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Just Released: The Top 10 Best National Universities in 2023 According to US News

13 SEPT 2022

The US News & World Report recently released its rankings for the new year. The Covid pandemic has significantly affected college rankings for the past two years, and similar trends continue into the next year.


There was not too much change in the rankings this year compared to the previous year, and many universities maintained their ranks in the top 10. However, two names were missing from the Top 10 this year - Columbia University and Northwestern have dropped out the top 10.

For 2023, Princeton University ranked number 1 among all national universities in the United States. US News defines national universities as those that offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s and Ph.D. programs.

U.S. News Top 10 Best National Universities
UniversityRank 2023Rank 2022General Acceptance RateCrimson Student Acceptance Rate
Princeton University115.8%10%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology22*4%8%
Harvard University32*2.4%16%
Stanford University46*3.8%13%
Yale University554.6%13%
University of Chicago66*4.5%32%
Johns Hopkins University79*6%32%
University of Pennsylvania 885.7%23%
California Institute of Technology99*~5%15%
Duke University109*5.8%39%
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What’s New this Year?

A new addition this year is a section on “Academic Programs to Look For.” This ranks schools with outstanding examples of eight academic programs believed to lead to student success. US News asked college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students, and deans of admissions from more than 1,500 schools to nominate up to 15 institutions with examples of each program type. Colleges and universities that received ten or more nominations are included in these lists in numerical rank order based on the ratings they received in that program.

Program types are as follows:

  • First-Year Experiences
  • Co-ops/Internships
  • Learning Communities
  • Senior Capstone
  • Service Learning
  • Study Abroad
  • Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects
  • Writing in the Disciplines

Controversies surrounding rankings

Perhaps the biggest news this year with the university ranking was the controversy surrounding Columbia University’s 2nd position in the list. One of Columbia’s own Maths professors, Michael Thaddeus, revealed that the university was submitting inaccurate data to US News to raise its ranking on the list.

Thaddeus conducted an in-depth study into the data used by US News. He showed that the information Columbia provided for class size, full-time faculty, student-faculty ratio, financial resources, and graduation rates were incorrect. Following the revelations, Columbia’s ranking dropped from number 2 to number 18 on the list.

This news comes at a time when higher education institutions in the United States are scrutinized for various reasons. Rankings might not matter to many students, but they are the primary way many compare institutions based on multiple factors. Some experts claim that higher rankings can help universities gain financial resources. It will be interesting to see whether US News changes data parameters next year to account for the incident with Columbia.

How is the data collected?

Most of the data for these lists come directly from the colleges, with the remaining data coming from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Once all the data is received, it’s cross-referenced with U.S. News’ data collection and previous year’s submissions. Respondents are required to review, verify, and often revise any flagged statistical outliers. In all cases, U.S. News strives to be fair and unbiased.

How do the U.S. News rankings help you?

U.S. News is one of the best overall ranking systems for U.S. universities because it focuses on SAT scores, Pell Grant graduation rates, and other standard datasets and metrics unique to the U.S. education system.

In addition to ranking colleges, these lists also provide helpful information about colleges, including tuition fees, undergraduate enrollment, academics, student life, and more! These lists are a great start when researching colleges and universities and planning your future after high school graduation.

While these rankings are helpful, they don’t cover everything, so diving deeper into the colleges that best fit your criteria is essential.

Just because a university ranks in the top 10 list doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for you. At Crimson, we are dedicated to helping you find your best-fit university by learning about your interests, evaluating your test scores and grades, helping you determine a career path, and introducing you to the various college campus environments.

To get started, check out Crimson’s university profiles on some of the top U.S. universities, or try our U.S. Admissions Calculator to generate a list of recommended colleges that best fit you. Speak to one of our expert admissions advisors if you’d like to learn more about our admissions support program.

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