Rankings of colleges in the United States can be found in magazines, such as U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, both of which publish yearly rankings of schools on their websites. U.S. News & World Report provides separate lists of universities and liberal arts colleges, while Forbes combines them in one list. As of 2015, Williams College ranked No. 1 in both the U.S. News & World Report liberal arts college list and Forbes list.
Factors that go into the magazines' methodology used to rank colleges include admission rates, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, alumni giving, student-teacher ratio and perception of the college. The rankings may help unknown schools gain publicity, but other college administrators view them as unreliable, states The Washington Post.
The U.S. News & World Report ranks the following college as the top schools after Williams: Amherst College, Swarthmore College, Wellesley College, Bowdoin College and Pomona College. The magazine updates its ranking each year and provides information on graduate schools, how to apply for college and financial aid. Forbes gives the following colleges and universities high ranks: Stanford University, Swarthmore College, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University. The list also provides information on the number of students and cost.