If you want to stir up a heated debate, talk religion, politics, or – alma maters. There are unlimited lists of America’s best colleges and universities. For our purposes, we consulted the current list from Forbes, one of the most respected analyses of American institutions of higher education.
Up front, I will offer one obvious oversight – Houston Baptist University. There is no better university in the land. HBU proudly affirms, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and has great programs in nursing, theology, education, business, and the arts. HBU offers graduate programs including a Ph.D. in Education. The Huskies compete in NCAA Division 1 athletics as a member of the Southland Conference. And HBU has the nation’s best president, Dr. Robert Sloan.
I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out where I went to college. Having gotten that out of my system, I give you America’s best universities – other than HBU.
1. Princeton – The ivy-covered campus is a private institution, located in the quiet town of Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton was the first university to offer a “no loan” policy to financially needy students, giving grants instead of loans to accepted students who need help paying tuition.
2. Harvard – A private institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard is located just outside of Boston. This Ivy League school is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world.
3. Yale – Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University offers a small college life with the resources of a major research institution. Yale students are divided into 12 residential colleges that foster a supportive environment for living, learning, and socializing.
4. Columbia – Made up of three undergraduate schools, Columbia is a private school that guarantees students housing for all four years on campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City.
5. Stanford – The highest rated non-Ivy League institution, Stanford sits in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco. They stress a multidisciplinary combination of teaching, learning, and research, and students have many opportunities to get involved in research projects.
6 University of Chicago – Situated in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, this institution offers a rich campus life in a big city setting. Since 1987, the private university has hosted a four-day scavenger hunt, regarded as the largest in the world.
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Though MIT may be best known for its math, science, and engineering education, this private research university also offers architecture, humanities, management, and social science programs. The school is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just across the Charles River from downtown Boston.
8. Duke – Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a private institution that has liberal arts and engineering programs for undergraduates. The Duke Blue Devils sports teams have a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina, and they are best known for their men’s basketball program, which has won numerous national championships.
9. Penn – The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin. It is a private institution in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Students can study in one of four schools that grant undergraduate degrees: Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Wharton.
10. California Institute of Technology – With a focus on science and engineering, the school features a low student-to-faculty ration of 3:1. The private institution is found in Pasadena, California, and is actively involved in research projects with grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.