Americas Top 50 Colleges According to Forbes (a Business Magazine That Your Parents Probably Read)

There is more than one way to give a grade. When Forbes comes up with their 50 Top American Colleges, like they have for the past seven years, you must understand that their opinion isn’t absolute.

If you pay attention you’ll see that the list starts with no scaling system to support their choices and that even in the description of the colleges, popular statistics such as Graduation Rates and Student Diversity aren’t mentioned (at least not consistatnly). Neither, as you’ll notice, are tuition rates.

Instead, Forbes does a great job of pointing out the cultural caviattes and the innovative educational successes that define these top schools—like how Swarthmore students gather to watch “The Graduate” the first day before Senior year, or how Steve Jobs went to Reed College where there is a “deemphasize on grades.”

Though their proclamations may be a little unscientific, every school on their list does offer a truly one of a kind student experience, and many of these schools actually fly under the radar when it comes to lists like these.

So here it is, in a truly opinionated but useful and interesting blog post fashion, Forbes’ list of 50 Schools That Aren’t Cheap But Do Offer an Amazing Student Experience and a Beautiful Campus.

#50. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

#49. Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts

#48. Lafayette College – Easton, Pennsylvania

#47. Whitman College – Walla Walla, Washington

#46. Reed College – Portland, Oregon

#45. University of Michigan, Anne arbor – Ann Arbor, Michigan

#44. University of California, Los Angeles – Los Angeles, California

#43. Oberlin College – Oberlin, Ohio

#42. Kenyon College – Gambier, Ohio

#41. College of William and Mary – Williamsburg, Virginia

#40. University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

#39. Colby College – Waterville, Maine #38. Colgate University – Haimlton, New York

#37. University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, California

#36. Boston College – Chestnut, Massachusetts

#35. Barnard College – New York, New York

#34. United States Air Force Academy – Colorado

#33. Washington and Lee University – Lexington, Virginia

#32. Rice University – Houston, Texas

#31. Cornell University – Ithaca, New York

#30. Middlebury College – Middlebury, Vermont

#29. Wellesley College – Wellesley, Massachusetts

#28. Georgetown University – Washington, DC

#27. United States Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland

#26. Vassar College – Poughkeepsie, New York

#25. Tufts University – Medford, Massachusetts

#24. University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

#23. Duke University – Durham, North Carolina

#22. Davidson College – Davidson, North Carolina

#21. California Institute of Technology – Pasadena, California

#20. Columbia University – New York, New York

#19. Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

#18. Dartmouth College – Hanover, New Hampshire

#17. University of Notre Dame – South Bend, Indiana

#16. Carleton College – Northfield, Minnesota

#15. Wesleyan University – Middletown, Connecticut

#14. Bowdoin College – Brunswick, Maine

#13. Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island

#12. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

#11. Haverford College – Haverford, Pennsylvania

#10. Amherst College – Amherst, Massachusetts

#9. United States Military Academy – West Point, New York

#8. Pomona College – Claremont, California

#7. Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

#6. Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut

#5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, Massachusetts

#4. Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey

#3. Swarthmore College – Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

#2. Stanford University – Stanford, California

#1. Williams College – Williamstown, Massachusetts

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