Top 25 Best Colleges in the Northeast: 2017 Rankings

northeastThe Northeast region of the United States has long been known for being the home of many prestigious school. That reputation is well-earned, as every single one of the colleges on this list was featured in our Top 50 Best Colleges of 2017!

Many of these schools are steeped in the rich history that shaped our country—some where even founded before the Revolutionary War! Many of them might be old, but they’ve definitely adapted with the times. Several of these schools have top-notch research facilities and are leaders in different academic fields.

Here is College Raptor’s list of the Top 25 Best Colleges in the Northeast!

25. Hamilton College

Flickr user Chuck Miller

Flickr user Chuck Miller

Location: Clinton, NY

Student Enrollment: 1,904

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year

Founded in 1793 as a boys’ school, Hamilton College is now a coeducational institution with nearly even representation of male and female students–with 54% of all students being women. The average ACT score for incoming freshman is between 30 and 33, and the average SAT score between 1,320 and 1,467.

Learn more about Hamilton College

24. Wellesley College

Flickr user Soe Lin

Flickr user Soe Lin

Location: Wellesley, MA

Student Enrollment: 2,323

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year

Wellesley College is a women’s school located close to Boston. The college receives nearly 5,000 applications each year and has an acceptance rate of 30%. The top 5 most common majors on campus include: Economics, Psychology, Political Science and Government, Neuroscience, and Biology.

Learn more about Wellesley College

23. Vassar College

Flickr user prichman38

Flickr user prichman38

Location: Poughkeepsie, NY

Student Enrollment: 2,422

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year or above

Incoming freshmen tend to have an ACT score between 30 and 33. For SAT, the averages are 1,335 and 1,475. The most common major on campus is Economics, followed by Psychology, Biology, and English. Notable alumni include: poet Elizabeth Bishop, computer pioneer Grace Hopper, and actress Meryl Streep.

Learn more about Vassar College

22. Middlebury College

Flickr user daiji

Flickr user daiji

Location: Middlebury, VT

Student Enrollment: 2,533

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year or above

A Liberal Arts college with a 17% acceptance rate, Middlebury College has been the school of several notable alumni, including Alexander Twilight, the first African-American student to graduate from an American college or university. It boasts an impressive 97% first-year retention rate and an 8:1 student-faculty ratio.

Learn more about Middlebury College

21. Haverford College

Flickr user Robert W

Flickr user Robert W

Location: Haverford, PA

Student Enrollment: 1,194

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year

Haverford College has an acceptance rate of 25%, and the incoming freshmen have impressive ACT and SAT scores—between 30 and 34, and 1,343 and 1,522 respectively. Founded originally as a Quaker school, the philosophies of the group still influence the students to this day. The college has produced a number of Fulbright and Rhodes scholars.

Learn more about Haverford College

20. United States Military Academy

Flickr user Cliff

Flickr user Cliff

Location: West Point, NY

Student Enrollment: 4,414

College Type: Public, 4 year

With its motto of “Duty. Honor. Country.” this Academy—founded by former US President Thomas Jefferson—produces cadets with bachelor’s degrees in a number of academic fields. The most popular majors on campus include Mechanical Engineering, Economics, and Business Administration.

Learn more about the United States Military Academy

19. Tufts University

Flickr user Joe Wolf

Flickr user Joe Wolf

Location: Medford, MA

Student Enrollment: 10,907

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year or above

This Doctoral / Research institution has a near equal distribution of undergraduate and graduate students. Of the ten schools within the university, 2 are undergraduate programs the remaining 8 are graduate schools. The ACT and SAT score averages of the incoming freshmen are quite high—30 – 34 for ACT, and 1,356 – 1,492 for the SAT.

Learn more about Tufts University

18. Georgetown University

Flickr user Josh

Flickr user Josh

Location: Washington, DC

Student Enrollment: 17,858

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year or above

This historic research university was founded in 1789. It’s law school rests on Capitol Hill and the school is closely entwined with the DC area. Georgetown is strong in academics, with its incoming freshmen scoring between 30 and 34 on the ACT, and between 1,328 and 1,504 for the SAT. For athletics, the school is considered a NCAA Division I-AA.

Learn Georgetown University

17. Johns Hopkins University

Flickr user Let Ideas Compete

Flickr user Let Ideas Compete

Location: Baltimore, MD

Student Enrollment: 21,372

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year or above

This Doctoral / Research university is known the world over for its academics. Incoming freshman average between 31 and 34 on their ACT exams, and 1,384 and 1,522 for the SAT. It is a highly selective school, with an acceptance rate of 14% for the 25,500 some applications that are sent in every year. Notable alumni include: President Woodrow Wilson, director Wes Craven, and author Gertrude Stein.

Learn more about Johns Hopkins University

16. Cornell University

Flickr user Robert Thompson

Flickr user Robert Thompson

Location: Ithaca, NY

Student Enrollment: 21,679

College Type: Private, nonprofit, 4 year or above

Nearly 42,000 applications are sent in to this school, and with an acceptance rate of 15% only about 6,300 of those applicants are chosen. Cornell boasts a 97% first-year retention rate and a student-faculty ratio of 9:1. They have a total of about 1,086 athletes on campus and are considered a NCAA Division I-AA school.

Learn more about Cornell University

15. Dartmouth College

Flickr user Mike Fisher

Flickr user Mike Fisher

Location: Hanover, NH

Student Enrollment: 6,298

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Founded in 1769, Darmouth is the smallest of all Ivy League schools. Theordore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, was a 1925 graduate of the college and worked for the school’s humor magazine during his years there.

Learn more about Dartmouth College

14. The Juilliard School

Flickr user Brian Lauer

Flickr user Brian Lauer

Location: New York, New York

Student Enrollment: 926

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Juilliard is a performing arts conservatory, with programs in music, drama, and dance. The school has a 5:1 student to faculty ratio, and a 98% first-year retention rate. Notable alumni include Yo-Yo Ma, Sara Ramirez, and Robin Williams.

Learn more about The Juilliard School

13. Williams College

Flickr user Ethan Kan

Flickr user Ethan Kan

Location: Williamstown, MA

Student Enrollment: 2,126

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

The average ACT composite for incoming first-year students ranges between 30 and 34, and the average SAT combined score ranges between 1,349 and 1,535. Williams College also boasts a delightful purple cow as their mascot, nicknamed Ephelia.

Learn more about Williams College

12. Brown University

Flickr user thurdl01

Flickr user thurdl01

Location: Providence, RI

Student Enrollment: 9,181

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Home to Bruno the Bear, Brown University has graduated a wealth of notable alumni. This research university was the first to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation, and has a 9:1 student to faculty ratio.

Learn more about Brown University

11. Swarthmore College

Flickr user Simon

Flickr user Simon

Location: Swarthmore, PA

Student Enrollment: 1,542

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

This college is well-known for having an impressive first-year retention rate of 98%. Notable alumni Alice Paul, popular for her work with the women’s rights movement, graduated from Swarthmore College in 1905 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Learn more about Swarthmore College

10. Jewish Theological Seminary of America

Flickr user Wally Gobetz

Flickr user Wally Gobetz

Location: New York, New York

Student Enrollment: 405

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

This school has a 5:1 student to faculty ratio, and a 100% first-year retention rate. The school was the first institution of Conservative Judaism in the United States.

Learn more about the Jewish Theological Seminary of America

9. Amherst College

Flickr user LookCatalog

Flickr user LookCatalog

Location: Amherst, MA

Student Enrollment: 1,792

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Amherst College has students from around the country and the globe, including noteworthy alum Uhuru Kenyatta, the current President of Kenya. The most popular majors are economics and english language and literature, followed closely by history.

Learn more about Amherst College

8. Franklin W Olin College of Engineering

Flickr user Sean Munson

Flickr user Sean Munson

Location: Needham, MA

Student Enrollment: 350

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

The average ACT composite for this school is between 32 and 36, and the average SAT combined score is between 1,431 and 1,581. The student body is about 52% male students and 48% female.

Learn more about Franklin W Olin College of Engineering

7. Columbia University in the City of New York

Flickr user Mike Steele

Flickr user Mike Steele

Location: New York, New York

Student Enrollment: 27,589

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Columbia was founded before the Declaration of Independence was signed, and was the first school to in America to grant an M.D. degree. Columbia has a 6:1 student to faculty rate. Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are all graduates of Columbia Law.

Learn more about Columbia University in the City of New York

6. United States Naval Academy

Flickr user Steven

Flickr user Steven

Location: Annapolis, MD

Student Enrollment: 4,511

College Type: Public, 4-year or above

The campus of the Naval Academy is a National Historic Landmark, and the motto is “From Knowledge, Sea Power”. The academy has a 98% first-year retention rate, and the most popular majors are economics and systems engineering. All students are required to live on campus, and the academy is a member of the NCAA.

Learn more about the United States Naval Academy

5. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Flickr user Stephen M. Scott

Flickr user Stephen M. Scott

 

Student Enrollment: 24,806

College Type: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Nicknamed “Penn”, the university was founded by Benjamin Franklin, and has an acceptance rate of 10%, admitting a little more than 3,700 students each year. Distinguished alumni include Warren Buffett, John Legend, Noam Chomsky, and John Heisman.

Learn more about the University of Pennsylvania

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Flickr user Matthew Robinson

Flickr user Matthew Robinson

Location: Cambridge, MA

Student Enrollment: 11,319

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Also known as MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is well known for its science, technology and engineering programs as well economics and management. Alumni are responsible for creating 4.6 million jobs among 30,000 companies. The overall revenue of these companies comes to approximately $1.9 trillion which equates MIT alumni with the 10th largest economy in the world.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3. Yale University

Flickr user m01229

Flickr user m01229

Location: New Haven, CT

Student Enrollment: 12,336

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Founded in 1701, Yale is the third oldest higher education institution in the country. It is also home to the third largest University library collection in the country with 15 million volumes. Furthermore, Yale is the alma mater of 5 U.S presidents, 19 supreme court justices and 13 living billionaires.

Learn more about Yale University

2. Harvard University

Flickr user Yu-Jen Shih

Flickr user Yu-Jen Shih

Location: Cambridge, MA

Student Enrollment: 28,791

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Harvard University is the oldest and one one of the most reputable institutions of higher education in the United States. With $37.6 billion in financial endowment, it is also the largest academic institution in the country.

Learn More about Harvard University

1. Princeton University

Flickr user Jon Niola

Flickr user Jon Niola

Location: Princeton, NJ

Student Enrollment: 8,088

College Type: Private, not-for-profit, 4 year or above

Princeton was established prior to the American Revolution as one of the nine colonial colleges. Today, it offers highly esteemed programs in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. Notable Princeton alumni include Michelle Obama, John Adams, Woodrow Wilson, Scott Fitzgerald, Steve Forbes, Meg Whitman and Brooke Shields.

Learn More about Princeton University 

Each of these rankings is based on an analysis of data about the school’s selectivity, financial health, academic rigor, and student success. We’ve outlined our full methodology here.

Liz Skogerboe

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