Correction Appended: Sept. 12, 2012
Well, if you were looking for a surprise in this year’s U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Colleges list, you’re not going to find it at the top: Harvard University has once again claimed the No. 1 spot — or at least half of it.
Harvard tied for No. 1 with Princeton on the 2013 list, which closely resembles last year’s edition, and was followed by Yale, Columbia and the University of Chicago. The remaining Ivy League schools, as was the case last year, all rank in the top 20. The only slight shake up in the Top 10 was that the California Institute of Technology fell from being tied last year in the No. 5 spot with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to being tied with Dartmouth College for the No. 10 spot this year.
Harvard’s top marks come despite a cheating scandal that broke on Aug. 30 when the University announced 125 of its undergraduate students had been accused of illicitly collaborating on a take-home final exam.
1. Harvard University
1. Princeton University
3. Yale University
4. Columbia University
4. University of Chicago
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
6. Stanford University
8. Duke University
8. University of Pennsylvania
10. California Institute of Technology
10. Dartmouth College
A public school doesn’t appear on the list until No. 24—a position claimed by the University of California, Berkeley. UCLA follows close behind, as does the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
U.S. News also releases a list of the schools it considers provide the best value, which the Ivy League schools also rank highly on as well as other prestigious universities like Stanford and Duke, thanks to their large endowments. The organization also ranks schools based on the amount of debt students have at graduation and include an alphabetized list of schools it considers to be “A+ schools for B students,” which includes many state-funded universities such as Auburn, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State and the University of Missouri, as well as private schools like Baylor and DePaul.
It also ranks the best liberal arts colleges in the country. The top schools on that list: Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Pomona, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Carleton, Haverford, Claremont McKenna and Vassar.
See the full 2012 Best Colleges rankings here.
Correction: The original version of this story mentioned the University of Southern California as a public school; it is private.