Forbes College Rankings 2012 Announced: Princeton University Tops the List

Forbes College Rankings 2012

The time has come once again for Forbes to announce their top 100 best colleges in the United States list. A college in Massachusetts which has claimed the best college label for the past two years has been dethroned by would you guess it… an Ivy League University.  The Top-Ten were once again dominated by the Ivy League schools as they managed to get Princeton, Yale, and Harvard into the top ten. Here is the list of the Top-Ten best colleges in America, along with a few notable schools’ that cracked the top 100.

Coming in at the top spot and claiming the title as best college in America is Princeton University. The University is based in New Jersey with a student enrollment of just under 8,000 students, but you will definitely want to get a scholarship to this University as tuition is currently at $54,000 a year. The University only accepts 8 percent of its applicants, while 46 percent of their graduates in 2006 went onto work on Wall Street. Notable Alumni include first lady Michelle Obama, Billionaire Jeff Bezos, and Forbes Editor-In-Chief Steve Forbes just to name a few.

In the number two spot is Williams College in Massachusetts who claimed the top spot the previous two years. This private college is a small school with just over 2,000 students; their tuition is anything but small as it is the 5th most expensive College in the Top-Ten with an annual cost of $57,000. This school has an outstanding 91 percent graduation rate and they were actually the first college to ever wear a cap and gown during its graduation ceremony way back in 1887. Notable alumni include Billionaires Robert Rich Jr., Steve Case, and Herbert Allen Jr.

The third spot belongs to another private school, but the first Division I-A Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. This University ranks second among research Universities and has a student body of 20,000 students; but the University only admits 7 percent of its applicants. Stanford follows the trend of pricey top University as their annual tuition is just a little under $58,000. Previous Stanford graduates may have made Stanford one of the most successful colleges where their graduates have made a huge impact on society. Some of Stanford most successful graduates have made their mark in Silicon Valley as they founded Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard. Notable Alumni include sports greats Tiger Woods, John Elway, and John McEnroe.

Coming in at number four is the most expensive University, College in the nation and the best school in the Midwest.. the University of Chicago. This University is not the biggest University in Illinois, but it is the best one by far. To afford to go to this University you are looking at around $60,000 a year wow!, the school has a student body of 15,000 and 86 percent graduation rate. Notable Alumni include Billionaires David Rockefeller Sr., Larry Ellison, and David Rubenstein.

Rounding out the top-5 is one of the nation’s most prestigious Universities.. Yale. The New Haven, CT School is a little bigger than their rival Princeton, but much smaller than Harvard. Yale has a total student population of 12,000 students. The tuition is up there for most expensive as it is the third most expensive school in the nation costing $58,000 a year. Only 8 percent of applicants are admitted into Yale, with a remarkable 89 percent graduation rate. Yale may be the most “Presidential” University ever, as five United States presidents are Yale Alumni. They include both President Bush’s, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, and William Howard Taft. Hillary Clinton was also a Yale Alumni.

The sixth best college in America comes from Massachusetts which already has the second best college. The third Ivy League school to grace the top-ten is no other than Harvard, with a student body of a little over 27,000 it is the biggest among Ivy League schools. An annual tuition at Harvard currently will run a person $56,000. Six percent of applicants are admitted into Harvard and the school has an 87 percent graduation rate, while also boasting 47 noble prize winners. Notable Alumni include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Michelle Obama (Yes Michelle attended both Yale, and Harvard).

Making the list at the seventh spot is the United States Military Academy which is based in West Point, New York. An interesting thing about the military academy is that there is no tuition for the 4,500+ students that make up the academy. This academy is a very tough place to get admitted into, last year alone close to 14,00 applicants applied for admission and only a little over 1,000 were admitted.

For the eighth spot we stay in New York and go to New York, NY where Columbia University in the city of New York is. This University with a student population of a little over 26,000 has a notable 85 percent graduation rate. The annual tuition of $59,000 ranks in the Top-five in the nation for most expensive schools. Columbia University also ranks as the fifth oldest University in the nation. President Barrack Obama actually transferred to Columbia University after attending Occidental College in California his sophomore year. Along with Obama Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt attended Columbia Law School.

The very small private college in California Pomona College cracks the Top-Ten making at ninth. Pomona only has an enrollment of 1,500 students, and has a 91 percent graduation rate, but its tuition is still pretty pricey at $55,000 a year.

To round out the Top-Ten we head to Pennsylvania where Swarthmore College is. Swarthmore and Pomona are almost identical when it comes to student body population and tuition as Swarthmore has 1,500 student with tuition costing close to $56,000.  One-Fifth of Swarthmore graduates go on to obtain a Ph.D.

Other notable school’s that cracked the Top-100 list this year include; University of Notre Dame(12) ,Brown University(19), Duke University(24), Vanderbilt University(33), United States Air Force Academy(35), Georgetown University(38), United States Naval Academy(43), UCLA(45), and University of North Carolina(47).

For a full list of the Top-100 list makes sure to check out FORBES.

Inside Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges List

Forbes Editor Michael Noer breaks down the methodology that went into the 2012 list.

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