Top Colleges 2021


For the rst time since Forbes began ranking America’s best colleges in 2008, a public school—the University of California, Berkeley—takes the top spot. The reason? We broadened our de nition of what makes a great university to encompass how well it serves everyone. In addition to our longstandi­ng evaluation of graduate outcomes (high salaries, low debt), we started measuring the ways schools cater to low- and middle-income students, too. This more inclusive methodolog­y gave a big bump to state schools: Six of our top 25 universiti­es are public institutio­ns.

But don’t cry for the Ivy League just yet. Yale comes in second, followed by Princeton. See the full list and methodolog­y at

1. University of California, Berkeley 2. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticu­t 3. Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 4. Stanford University, Stanford, California 5. Columbia University, New York, New York

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