WSJ Releases List of Top Colleges

NEW YORK — The Wall Street Journal has partnered with Times Higher Education of the U.K. to rank the top 1,000 U.S. colleges based on the lifetime value of the educational experience. The methodology emphasizes alumni earnings, debt burdens, student engagement, resources, diversity of students and faculty, academic reputation and other critical factors that will help students make the best decision not just for the next four years of their lives, but for the next forty years.

The WSJ/THE College Rankings top ten overall schools for 2017 are:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Columbia University
  4. University of Pennsylvania
  5. Yale University
  6. Harvard University
  7. Duke University
  8. Princeton University
  9. Cornell University
  10. California Institute of Technology

The methodology was also used to evaluate the top schools in the following categories: Resources (#1: Harvard University), Student Outcomes (#1: Yale University), Engagement (#1: Dordt College), Environment (#1: La Sierra University).

The full list is published as a special report in The Wall Street Journal and available at: A subscription is required to view the listings.

The report features in-depth analysis of the survey findings, including insights on the list’s biggest surprises, which campuses have the most diversity, and how corporate recruiters decide which schools to visit for on-site interviews. The online report also features interactive graphics and tools to allow readers to compare and contrast results at specific schools.

“We designed the rankings to evaluate colleges the same way parents and prospective students do,” said Dave Pettit, Editor of Specialized News Products, The Wall Street Journal. “We place an emphasis on financial considerations, including the resources colleges put into instruction and colleges’ success in positioning their graduates to earn a good salary. We also look at schools’ success in teaching and engaging students, and the diversity of the colleges’ communities. Our goal is to provide insights parents and students can use in making this critical life decision.”