Top 25 Best Colleges in the Mid-East US | 2021 Rankings

The mid-east region of the United States is chock full of history, culture, great cuisine, and fantastic educational opportunities. Perhaps that’s unsurprising as many of the nation’s first colleges and universities were built in the region.

For this list, the following states are part of the mid-east US: Delaware, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Ready to see the best colleges in the mid-east US? Check them out below.

Top 25 Best Colleges in the Mid-East US

One of the oldest universities in America, having predated the founding of the country itself, Princeton University is a school with an amazing history. In 1783, Princeton’s Nassau Hall was America’s capital for a few months! In present times, people recognize Princeton University as a prestigious and highly selective Ivy League school, with over 35,000 students applying there every year.
Location Princeton, NJ
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 8,374
First chartered by King George II as King’s College, the school broke away after the American Revolution and was renamed Columbia College. Students at Columbia University can expect an average class size of six students to one faculty member. Popular majors include Econometrics and Quantitative Economics, Computer Science, and Political Science and Government.
Location New York, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 31,077
The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin and is home to America’s first school of medicine and collegiate business school. It’s therefore not surprising that the most popular majors at UPenn include Finance, Registered Nursing, and Economics. UPenn also had the first student union and the first double-decker collegiate football stadium.
Location Philadelphia, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 25,860
The United States Naval Academy is the second-oldest service academy. Students who want to attend the academy must be nominated. However, out of the 16,000 students who are nominated each year, only 1,300 are accepted, making the United States Naval Academy extremely selective. Those who do receive an acceptance have their tuition covered by the US Navy.
Location Annapolis, MD
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 4,512
Though Swarthmore College was founded in 1864, the school didn’t hold class until 1869. Swarthmore College is part of the Tri-College Consortium with two other schools. With such an amazing opportunity, it’s no wonder that Swarthmore is highly selective, with the incoming freshmen class typically scoring between 30 to 34 on the ACT and 1,400 to 1,550 on the SAT.
Location Swarthmore, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,559
“Cornell University is one of the few private land-grant schools in the US and was originally founded to explore and contribute to all fields of knowledge. Staying true to their mission, Cornell University offers a wide variety of majors students can choose from -- some of the more popular ones being Computer Science, Labor and Industrial Relations, and BIology.
Location Ithaca, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 23,600
Johns Hopkins University is famously known for its dedication to research. It was also America’s first research university. Today, its campus sits in Baltimore, Maryland, though it has multiple facilities and campuses around the world. Some of the most popular majors at Johns Hopkins include Public Health, Neuroscience, and Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering.
Location Baltimore, MD
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 26,152
Georgetown University has a rich and colorful history, from having one of its halls be a National Historic Landmark to having the oldest and still-performing student theatre troupe. It’s not a surprise that the university gets almost 23,000 applicants annually. Students who are admitted into Georgetown University can expect an average class size of eleven students for every one faculty member.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 19,204
The Juilliard School is one of the most prestigious music, art, and dance schools, so it’s not surprising that over 2,800 students send in an application every year. However, Juilliard is extremely selective, only admitting 200 students -- many of whom had to attend auditions to even be considered. The small student body means that the average student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1.
Location New York City, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 942
Hamilton College was a men’s school for nearly a century before combining with the women-only Kirkland College and becoming coeducational. Today, there’s a near even split of men and women attending Hamilton College. Incoming students typically scored between 30 to 34 on the ACT and 1,390 to 1,530 on the SAT.
Location Clinton, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,005
Carnegie Mellon University is known for its focus on interdisciplinary work and its far-reaching facilities. Students at Carnegie Mellon have a wide array of resources available to them to explore and grow in almost any academic field. Because of what the university has to offer, the school sees over 24,000 applications every year and only accepts 17% of them.
Location Pittsburgh, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 14,029
To be admitted into the United States Military Academy, students must first be nominated by officials such as congressmen or even the President. As the oldest US service academy, the United States Military Academy had the first accredited engineering program and had the first class rings. Over 12,000 students try to get into this prestigious academy, though only 1,400 are accepted.
Location West Point, NY
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 4,589
Today, Barnard College is a prestigious all-women’s college that has an extremely selective acceptance rate. In fact, only 14% of applicants are accepted into Barnard. Students at the college can expect a typical class size to be around 9 students to 1 faculty member, and 95% of freshmen return for their sophomore year.
Location New York City, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,562
The second college to join the Seven Sisters Colleges, Vassar College began as a women’s school before becoming coeducational a century later. Vassar College also houses the country’s largest undergraduate library collections. Students at Vassar can expect an average class size to be around eight students to one faculty member, and the school boasts a 96% first year retention rate.
Location Poughkeepsie, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,456
Haverford College is part of the Tri College Consortium and the Quaker Consortium. As a liberal arts college, Haverford requires students to take a wide variety of classes. The school also upholds the Honor Code, run entirely by students. Some of the more popular majors at Haverford include Psychology, Economics, and Political Science and Government.
Location Haverford, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,310
Webb Institute was founded by William Henry Webb, a shipbuilder who saw the importance of science and engineering. Today, Webb Institute graduates all earn a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Students who attend this highly selective school have their tuition covered while they study.
Location Glen Cove, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 104
Colgate University is a highly selective school, accepting only 24% of their applicants. Incoming freshmen have an average ACT score between 30 to 34 and an average SAT score between 1,380 to 1,530. Students and alumni at Colgate consider 13 to be their lucky number and is pervasive throughout their history and college. Every Friday the 13th is “Colgate Day,” where alumni don on clothes representing their school.
Location Hamilton, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,969
Students who want to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy must be nominated by a congressman. Students at the academy study in fields all related to aspects of the United States Merchant Marine -- thus, there are only three majors: Marine Science/Merchant Marine Officer, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Systems Engineering.
Location Kings Point, NY
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 1,015
Because the University of Maryland -- College Park is located close to Washington, DC, the university sees many research partnerships with various departments of the federal government. Additionally, the university is considered a Public Ivy. It’s no surprise then that the school receives over 33,000 applicants annually.
Location College Park, MD
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 1,015
Villanova University has a penchant for mascots with punny names. Though Count Villain has retired, Will D. Cat is the current mascot of the Villanova Wildcats. 63% of the students on campus study at the undergraduate level. Registered Nursing, Finance, and Speech Communication are the top 3 most popular majors.
Location Villanova, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 11,0300
New York University’s motto -- “Perstare et praestare” -- translates to “To persevere and to excel.” The alumni from NYU certainly have gone on to excel, and include notable names like Martin Scorsese, Alan Menken, Spike Lee, and Lady Gaga among many, many others. NYU has a cozy 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Location New York City, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 51,847
Dandelion yellow and Rochester blue are the official school colors of UR. The students there are known as the Yellowjackets and their mascot’s name is Rocky. Located on the banks of the Genesee River, UR’s student body consists of 55% undergraduates and 45% graduate students. The acceptance rate is 30%.
Location Rochester, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 11,817
Every year, Lehigh University receives over 15,000 applications, and only accepts 22% of them. These students have a typical ACT score of 28 to 32 and an SAT score of 1,310 to 1,470. Incoming first years who decide to attend the university are given their class flag by the class that came 50 years before them during their orientation.
Location West Bethlehem, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 6,849
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art was founded with the idea that higher education was for every qualified individual and should be free. Staying true to their ideals, Cooper Union admitted students regardless of their gender, race, or religious beliefs. Around 2,400 students apply to this highly selective college every year, though only 400 of them are accepted.
Location New York City, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 952
Binghamton University is part of the State University of New York system and is one of the four university centers in the group. Binghamton was established in the mid-1940’s -- originally, it was a liberal arts college that grew into a university over the years. Over 17,000 students attend the university and the average class size is 17 students to 1 faculty member.
Location East Vestal, NY
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 17,768

Interested in any of these schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!

Methodology

Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology.

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