25 Best Colleges of 2011

flagIt’s what we’ve all be waiting for: the Forbes list of the best public and private colleges in the U.S.

The list was compiled with research from the Center for College Affordability & Productivity and takes into account the students’ point of view on what they want out of an education. The list is based on the quality of the education the schools provide, the experiences of the students and how much they achieve.

So low and behold, the 25 best colleges of 2011:

1. Williams College
Quick fact: Williams college has a 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

2. Princeton University
Quick fact: Princeton is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution.

3. Amherst College
Quick fact: Amherst was classified “most selective” by U.S. News and World Report in their Best Colleges 2010 report.

4. United State Military Academy
Quick fact: The student body, or Corps of Cadets, numbers 4,400 and each year approximately 1000 cadets join the Long Gray Line as they graduate and are commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Quick fact: In the past 60 years, MIT’s educational disciplines have expanded beyond the physical sciences and engineering into fields like biology, cognitive science, economics, philosophy, linguistics, political science, and management.

6. Stanford University
Quick fact:  The university’s assets include a US$12.6 billion endowment, the third largest of any academic institution.

7. Swarthmore College
Quick fact: The school was founded in 1864 by a committee of Quakers who were members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting and Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

8. Harvard University
Quick fact: Harvard has the largest financial endowment of any school in the world, standing at $26 billion as of September 2009.

9. Claremont McKenna College
Quick fact: Many of its first students were war veterans attending college on the G.I. Bill.

10. Yale University
Quick fact: Yale has produced many notable alumni, including five U.S. presidents.

11. United States Air Force Academy
Quick fact: It is the youngest of the five United States service academies, having graduated its first class in 1959.

12. Wellesley College
Quick fact:  Wellesley College is a women’s liberal-arts college, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, that opened in 1875.

13. Columbia University
Quick fact: It was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain, and is one of only three United States universities to have been founded under such authority.

14. Haverford College
Quick fact: It is the oldest college or university in the United States with Quaker origins.

15. Wesleyan University
Quick fact: Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that both emphasizes the provision of undergraduate instruction in the arts and sciences and also funds graduate research in many academic disciplines, granting PhD degrees primarily in the sciences and mathematics, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

16. Whitman College
Quick fact: Whitman is located in Walla Walla, Washington…which is kinda a neat name. 

17. Pomona College
Quick fact: Although located in California, the founders of Pomona wanted to create a college in the same mold as small New England institutions.

18. Northwestern University
Quick fact: Northwestern is a founding member and remains the sole private institution in the Big Ten Conference.

19. California Institute of Technology
Quick fact: Caltech has six academic divisions with a strong emphasis on sciences and engineering.

20. University of Chicago
Quick fact: It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890.

21. Carleton College
Quick fact: The popular early computer game The Oregon Trail was created, and later further developed, by students at Carleton in 1971.

22. Harvey Mudd College
Quick fact: Harvey Mudd shares university resources such as libraries, dining halls, health services, and campus security, with the other institutions in the Claremont Colleges, including Pitzer College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, and Pomona College, but each college is independently managed by its own faculty, board of trustees, and college endowment and has its own separate admissions process.

23. Vassar College
Quick fact: Founded as a women’s college in 1861, it became coeducational in 1969.

24. Centre College
Quick fact: The campus is currently changing with some frequency: a new student residence, Pearl Hall, was completed in 2008; a new campus center opened in October 2009; and construction for a new science wing on Young Hall will be completed in 2010.

25. Rice College
Quick fact: The story of how Rice College was founded is laced with a murder. But there shouldn’t be any ghosts on campus…

Do these surprise you? What college is missing from this list? Leave a comment below!

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  1. Sara says:

    I think Texas Tech University is better than all of those 🙂

  2. Bryan says:

    Hey Sara, good joke… haha

  3. Aj says:

    Norwich University is an amazing experience that should be evaluated on these lists.

  4. Sterling Jim Feeser says:

    I truly believe Emory University/Oxford College of Emory University should be on this list. The University is far more superior than several of the schools of higher education found in your report.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Yea sure the IVY LEAGUE schools are the most affordable. Nice one. Haha. Wonder how they came up with that in their research. On the other hand, I think that (not just because it’s my college {ok well maybe}) the University of Alabama in Huntsville is of course the GREATEST because (a) it’s more affordable than the IVY LEAGUE no question and (b) it is productivly teaching highly praised programs that even professionals in our area can recommend.

  6. Raminta says:

    Bryn Mawr College should rank among these. The Bryn Mawr experience should be similar to (if not better than) those at Swarthmore and Haverford, as they all overlap. Like Wellesley, Bryn Mawr is still a women’s college, a quality which Vassar has lost.

  7. Jess says:

    This list has nothing to do with affordability. The list is based on the quality of the education the schools provide, the experiences of the students and how much they achieve. As it says if you had bothered to actually read the article rather than just the list. I obviously would not choose your college since you are unable to spell productively. Also, just because you type certain words on ALL CAPITALS it does not mean your perspective is accurate.

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