Top 10 Colleges in the US

Deciding on which college to attend is a big decision not only for your kids as students but also for you as their parents. Generally, it helps to start thinking about college earlier in a student’s academic career rather than later. To help you and your kids make the decision that best fits their interests and needs when it comes to choosing their institution of higher learning, start by checking out some of the schools, listed below. With deep histories and lists of renowned alumni, the following schools are noted as being in the top 10 colleges in the United States.

Top Colleges in the US
Top US Colleges
  1. Harvard University:
    Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Counting a long list of celebrated public figures amongst its alumni, including Pulitzer Prize Winners, Nobel Laureates, and various heads of state, history buffs would be excited to learn that Harvard University is the oldest college in the United States. The university has a long held rivalry with its fellow Ivy League university, Yale, which culminates in celebrations surrounding events such as the yearly Harvard- Yale Regatta and “The Game” which pits the school’s two footballs team against one another.
  2. Princeton University:
    Location: Princeton, New Jersey
    Originally known under the name “The College of New Jersey” in the city of Elizabeth New Jersey, Princeton University changed both its location and name by 1896 to become one of the most celebrated schools in the country. The Princeton tigers, as the students are nicknamed, have a number of long help campus traditions including their famed “Arch Sings.” Arch sings are late night concerts that feature some of Princeton's thirteen undergraduate a cappella groups. These events got their unique moniker from the historical archways that students tend to gather around on campus.
  3. Yale University:
    Location: New Haven, Connecticut
    This institution is part of the elite Ivy League group of schools which includes: Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, and Dartmouth, and is known for being the third oldest university in the nation. Yale is home to such legendary clubs as the Skull and Bones society, which is a secret society of students in their senior year that is shrouded in mystery and national interest. Some of Yale’s most prestigious alumni and “bonesmen” include George H.W. Bush, William Howard Taft, and John Kerry.
  4. Columbia University:
    Location: New York, New York
    Founded as the King’s College, Columbia was created through a royal charter in 1754 by King George II, taking the name of Columbia in 1784. Each year, the school’s administrators are known for choosing the recipients for the famed Pulitzer Prize. During the holiday season, Columbia students are known to gather for the annual campus tree lighting and Yule log ceremonies, which include complimentary hot cocoa and holiday themed readings around the school’s famed College Walk.
  5. The University of Chicago:
    Location: Chicago, Illinois
    With around 5,300 undergraduate students enrolled each year, the University of Chicago educates students under their official motto “Crescat scientia, vita excolatur,” which translates to “Let knowledge grow from more to more, and so be human life enriched.” With this in mind, part of the University of Chicago experience, includes the famed “Scav hunt” which is a four day event that challenges students to complete a hunt throughout Chicago with a list of around 300 items to acquire. Tasks vary and are assigned a point system to help evaluate completion.
  6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
    Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Known primarily as a school or science and engineering, MIT’s officially mascot is a beaver known to its students as “Tim.” The school’s archives note that the animal was chosen, “because of its remarkable engineering and mechanical skill and its habits of industry.” School tradition also states that on the last day that classes can be dropped each spring, students of the university’s Baker House are to celebrate by dropping an old piano off the roof to let it drop six stories onto the ground.
  7. Stanford University:
    Location: Palo Alto, California
    Stanford University was founded by former California Governor, Leland Stanford and his family in 1891. For the design of the university’s campus, the Stanford family commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect known for creating New York’s Central Park. These days, often in the spring and summer seasons, some of the historical architectural features are used in the modern campus tradition of fountain hopping, which involves students taking a celebratory dip through all or some of the fountains on campus in a single run.
  8. Duke University:
    Location: Durham, North Carolina
    Home to one of the nation’s most successful college basketball programs, Duke University received its current name from patron and industrialist, James B. Duke in 1924. Although having loose ties to the United Methodist Church, Duke University is considered a non-secular school. Like a number of other universities Duke’s students often participate in what has been called, the “primal scream.” This occurs at midnight on the quad the night before the first finals and includes students yelling to release any unnecessary stress from the seasonal studying and upcoming tests.
  9. University of Pennsylvania:
    Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Commonly referred to as Penn of U Penn, the university is home to the Wharton School of business which many consider to have of the largest alumni network in the country.
  10. California Institute of Technology:
    Location: Pasadena, California
    As the west coast counterpart to MIT, Cal tech has a long running rivalry with the Massachusetts based institute of technology. Consequently, the schools’ both focus on studies in the sciences and engineering while having close ties to the NASA program.

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