US News ‘Best College’ rankings: Here’s how schools around DC region fared

johns hopkins
Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, made the top 10 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of best national universities. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

High schoolers are returning to classrooms this fall, and even though the new school year is just getting underway, a big decision now looms large on the horizon: finding the right college.

One resource for choosing schools has been U.S. News & World Report’s Best College rankings. The 37th edition was released on Monday, and the valedictorian among American universities remains Princeton University.

Columbia University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — which were near the top last year — all tied for second in this year’s rankings. The rest of the top 50 showed little change as well.

Some of the region’s major schools, though, earned good marks, too. Johns Hopkins University was ranked ninth overall, while Georgetown University placed 23rd and the University of Virginia placed 25th.

Other overall standouts included William & Mary (38th), the University of Maryland—College Park (59th), George Washington University (63rd), Virginia Tech (75th) and American University (79th).

A few also did well in the ranking of top public schools: The University of Virginia was ranked fourth overall, with William & Mary ranked No. 10 and the University of Maryland ranked 20th. The University of California—Los Angeles topped that particular list.

And among “best values” in national universities, the three regional standouts were D.C.’s Gallaudet University (12th), Johns Hopkins (16th) and the University of Virginia (31st).

Yale University topped that “best value” list.

Another local standout is the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It topped the overall list of public liberal arts colleges, edging out the U.S. Military Academy (No. 2) in West Point, New York; the U.S. Air Force Academy (No. 3) in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Virginia Military Institute (No. 4) in Lexington. U.S. News includes service academies in its list of liberal arts colleges.

U.S. News gathered data from and about more than 1,800 schools, and ranked more than 1,400 of them in several areas.

Click to enlarge.

In addition to its nationwide rankings, U.S. News also took a look at how schools compared with others in one of four regions.

Loyola University Maryland ranked fourth among best universities in the north, while James Madison University and Christopher Newport University, both in Virginia, were ranked third and sixth, respectively, in the south.

One new element of the latest rankings is an evaluation of the nation’s best undergraduate nursing programs. And while the overall standout among the nearly 700 ranked was the University of Pennsylvania, a few institutions close to home also did well.

The University of Maryland—Baltimore and the University of Virginia were both tied for 10th on the list. The nursing programs at Virginia Commonwealth University (23rd), George Washington (31st) and Catholic University of America (43rd) were standouts, too.

You can check out the complete list of U.S. News’ Best College rankings on the U.S. News website.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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