The Best Colleges in the US

College costs are soaring, but here's who gives you best value for money

By Michael Noer, Zack O'Malley Greenburg
Published: Sep 10, 2012

College costs are soaring, but for students accepted by one of these top institutions, as ranked by educational outcomes, attending is a no-brainer.

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1. Princeton University
LOCATION: PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY
UNDERGRADUATES: 5,203
TOTAL COST: $53,934

FAST FACTS:
• In 1783, Princeton’s Nassau Hall served as the Capitol of the US for approximately 5 months
• Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr (’53) was the
third person to walk on the moon. He carried
a Princeton flag there on November 19, 1969
• Of those who were immediately employed,
16% of the class of 2006 took jobs on Wall Street; 4 years later only 12% did



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2. Williams College
LOCATION: WILLIAMSTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS
UNDERGRADUATES: 2,070
TOTAL COST: $57,141


FAST FACTS:
• The first college baseball game was played between Williams and Amherst in Pittsfield,
Massachusetts in 1859
• Billionaire alumni include Rich Products’ Robert Rich Jr (’63, $2.1 billion) and Tiger Global’s Chase
Coleman (’97, $1.1 billion)
• Williams has the second-highest 4-year graduation rate (91%) in the nation



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3. Stanford University
LOCATION: PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA
UNDERGRADUATES: 6,988
TOTAL COST: $57,755

FAST FACTS:
• In its 121-year history, Stanford has produced 107 Rhodes Scholars, 86 Marshall Award winners and
60 Truman Scholars
• Stanford graduates have founded some of Silicon
Valley’s most innovative companies: Google, Yahoo, Cisco and Sun Microsystems
• Sporty Stanford stars include Tiger Woods, John Elway (’83) and John McEnroe, although neither
Woods nor McEnroe took degrees



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4. University of Chicago
LOCATION: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
UNDERGRADUATES: 5,402
TOTAL COST: $59,950

FAST FACTS:
• Janet Davison Rowley (’44, MD ’48) discovered that cancer is a genetic disease in 1972; in 2012, the university named a new professorship in honour of her work
• Undergraduates call the University of Chicago “the  place where fun comes to die”
• In 2008, fund manager David Booth (’71) gave $300 million, the largest gift in the university’s history, to Chicago’s  business school, which was renamed the Booth School of Business
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5. Yale University
LOCATION: NEW HAVEN, CONNNECTICUT
UNDERGRADUATES: 5,349
COST: $58,250

FAST FACTS:
• In 1852 Yale’s crew team raced Harvard on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, the first intercollegiate athletic event in America
• Yale’s retention rate between freshman and sophomore years is 99%
• Five US Presidents were Yalies: both Bushes (’48, ’68), Clinton (’73, law), Ford (’41, law) and Taft (1878)

 


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6. Harvard University
LOCATION: CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
UNDERGRADUATES: 10,305
TOTAL COST: $56,000

FAST FACTS:
• In total, Harvard’s faculty and alumni have won 46 Nobel Prizes
• In 2011, it allowed Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for the first time in 42 years after Congress repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law
• Harvard’s endowment is $32 billion, or $1,168,224 per student


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7. United States Military Academy
LOCATION: WEST POINT, NEW YORK
UNDERGRADUATES: 4,624
TOTAL COST: $0


FAST FACTS:
• During the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold attempted to sell West Point to the British
• A limited number of foreign students can attend West Point, but their home governments must pay costs ranging up to $71,086 a year



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8. Columbia University
LOCATION: NEW YORK, NEW YORK
UNDERGRADUATES: 8,127
TOTAL COST: $59,208


FAST FACTS:
• Founded in 1754, Columbia is the fifth-oldest college in the country
• Barack Obama (’83) transferred to Columbia from Occidental College after his sophomore year
• Columbia has produced 9 Supreme Court justices


 

 

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9. Pomona College
LOCATION: CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA
UNDERGRADUATES: 1,586
TOTAL COST: $55,319


FAST FACTS:
• Ski-Beach Day is a unique tradition: Students spend the morning skiing at Mountain High resort, an hour away from campus, and then relax in the afternoon on Newport Beach
• Despite its high total cost, Pomona has the 11th-lowest student debt
• Pomona is part of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of 7 independent institutions situated on adjoining campuses


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10. Swarthmore College
LOCATION: SWARTHMORE, PENNSYLVANIA
UNDERGRADUATES: 1,545
TOTAL COST: $55,895

FAST FACTS:
• On a Sunday night before the beginning of the fall semester, the student body gathers to watch The Graduate to celebrate the start of a new year
• Students can take classes for credit at the University of Pennsylvania, 20 minutes away from campus
• One-fifth of Swarthmore graduates go on to earn PhDs



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(This article is excerpted from the latest Forbes India 14 September, 2012 issue which is now available at news stands and book stores. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com)

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