A university education can be one of the best investments you ever make, whether you’re attending classes in person or online. With that in mind, I’ve taken some time to assemble my list of the top 10 universities in the United States for 2022, so you can spend your tuition dollars wisely and finish your degree with as little debt as possible. You might be surprised by some of my picks — I certainly was! — but I hope this list will help point you in the right direction if you’re wondering which universities to apply to.
1) Boston University
Located at 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University is a national university and one of America’s largest private research institutions. BU consists of five schools including: College of Arts & Sciences, College of Communication, College of Engineering, School of Law and School of Management. Boston University has an acceptance rate around 34% and an average SAT score between 1450-1530 depending on if you take it with or without writing. The tuition for Boston University is approximately $44,000 depending on your location within Massachusetts as well as your major. The student population consists of 25,324 students with a 52% male to 48% female ratio; which makes up 8% being international students from 86 different countries. Boston University provides over 200 undergraduate programs and 100 graduate programs. Boston University ranks #46 nationally among all colleges and universities, #11 among all National Universities, #4 among all Private National Universities and #2 in New England according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Rankings (2018). Some notable alumni include: Jack Welch (Chairman/CEO General Electric), John Travolta (Actor), Tom Brady (Quarterback New England Patriots) and Matt Damon (Actor). Boston University was founded in 1839 by William Gaston who died just 3 years later due to yellow fever while serving as a missionary in Jamaica.
2) National University
National University, is a nonprofit institution of higher education headquartered in La Jolla, California. Founded in 1971 as National College, it has grown to include campuses across Southern California and an international campus based in Florence, Italy. The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees through its five academic colleges: Helix; Leventhal; Marion Lucy Bolker; Professional Studies & Fine Arts; and Sol Price School of Public Policy. It also provides both undergraduate and graduate programs online through Global Campus. In 2017, National University was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report among all non-profit universities in California and #16 nationally among all non-profit universities in America. In 2016, Forbes ranked National University #128 on its list of America’s Best Colleges with annual tuition rates starting at $28,000 (USD).
3) The University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 2. Boston University: Boston, MA 3. University of California – Berkeley: Berkeley, CA 4. Yale University: New Haven, CT 5. Stanford University: Stanford, CA 6. Columbia University: New York City, NY 7. Northwestern University: Evanston, IL 8. Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh, PA 9. Washington & Lee University: Lexington, VA 10. Cornell University (in Ithaca): Ithaca, NY The rankings are based on data from a variety of sources, including College Factual’s student survey results and federal data on retention and graduation rates. The full methodology is available here . All rankings refer to undergraduate programs unless otherwise noted. Business Insider may receive a commission from these links if you click on them and sign up for service or make a purchase. View As: One Page Slides
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4) Columbia University
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university located in Manhattan, New York City. It is one of eight schools that belong to the Ivy League. Established in 1754, Columbia is one of two colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution and ranks among all institutions worldwide by number of Pulitzer Prizes. Columbia contains over 400 academic degree programs and affiliate organizations including numerous national centers of excellence such as The Earth Institute and The National Center for Disaster Preparedness. Also, Columbia maintains global research outposts in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago with 108 international affiliates as well as over 450 international faculty members. Students can participate in more than 200 clubs and 37 varsity sports teams. Columbia’s endowment stands at $9 billion making it one of the largest university endowments in America. In addition, students benefit from free admission to museums and other cultural institutions across New York City; indeed, 96% of undergraduates live on campus or within a 5-minute walk away from campus. Notable alumni include five Founding Fathers of the United States: Alexander Hamilton (class of 1778), John Jay (1764), James Madison (1771), Aaron Burr (1772) and George Washington (1789).
5) Northwestern University
The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University was ranked 9th overall by U.S. News & World Report. Known as a school within a school concept, Kellogg is one of eight schools within Northwestern’s undergraduate program and offers MBA and Master of Science degrees in five different fields: Business Analytics, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Finance and Information Technology. For many students, Kellogg also offers several specialized programs including Executive MBA/MBA joint degree options, an MBA/JD dual degree program with Northwestern Law School and an MBA/Master of Engineering degree with McCormick School of Engineering. What really sets Kellogg apart from its competitors is its internationally focused curriculum which spans more than 100 countries around the world. Students can study abroad for either one or two semesters through Kellogg’s Global Immersion Program (KGIP). KGIP gives students hands-on experience working with multinational companies in international business settings while earning academic credit. This unique experience helps graduates land coveted positions at top companies around the globe after graduation. In addition to its focus on global affairs, Kellogg has been recognized as having some of the best career services available to MBA candidates anywhere. According to Poets&Quants’ 2016 ranking, 95% of Kellogg graduates find employment within three months of graduation, and 96% are employed full-time six months after graduation. In terms of salary potential, 99% earn $70K or more per year right out of school.
6) University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
UCLA is a private research university located in Los Angeles, California. The University of California has ten campuses across the state and operates a medical school system affiliated with UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. UCLA holds more than 80 research centers and institutes. Additionally, it boasts six distinguished schools including medicine, engineering, nursing, dentistry, law and arts and sciences. It offers over 300 undergraduate degree programs as well as 113 master’s programs, 53 doctoral degrees and five professional degrees. Over half of its students graduate with no debt thanks to financial aid packages covering almost 60 percent of tuition. The university has an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio and about 83 percent of its classes have fewer than 30 students each. U.S. News & World Report ranks UCLA tied for No. 1 among public universities and tied for No. 5 overall among national universities in 2018, making it one of America’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.
7) New York University (NYU)
Located in New York City, NYU offers bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees through its 17 schools. Students can participate in more than 600 clubs and organizations, including fencing and anime clubs. The school is home to Silver School of Social Work, which was founded by Helen Terry Silver. According to U.S. News & World Report, 66 percent of students receive financial aid from New York University. As a private university, tuition costs about $49,118 per year on average. It also has an acceptance rate of 15 percent. This means that less than one-sixth of applicants are admitted each year. Boston University (BU): Founded in 1839, Boston University is located in Boston, Massachusetts. There are more than 400 student organizations at BU, including Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and Mu Phi Epsilon Multicultural Greek Council. The school has received awards for many aspects of campus life: Most beautiful campus, best business programs and most LGBT-friendly campus among others. Tuition costs around $51,230 per year on average at BU. In addition to undergraduate studies, students can pursue graduate degree programs at either of two campuses or online via distance learning options.
8) The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
One of America’s largest universities, Penn State has a lot to offer students—and it’s pretty affordable. It has campuses throughout Pennsylvania and is known especially for its programs in engineering, business, and nursing. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked it No.1 among public schools for five years straight (2009-2013). Tuition costs less than $13,000 a year and room and board is about $10,000 on average; total annual cost comes out to about $23,000 before financial aid. According to PayScale’s College Salary Report (based on mid-career salaries), an undergraduate degree from Penn State yields a median salary of about $55K-$60K depending on major area of study. A BA in Biology/Life Sciences at Penn State has a starting salary range of about $41K-$52K, but many graduates have earned as much as $63K with experience. The same can be said for a BA in Business Administration: new grads earn around $46K-$62K but some alumni report earning up to $85K. Nursing grads fare well too: their starting salaries are around $44K-$57k with experience, but they can earn up to $76k or more if they specialize further and stay on top of continuing education requirements.
9) The Ohio State University (OSU)
The Ohio State University is one of America’s largest, most respected public research institutions. Its flagship campus is located in Columbus, a diverse and well-established city filled with top-notch restaurants, theaters and museums. The university attracts more than 60,000 students annually and offers hundreds of degree programs to choose from. OSU is also consistently ranked as one of America’s top party schools. If you’re looking for a school that can give you an excellent education while allowing you to have fun along the way, look no further than OSU.
10) UC Berkeley (University of California, Berkeley)
Berkeley was founded in 1868 and is located in Berkeley, California. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 24,450 with a gender distribution of 46 percent female students and 54 percent male students. Berkeley offers several degrees at both masters and doctorate levels with various concentrations. The most popular majors at Berkeley include: Biology/Biological Sciences, Business, English Language and Literature, Political Science, Psychology and Social Behavior. National University (NU): NU is based out of La Jolla California and was founded in 1971. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 29,959 with an acceptance rate of 80 percent. Its tuition cost per year is $23,000 for residents and $45,000 for non-residents. UCLA (University of California Los Angeles): UCLA was founded in 1919 and is located in Los Angeles California. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 28,272 with an acceptance rate of 43 percent. UCLA offers many different degree programs including business administration and engineering which are two very popular majors among students attending there.