Md., Va., DC colleges among best in the country

Festivities get under way this weekend for several schools around the area, including Howard University. (AP/Jose Luis Magana, file)
Graduate students walk to their places as their arrive to the 2016 Howard University graduation ceremony in Washington, Saturday, May 7, 2016. Howard made one of the biggest jumps in its national ranking in this year’s Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report advancing 11 slots. ( AP File Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
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FILE — Johns Hopkins University ranked No. 10 in the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (Courtesy Johns Hopkins University)
Deja Lindsey
Deja Lindsey, 20, a junior at Georgetown University, talks on her cell phone in front of Healy Hall on campus, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Washington. The school ranked No. 20 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (AP)
A student walks along the lawn at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. The school ranked, No. 24 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
FILE — A student walks along the lawn at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. The school ranked, No. 24 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.(AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP/Steve Helber)
FILE -- Graduates are seated during George Washington University's commencement exercises on the National Mall, Sunday, May 17, 2015 in Washington. Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the commencement address and was awarded an honorary degree of public service. The school ranked No. 56 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
FILE — Graduates are seated during George Washington University’s commencement exercises on the National Mall, Sunday, May 17, 2015 in Washington. Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the commencement address and was awarded an honorary degree of public service. The school ranked No. 56 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP)
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FLE — University of Maryland, College Park ranked No. 60 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (WTOP/Nicole Curtis) ((WTOP/Nicole Curtis))
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FILE — American University ranked No. 74 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.(WTOP/Michelle Basch) (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
Students return to activities, after school officials declared the campus safe from two earlier shootings, in Blacksburg, Va., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. A gunman walked into a parking lot and killed a Virginia Tech police officer who was conducting a traffic stop on campus Thursday, state police said. Another officer later spotted a second person in a different parking lot who was alive at the time. That person, a white man, later died of a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Students walk on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. Virginia Tech tied American University at No. 74 in the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report (AP File Photo/Steve Helber) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Steve Helber)
FILE -- Volunteers tend to Catholic University of America's community garden on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, for a "Walk with Francis" day of community service. The school ranked No. 124 on the the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.(WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
FILE — Volunteers tend to Catholic University of America’s community garden on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, for a “Walk with Francis” day of community service. The school ranked No. 124 on the the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.(WTOP/Kathy Stewart) (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
FILE: A statue of George Mason stands in the heart of George Mason University's Fairfax campus in Fairfax, Virginia, Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010.  George Mason University ranked No. 143 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FILE: A statue of George Mason stands in the heart of George Mason University’s Fairfax campus in Fairfax, Virginia, Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010. George Mason University ranked No. 143 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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Festivities get under way this weekend for several schools around the area, including Howard University. (AP/Jose Luis Magana, file)
johnshopkins.jpg
Deja Lindsey
A student walks along the lawn at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. The school ranked, No. 24 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
FILE -- Graduates are seated during George Washington University's commencement exercises on the National Mall, Sunday, May 17, 2015 in Washington. Apple CEO Tim Cook gave the commencement address and was awarded an honorary degree of public service. The school ranked No. 56 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
image.jpeg
AmericanUniversity.JPG
Students return to activities, after school officials declared the campus safe from two earlier shootings, in Blacksburg, Va., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. A gunman walked into a parking lot and killed a Virginia Tech police officer who was conducting a traffic stop on campus Thursday, state police said. Another officer later spotted a second person in a different parking lot who was alive at the time. That person, a white man, later died of a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
FILE -- Volunteers tend to Catholic University of America's community garden on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, for a "Walk with Francis" day of community service. The school ranked No. 124 on the the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.(WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
FILE: A statue of George Mason stands in the heart of George Mason University's Fairfax campus in Fairfax, Virginia, Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010.  George Mason University ranked No. 143 on the 2016 Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON — Howard University’s national ranking saw one of the biggest jumps of any school rated in this year’s Best Colleges report from U.S. News and World Report.

Howard advanced 11 slots on the nationally ranked universities list to join another D.C.-based school, Catholic University of America, plus three other schools to tie for No. 124.

Howard also ranked No. 2 among historically black colleges, according to the 2017 report released on Tuesday. Spelman College ranked No. 1.

The rankings are based, in part, on class size, freshman retention, graduation rates and faculty resources.

Johns Hopkins University ranked the 10th best university in the country and was also considered one of the best values of any school in the country. Students receiving need-based financial aid paid about 55 percent of the full cost to attend the Baltimore school.

Georgetown University and the University of Virginia ranked 20th and 24th nationally. The College of William and Mary ranked 32nd.

University of Maryland at College Park, Virginia Tech, William and Mary and U.Va. were all listed among the top 30 public universities in the country.

For parents and students looking for a combination of strong academics and affordability, Georgetown, U.Va., Gallaudet University, Virginia Military Institute, and Washington and Lee University all ranked highly for overall value.

Washington and Lee ranked 11th for the top liberal arts schools followed by the U.S. Naval Academy, which ranked 12th tying with four other schools.

Several schools in the D.C. region were noted for their innovative changes to curriculum, technology or campus life, with the University of Maryland at Baltimore County near the top of the list. George Mason, U.Md. at College Park and U.Va. also made the list, which is based on nominations.

Princeton University, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Yale University and Columbia University rounded out the top five schools ranked nationally.

Among liberal arts colleges, Williams, Amherst, Wellesley, Middlebury and Swarthmore rounded out the top five, according to the 2017 rankings.

Area universities ranked nationally:
10. Johns Hopkins University (MD)
20. Georgetown University (DC)
24. University of Virginia
32. College of William and Mary (VA)
56. George Washington University (DC)
60. University of Maryland College Park
74. American University (DC)
74. Virginia Tech
124. Catholic University of America (DC)
124. Howard University (DC)
143. George Mason University (VA)

Area liberal arts colleges ranked nationally:
11. Washington and Lee University (VA)
12. United States Naval Academy (MD)
27. University of Richmond (VA)
53. St. John’s College (MD)
72. Virginia Military Institute
99.  St. Mary’s College of Maryland
99. Washington College (MD)
105. Hampden-Sydney College (VA)
113. Goucher College (MD)
128. McDaniel College (MD)
132. Randolph College (VA)
132. Randolph-Macon College (VA)
140. Sweet Briar College (VA)
140. Roanoke College (VA)
174. Emory and Henry College (VA)

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