CU Boulder maintains high marks among college rankings for 2017, 2018

CloseMaria Echeverry

Individual colleges also fared well. The United States is home to five of the world's top 10 universities for student employability - and all five hail from either California or Boston, Massachusetts.

For the 13th consecutive year, Western Illinois University has been recognized as a "Best Midwestern University" by U.S.News and World Report.

This year, Virginia placed six schools in the top 230 institutions, the top tier of the rankings, down from seven last year.

UC was ranked (at No. 111) among Best Value Schools. The Air Force Academy tied for fifth with the U.S. Naval Academy for "Top Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Bachelor's or Master's".

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin, Baylor University, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M; University, the University of Texas at Dallas, Southern Methodist University and Rice University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune.

Politico argued recently that the US News & World ranking "create incentives for schools to favor wealthier students over less wealthy applicants". High school counselor ratings of colleges are also factored in the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings.

Among all national universities, including private universities, FSU ranked 81st, up from 92nd a year ago, the university said.

The University of CT got its highest ranking yet among the nation's top public universities, according to the 2017 U.S. News and World Report ranking of public universities. Among public schools, the University of California-Los Angeles moved up one space to tie with the University of California-Berkeley, which has been the highest-ranking public university for 20 years.

The rankings remain influential among students and parents, who rely on them to guide their choice of school, as well as among colleges and universities, which use them to market their campuses and programs and attract students, faculty and philanthropic dollars.

"We continue to focus on providing an excellent education for very deserving students", said Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick. The top schools on that list are names that almost everyone knows: Princeton first and Harvard second.

Officials at the University of Mobile, which also came in at No. 5 among regional colleges in the South, celebrated the news as part of an ongoing surge. UConn averaged a 93 percent retention rate between freshman and sophomore years from 2012 to 2015.

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