Discover the best Colleges in America for 2010

Forbes released its annual rankings for the best colleges in America. Every school wants its name on the prestigious list, but only 610 colleges and universities make the list – less than ten percent of all the 6,600 accredited institutions in the country. Here are the top colleges as ranked by Forbes.

#1 Williams College

Williams College, a pricey school in Williamstown, Massachusetts with about 2,000 undergraduates took the number one spot in the nation for 2010. It admits 17% of its applicants, boasts a student to faculty ratio of 7 to 1 and graduates over 90% of its freshman. The SAT composite range for new students at Williams College is from 1320 – 1520 (29-33 for ACT).

Ranking 4th last year, Williams College came back with a vengeance and swapped places with last year’s number one college, the United States Military Academy at West Point.

40% of students at Williams are varsity athletes. Students needing financial aid have the lowest load of education debt in the nation with each student owing a little more than $9,000 in loans. This year, Williams switched all of its financial aid to grants, a move that will likely lower the dependence of students on loans even further.

Students rave about the sense of closeness that characterizes the school, made possible from its small size and high number of faculty members.

#2 Princeton

Princeton University is probably one of the most recognizable names in all of academia. This prestigious university is known for its outstanding developments in research. The faculty ratio is incredibly low (five students per faculty member) and almost 5,000 students comprise its undergraduate program. Princeton also has graduate programs that boast some 2,500 students pursuing advanced degrees.

For a total cost of less than fifty grand you can attend this fine institution that graduates 90% of its incoming students. Only one-tenth of applicants to Princeton are actually accepted, underscoring a high demand for its well known academic excellence.

SAT scores for entrants range from 1390 – 1580 and their ACT scores are in the 31-34 range. Students looking to be among the top of society or the best in their field should give Princeton serious consideration.

#3 Amherst

A much smaller school and one with just an 85% graduation rate, Amerherst College, takes the third spot on the competitive Forbes list. Total cost for a year at the school is just over $50,000. SAT scores for applicants are in the 1320 – 1520 range and more than 70% of students utilize financial aid options. Three out of ten students at Amherst are varsity athletes and students outnumber faculty by 8 to 1.

With less than 1,700 students, the magnificent Amherst campus in Massachusetts attracts students from around the world and boasts a number of notable graduates.

Sources:

Ewalt, David M. “America’s best colleges.” Forbes. August 11, 2010. http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/01/best-colleges-university-ratings-rankings-opinions-best-colleges-10-intro.html (accessed August 11, 2010).