College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, has published a ranking of the 100 Best Colleges and Universities for 2017.

College choice believe rankings are still important for students, since college (though expensive), is often still worth the investment. According to a Georgetown University research study, over 95 percent of new jobs created since the Great Recession have gone to people with at least some college education. That, along with the dramatic increase in lifelong earning potential, means that a college education is still the clearest path to a prosperous future.

“The United States has a dizzying array of colleges, from small to large, focused on liberal arts or research or technical skills, private or public, online or commuter or residential,” Christian Amondson, Managing Editor of College Choice, said of the ranking in a released statement. “With this ranking, we are aiming to provide an authoritative list of the very best institutions of higher education in the country. The list contains great diversity in type of school, but all of them are similar in their commitment to excellence in scholarship.”

A Focus on Student ROI

College Choice developed its list by looking at academic quality along with return on investment—the differential between tuition costs and average early career earnings.

(Next page: The 100 Best Colleges and Universities for 2017 for ROI, quality)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ranking for the 100 Best Colleges and Universities for 2017 finds Harvard University in the top spot. Princeton University is in second, and Stanford University rounds out the top three.

The entire ranking, listed in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Amherst College

Babson College

Barnard College

Bates College

Berea College

Boston College

Boston University

Bowdoin College

Brandeis University

Brigham Young University-Provo

Brown University

Bryn Mawr College

Bucknell University

California Institute of Technology

Carleton College

Carnegie Mellon University

Case Western Reserve University

Claremont McKenna College

Colby College

Colgate University

College of the Ozarks

College of William and Mary

Columbia University in the City of New York

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Cornell University

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

Dartmouth College

Davidson College

Duke University

Emory University

George Washington University

Georgetown University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Grinnell College

Hamilton College

Harvard University

Harvey Mudd College

Haverford College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Johns Hopkins University

Kenyon College

Lafayette College

Lehigh University

Macalester College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Middlebury College

New York University

Northeastern University

Northwestern University

Occidental College

Pepperdine University

Pitzer College

Pomona College

Princeton University

Reed College

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rice University

San Diego State University

Santa Clara University

Scripps College

Skidmore College

Stanford University

Stevens Institute of Technology

Stony Brook University

SUNY at Binghamton

Swarthmore College

The University of Texas at Austin

Tufts University

Tulane University of Louisiana

University of California-Berkeley

University of California-Davis

University of California-Irvine

University of California-Los Angeles

University of California-Riverside

University of California-San Diego

University of California-Santa Barbara

University of California-Santa Cruz

University of Chicago

University of Connecticut

University of Florida

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Miami

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Notre Dame

University of Pennsylvania

University of Richmond

University of Southern California

University of Virginia

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

Vanderbilt University

Vassar College

Washington and Lee University

Washington University in St Louis

Wellesley College

Wesleyan University

Whitman College

Williams College

Yale University

College Choice is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. The site publishes rankings and reviews that make finding the best colleges for different interests easier and more fun, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.

For the full ranking and methodology, click here.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.