U.S. News Announces Best College Ratings for 2012

U.S. News Announces Best College Ratings for 2012
  • Opening Intro -

    The annual “best colleges” edition is out, a feature of U.S. News & World Report.

    Now in its 30th year, the annual report continues to shine the spotlight on the best colleges and universities in America that award undergraduate degrees.


How does your school rate?

As is customary, “Best Colleges 2012” is designed to provide information that easy to read, what its authors hope will help readers make qualified decisions on where to attend college.

Top Categories

Best Colleges 2012 offers a variety of ranking lists to cover popular categories including national university rankings, liberal arts colleges rankings, best value schools, regional colleges and universities and more.

Among national universities, U.S. News had Harvard and Princeton tied for top honors followed by Yale. Among liberal arts colleges, Williams College, Amherst College and Swarthmore College took the top three spots.

Best Values

The “Best Values” list should garner the attention of cash strapped families, but be warned: the list is dominated by pricey institutions. However, it includes those schools that are quite generous with student aid. Harvard, Yale and Princeton top the list, three Ivy League colleges where tuition, room and board, and related expenses top $50,000 per year. Most students, however, receive aid with 70 percent knocked off the sticker price on average. Suddenly, that $50,000 per year price tag is now $15,000, well within the range of many families or covered by student loans.

One of the really fun lists is U.S. News’ “up-and-coming schools” feature, now in its fourth year. This list looks at colleges that usually don’t chart high on “best of” lists, but are worthy of consideration. Best Colleges looks at four categories of schools: national universities, liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional colleges.

National Universities

Among national universities, the University of Maryland — Baltimore County was tops followed by George Mason University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Clemson, the University of Central Florida, Azusa Pacific and Biola University also made the list.

For regional schools, Best Colleges divides the country into four sections. For example, Anderson University and High Point University were tops in the south. Other sections included north, west and midwest sections of the country.

Worth It?

So, is college still worth it given that the cost of most schools, even with discounts will cost you a hefty amount of money?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics it is, as the median annual income of workers who hold a bachelor’s degree is now almost $20,000 more than those who hold only a high school diploma. Over a 40-year working life, that’s a difference of more than $800,000 – many times the amount you’re likely to pay for school! In some fields including medical and engineering, the salary benefits are far greater.

You can find the U.S.News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2012 edition by visiting  http://www.usnews.com/education.


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