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Princeton extends run atop U.S. News best colleges list

Jeffrey Kanige//September 18, 2023//

McCosh Courtyard on the Princeton University campus.

McCosh Courtyard on the Princeton University campus. - PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

McCosh Courtyard on the Princeton University campus.

McCosh Courtyard on the Princeton University campus. - PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

Princeton extends run atop U.S. News best colleges list

Jeffrey Kanige//September 18, 2023//

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Ten New Jersey schools ranked among the top national universities in the 2024 U.S. News Best Colleges list, with Princeton University repeating as No. 1 overall.

Princeton has now held the top spot for 13 consecutive years. The school was recently also ranked first in the Wall Street Journal/College Pulse list of the Best Colleges in the U.S.

Rutgers University-New Brunswick was the second-highest ranked school in the state coming in at No. 55 nationally. Stevens Institute of Technology was third (No. 83 nationally) followed by New Jersey Institute of Technology (No. 97); Rutgers University-Newark (No. 115); Rutgers University-Camden (No. 127); Seton Hall University (No. 137); Montclair State University (No. 182, tie); Stockton University (No. 182, tie); and Rowan University (No. 194).

The list was released Sept. 18.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in second, and a three-way tie among Harvard University, Stanford University and Yale University rounded out the top five.

To compile the list, U.S. News said its staff evaluated 1,500 colleges and universities on 19 measures of academic quality. This year, the magazine placed a greater emphasis on social mobility and outcomes for graduating college students. U.S, News called that “the most significant methodological change in the rankings’ history.”

Rutgers University New Brunswick
Rutgers-New Brunswick was again the top public university in New Jersey, coming in at No. 19 nationally on the the 2024 U.S. News Best Colleges list. – EDWIN J. TORRES/GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

More than half of a school’s rank is now derived from measures related to success in enrolling and graduating students from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success. In addition, five factors were eliminated: class size, faculty with terminal degrees, alumni giving, high school class standing and the proportion of graduates who borrow federal loans.

“For 40 years, students and their families have come to count on Best Colleges as a vital resource as they navigate one of the most important decisions of their lives,” said Eric Gertler, executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News. “The significant changes in this year’s methodology are part of the ongoing evolution to make sure our rankings capture what is most important for students as they compare colleges and select the school that is right for them.”

In other categories, Rutgers-New Brunswick was again the top public university in New Jersey, coming in at No. 19 nationally. NJIT was second in the state at No. 42 nationally – the only other Garden State school to make the top 50. The University of California, Berkeley ranked as the best public institution in the country.

The College of New Jersey was the highest-ranked school among Regional Universities North, coming in at No. 5 nationally. Three other New Jersey schools made the top 50 in that region: Monmouth University (No. 18 nationally); Rider University (No. 22); and Ramapo College of New Jersey (No. 28). Providence College was the top school in the region.


Sept. 18, 2023 Edition of NJBIZNJBIZ Education Power 50

Click here to see who made this year’s Education Power 50 list.