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US News & World Report Reveals Top Colleges for 2015

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U.S. News & World Report, now in its 81st year, is especially known  for its influential ranking and annual reports of colleges and graduate schools, covering the fields of business, law, medicine, engineering, education, social sciences and public affairs, among many others.

For that reason, when the time comes around  for aspiring  students as well as their  parents to evaluate their options for the coming year,   the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings are among the first list of options to be pondered over.

The magazine recently  released their 30th edition of Best Colleges rankings, which for the second year in a row, showed  Princeton University, a private “ Ivy League” University situated in the Garden State of New Jersey  claims top spot in the Best National Universities category for the second year in succession.  Williams College topped  the list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, for the twelfth successive year, while the University of California—Berkeley successfully held  onto its  top spot as the Top Public School among the nation’s universities.

Overall the 2015 edition of Best Colleges included data on nearly 1, 800 schools spread throughout the country, with schools being ranked eligible according to 16 levels  of academic excellence.  Understandably measures, such as graduation and retention rates, make up  for 30 percent of the rankings and are the most significant factors in establishing the ratings

For the first time in its thirty year history, U.S. News & World Report has published details of campus crime and security information  as part of their Best Colleges ratings,   driven by information reported by schools to the U.S. Department of Education with a view  to make the facts more readily  accessible to parents and students. Known as  Clery Act data, these facts are  mandatorily required by  most colleges to be reported to the relevant authorities  annually,  and will include criminal offenses on campus and in off-campus properties used by students

Other features included in the report, designed to help families better understand the cost of a college degree, the 2015 edition of Best Colleges also  includes a number of facts that could prove invaluable for students and parents paying for college resources and tools. The Best Value Schools rankings weigh academic excellence and affordability. Harvard University and Amherst College claim the top spots again this year. U.S. News also compiled a list of schools whose students graduated with the heaviest and lightest debt loads.

“How to plan and pay for college is a challenge parents around the country face each year, ” said Anita Narayan, education editor for the publication. “Our r college resources and tips are designed to help families more easily navigate this complex process, from saving for college and understanding financial aid options to paying off student loans.”

The 2015 edition of Best Colleges also features Web-exclusive rankings, including lists on Campus Ethnic Diversity, Economic Diversity at top-ranked schools and the Best Colleges for Veterans. There are updated rankings of the Best Undergraduate Business Programs and Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, for students seeking a specific career path.

Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

1. Princeton University (NJ)

1. Williams College (MA)

2. Harvard University (MA)

2. Amherst College (MA)

3. Yale University (CT)

3. Swarthmore College (PA)

4. Columbia University (NY)

4. Wellesley College (MA)

4. Stanford University (CA)

5. Bowdoin College (ME)

4. University of Chicago (IL)

5. Pomona College (CA)

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

7. Middlebury College (VT)

8. Duke University (NC)

8. Carleton College (MN)

8. University of Pennsylvania

8. Claremont McKenna College (CA)

10. California Institute of Technology

8. Haverford College (PA)

Best Public Schools

1. University of California–Berkeley

1. United States Naval Academy (MD)

2. University of California–Los Angeles

2. United States Military Academy (NY)

2. University of Virginia

3. United States Air Force Academy (CO)

4. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

4. Virginia Military Institute

5. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

5. New College of Florida

Best Value Schools

1. Harvard University (MA)

1. Amherst College (MA)

2. Princeton University (NJ)

2. Williams College (MA)

3. Yale University (CT)

3. Pomona College (CA)

4. Stanford University (CA)

4. Wellesley College (MA)

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5. Soka University of America (CA)

For the full list of rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/colleges

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