For the 10th straight year Princeton University topped the U.S. News Best Colleges List in its 2021 version, released on Sept. 14.
Two other New Jersey four-year schools ranked in the top 100 on the National Universities list. Rutgers University-New Brunswick was tied at No. 63 with Pennsylvania State University and the University of Connecticut. And Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken ranked No. 80 with seven other institutions.
The College of New Jersey in Ewing ranked fifth among Regional Universities for the North region. The top four were Bentley University in Massachusetts, Providence College and Fairfield University in Connecticut, and Loyola University Maryland.
“The pandemic has affected students across the country, canceling commencement ceremonies and switching classes from in-person to remote,” said U.S. News Editor and Chief Content Officer Kim Castro in a statement. “Whether students have slightly altered their college plans or changed them entirely, it remains our mission to continue providing students and their families with the tools they need to help find the right school for them.”
New Jersey schools were among those adjusting their instructional formats because of the pandemic. Princeton will be all-remote for the fall and Rutgers will offer mostly virtual teaching. In August, the state distributed $150 million in federal relief funds to colleges and universities in the state.
U.S. News said it adjusted the methodology for the rankings this year in several ways. The organization added two indicators measuring student debt to help assess affordability. Princeton ranked second among national universities where students graduate with the least debt, after California Institute of Technology. New Jersey City University ranked 12th on the list for least debt among regional universities; CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and CUNY-Lehman College topped the list.
In addition, new weights and indicators were added to the rankings of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and included schools that do use SAT or ACT scores in their admissions processes. Spelman College in Georgia topped the HBCU list.
Two New Jersey schools ranked in the top 20 for best value among regional universities. Saint Peter’s University ranked No. 11 and Fairleigh Dickinson University earned the No. 16 spot. McDaniel College in Maryland topped the best value list for regional universities.
Rutgers-New Brunswick also ranked No. 31 among public schools, one of five universities in the state to place in the top 100 on that list. The others were New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers-Newark, which were among six schools tied at No. 54; Rutgers-Camden at No. 71; and Montclair State University at No. 96. Montclair State President Susan Cole recently announced that she would retire after the 2021 academic year.
The top public school was the University of California-Los Angeles.
In addition to Rutgers and Stevens, five other New Jersey schools ranked among the top 200 national universities. Rutgers-Newark came in at No. 118; Seton Hall University at No. 133; Rutgers-Camden at No. 153; Montclair State at No. 176 and Rowan University at No. 187.
Rounding out the top five national schools were Harvard University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University.