#1 Harvard University
- Tuition and fees:
- $38,416 (2010-11)
Harvard University is a private institution in Cambridge, Mass., just outside of Boston. This Ivy League school is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world.
The ivy-covered campus of Princeton University, a private institution, is located in the quiet town of Princeton, N.J. Princeton was the first university to offer a “no loan” policy to financially needy students, giving grants instead of loans to accepted students who need help paying tuition.
Yale University, located in New Haven, Conn., offers a small college life with the resources of a major research institution. Yale students are divided into 12 residential colleges that foster a supportive environment for living, learning, and socializing.
Columbia University has three undergraduate schools: Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the School of General Studies. This Ivy League, private school guarantees students housing for all four years on campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City.
The sunny campus of Stanford University is located in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco. The private institution stresses a multidisciplinary combination of teaching, learning, and research, and students have many opportunities to get involved in research projects.
Founded by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is a private institution in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., near Drexel University. Undergraduates can study in four academic departments: Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Wharton.
The California Institute of Technology focuses on science and engineering education and has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1. This private institution in Pasadena, Calif. is actively involved in research projects with grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Though the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be best known for its math, science, and engineering education, this private research university also offers architecture, humanities, management, and social science programs. The school is located in Cambridge, Mass., just across the Charles River from downtown Boston.
Dartmouth College, a private institution in Hanover, N.H., uses quarters, not semesters, to divide the school year. Among more than 300 student organizations at Dartmouth is the Outing Club, the nation’s oldest and largest collegiate club of its kind, which offers outdoor activities, expeditions, gear rentals, and courses.
Located in Durham, N.C., Duke University is a private institution that has liberal arts and engineering programs for undergraduates. The Duke Blue Devils sports teams have a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Tar Heels and are best known for their outstanding men's basketball program.
The University of Chicago, situated in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, offers a rich campus life in a big-city setting. Since 1987, the private institution has hosted the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, a four-day event that is regarded as the largest scavenger hunt in the world.
Northwestern University is a private school in Evanston, Ill., about 30 minutes outside of Chicago. Undergraduate students have more than 70 options for majors or can design their own non-traditional degree program.
Johns Hopkins University is a private institution in Baltimore, Md. that offers a wide array of academic programs in the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, and engineering disciplines. The Hopkins Blue Jays men’s lacrosse team is consistently dominant in the NCAA Division I; other sports teams at Hopkins compete at the Division III level.
#13 Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MOStudents can study architecture, art, arts and sciences, business, and engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, a private research institution in Missouri. Outside of class, about a quarter of the student body is involved in Greek life.
At Brown University, undergraduate students are responsible for designing their own academic study with more than 70 concentration programs to choose from. Another unique offering at this private, Ivy League institution in Providence, R.I. is the Program in Liberal Medical Education, which grants both a bachelor’s degree and medical degree in eight years.
Cornell University, a private school in Ithaca, N.Y., started the country’s first colleges for hotel administration, industrial and labor relations, and veterinary medicine. Cornell now offers a wide variety of undergraduate programs and runs interdisciplinary research centers for nanotechnology, supercomputing, and more.
Rice University is located in the heart of the Museum District in Houston, TX. The private institution has a need-blind admissions policy and meets the full demonstrated need of any accepted student who requires help paying tuition.
Vanderbilt University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,794, with a gender distribution of 48.0 percent male students and 52.0 percent female students. 90.0 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 10.0 percent of students live off campus.
The University of Notre Dame is a private, independent, Catholic institution in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame’s athletic teams, known as the Fighting Irish, play in the NCAA Division I and are particularly competitive on the football field.
Students can begin their education at the school's main location in a suburb of Atlanta, known as Emory College, or at Oxford College, a smaller campus about 40 miles away. This private institution offers about 70 majors in the arts and sciences, as well as degrees in business administration and nursing.