 20, 2021 — Prospective college students face a tough decision: choose to attend a private college or a public one. The advantages of private colleges and universities include smaller student-to-teacher ratios, student-centered communities, and more intimate settings. But which private college to pick?

To address the needs of the more than 400,000 incoming private college students each fall, releases its ranking of the leading American private higher education institutions:

“Our ranking of private colleges and universities not only includes some of the most desirable schools in the country, but it also accounts for their influence worldwide,” says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of and professor of physics at Wake Forest University. “The schools featured in our ranking system stand out due to their influential faculty and alumni, and for their many unmatched accomplishments in academics.”

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost at private universities is nearly $43,000, compared to $20,000 at four-year public universities. However, about one in five students chooses a private, non-profit higher education over the public option.

“Many students prefer the smaller communities and specialized studies that private schools offer compared to their larger public counterparts, and they are willing to pay for that privilege,” adds Macosko.

Private colleges are independent, non-profit schools that receive their funding through endowment income and student tuition fees rather than public tax dollars. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public college, consider that private colleges are often smaller, offering more individualized experiences, including opportunities for dynamic classroom discussions, independent research, and one-on-one relationships with your instructors. said it had identified 755 private universities in the United States. This list is composed entirely of private universities and colleges that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. To be included in that list of the best private colleges and universities, a school needs to satisfy the following three conditions:

• 50 Best Private Colleges and Universities of 2021

  1. California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA
  2. Harvard University - Cambridge, MA
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, MA
  4. Stanford University - Stanford, CA
  5. University of Chicago - Chicago, IL
  6. Princeton University - Princeton, NJ
  7. Columbia University - New York, NY
  8. Yale University - New Haven, CT
  9. Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD
  10. Duke University - Durham, NC
  11. Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA
  12. Northwestern University - Evanston, IL
  13. Amherst College - Amherst, MA
  14. Rice University - Houston, TX
  15. Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
  16. Cornell University - Ithaca, NY
  17. Sarah Lawrence College - Bronxville, NY
  18. Reed College - Portland, OR
  19. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA
  20. Brown University - Providence, RI
  21. Barnard College - New York, NY
  22. Brandeis University - Waltham, MA
  23. Wesleyan University - Middletown, CT
  24. Vassar College - Poughkeepsie, NY
  25. Hampshire College - Amherst, MA
  26. Dartmouth College - Hanover, NH
  27. Georgetown University - Washington, DC
  28. Tufts University - Medford, MA
  29. Wellesley College - Wellesley, MA
  30. Williams College - Williamstown, MA
  31. Cooper Union - New York, NY
  32. Pomona College - Claremont, CA
  33. Oberlin College - Oberlin, OH
  34. Bryn Mawr College - Bryn Mawr, PA
  35. Yeshiva University - New York, NY
  36. New York University - New York, NY
  37. Bard College - Annandale-On-Hudson, NY
  38. Haverford College - Haverford, PA
  39. Washington University in St. Louis - Saint Louis, MO
  40. Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN
  41. George Washington University - Washington, DC
  42. The New School - New York, NY
  43. Claremont McKenna College - Claremont, CA
  44. Emory University - Atlanta, GA
  45. The Catholic University of America - Washington, DC
  46. University of Rochester - Rochester, NY
  47. Morehouse College- Atlanta, GA
  48. Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH
  49. Kenyon College - Gambier, OH
  50. University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

How does determine the best private colleges & universities?

“The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. It is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call Concentrated Influence. Concentrated influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.”

“Using concentrated influence allows small and mid-sized schools to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size,” explained.

Suppose you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree. In that case, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

“Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes,” elaborated.


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 10:55 PM | Link to this Post

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