The best-known ranking of colleges and universities is that of U.S. News & World Report, which relies primarily on data provided by the schools themselves. It looks at 16 areas, including retention and graduation rates, financial resources and admissions selectivity.

In addition to the national list, there are four regional lists. Local schools are well represented among the top 50 universities in the North region:

#1 Villanova (19th consecutive top rank)

#4 The College of New Jersey

#8 St. Joseph’s

#21 Rowan

#34 Arcadia (tie)

#34 Rutgers Camden (tie)

#41 La Salle

Older student body

 

In addition to overall ratings of undergraduate programs, U.S. News also rates undergraduate business and engineering programs, historically black schools and public universities, among many other categories. Philadelphia’s Peirce College is 10th on the list of “most students over 25.” You can see all these lists at www.usnews.com.

Other rankings

The Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com) surveys college students directly, and then crunches the numbers to rank schools in 62 categories. They cover topics that are important to everyone (financial aid, quality of faculty) as well as those that are perhaps of interest to fewer people (involvement in intramural sports).

Here’s how some local schools did in a few categories:



Great financial aid

#1 Swarthmore

#2 Princeton

Bad financial aid



#1 Penn State (main campus)

#14 Villanova

#18 The College of New Jersey



Most race/class interaction



#10 Temple



Least race/class interaction



#14 Villanova



Happiest students

#7 Penn State (main campus)

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