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Just Released: The Top 10 Best National Universities in 2022 According to U.S. News

SEP 13, 2021

U.S. News just released its 2022 Best College Rankings, and Princeton continues its 11-year reign as the best college in the nation.

While the top 10 national colleges remain relatively the same each year, U.S. News added a few new lists this year due to the aftereffects of the pandemic and rising interest in healthcare education.

Uncertain times also meant uncertainty about college. This was reflected in the statistical information from some universities. Families and students re-evaluated their educational options this year, with some choosing to delay college admission and others choosing universities with lower tuition costs. But even with the uncertainty, the lists still prove a college education pays off in the end.

U.S. News Top 10 Best National Universities 2022
RankUniversityGeneral Acceptance RateCrimson Student Acceptance Rate
1Princeton University5.8%10%
2*Columbia University3.7%21%
2*Harvard University2.4%16%
2*Massachusetts Institute of Technology4%8%
5Yale University4.6%13%
6*Stanford University3.8%13%
6*University of Chicago4.5%32%
8University of Pennsylvania 5.7%23%
9*California Institute of Technology~5%15%
9*Duke University5.8%39%
9*Johns Hopkins University6%32%
9*Northwestern University6.8%22%

For the 2022 rankings, U.S. News collected college data in the spring and summer of 2021. With an overall score of 100, Princeton University claimed the top spot in the 37th edition of this prestigious list, followed by a tie between Columbia and Harvard.


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What’s new this year?

The U.S. News rankings weren’t immune to the ripple effects of the pandemic. Due to the limited access to testing sites, most schools eliminated the SAT and ACT scoring from their admissions requirements during the height of the pandemic. Once testing sites were available again, many colleges opted to permanently eliminate SAT and ACT scores from their admissions requirements. For the first time, U.S. News included a new list of top test-blind schools. These are schools that do not factor the SAT or ACT into their admissions decisions.

Another new list this year is the undergraduate nursing program rankings. Enrollment in nursing-related fields continues to rise, and this list reflects 694 nursing programs in its rankings. This year’s ratings came from deans and senior faculty of nursing programs that offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

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, the 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 place to 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 are the best fit for 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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