Learn More: U.S. News Best-College Ranking

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For the first time since 1996, Harvard University rose to the top of the U.S. News & World Report's best-college ranking. Princeton University ranked second this year, after holding the top spot for three years.

The U.S. News rankings are based on student test scores, selectivity, graduate employment and other factors. You can see all of U.S. News' rankings here, or check out the abridged list of best national universities below. Please note that many schools tied for rankings (such as MIT and Stanford for the No. 4 spot), and the ranking numbers reflect that.

1. Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
2. Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)
3. Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.)
4. Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
6. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, Calif.)
6. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Penn.)
8. Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)
8. Duke University (Durham, N.C.)
8. University of Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
11. Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.)
12. Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)
12. Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.)
14. Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)
15. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.)
16. Brown University (Providence, R.I.)
17. Rice University (Houston, Texas)
18. Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.)
18. University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)
18. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.)
21. University of California-Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
22. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Penn.)
23. Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)
23. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)
25. University of California-Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.)
26. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
27. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)
28. Tufts University (Medford, Mass.)
28. Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
30. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
31. Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.)
32. College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Va.)
33. New York University (New York, N.Y.)
34. Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
35. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Ga.)
35. Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Penn.)
35. University of California-San Diego (La Jolla, Calif.)
35. University of Rochester (Rochester, N.Y.)
35. University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wis.)
40. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, Ill.)
41. Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)
41. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
41. University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
44. University of California-Davis (Davis, Calif.)
44. University of California-Irvine (Irvine, Calif.)
44. University of California-Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
47. Pennsylvania State University-University Park (University Park, Penn.)
47. University of Texas-Austin (Austin, Texas)
49. University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.)
50. Yeshiva University (New York, N.Y.)