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Top 5 National Universities of 2022, According to US News

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On Monday, US News & World Report released its annual ranking of the nation’s top colleges and universities.

US News calculates its ranking based on six categories that are each weighted differently: Student Achievement (40%), Faculty Resources (20%), Expert Opinion (20%), Financial Resources ( 10%), student excellence (7%) and alumni donations (3%).

US News changed its methodology slightly this year to accommodate changes in standardized testing requirements. Previously, if less than 75% of incoming students in a given school submitted standardized test scores, US News reduced the importance of standardized test scores in the school’s overall ranking by 15%. This year, because so many schools have adopted voluntary testing policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, US News has lowered the threshold to 50%.

This year’s top universities share a lot in common. They are all prestigious schools with large endowments and four of the top five are members of the Ivy League. They are all incredibly difficult to integrate, with admitted students having strong high school results and high standardized test scores.

Princeton University has maintained its place as the top-ranked university in the country in part thanks to a student-to-faculty ratio of just four students for each faculty member as well as a high student retention rate. It is estimated that 98% of Princeton students graduate within six years and most importantly, low-income Princeton students who receive Pell scholarships also graduate at the same rate.

In the last season of admissions, Princeton offered admission to 1,498 students for the class of 2025, of which 22% will be first-generation students, an increase from 17% last year.

Here are the 5 best universities of 2022, according to US News and what it takes to get into them.

1. Princeton University

Blair Hall at Princeton University

Loop Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Location: Princeton, New Jersey

Average SAT score: 1450-1570

Share of first-year students in the top 10% of their high school class: 89%

Acceptance rate: 6%

2. Columbia University (tie)

Columbia university

Education Images | Getty Images

Location: New York, New York

Average SAT score: 1470-1570

Share of first year students in the top 10% of their high school class: 96%

Acceptance rate: 6%

2. Harvard University (tie)

Harvard University Widener Library

Jeffrey Greenberg / UIG via Getty Images

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 1460-1580

Share of freshmen in the top 10% of their high school class: 94%

Acceptance rate: 5%

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts

(Photo: Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Average SAT score: 1510-1580

Share of first-year students in the top 10% of their high school class: 100%

Acceptance rate: 7%

5. Yale University

Yale University

Yana Paskova / Stringer (Getty Images)

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Average SAT score: 1460-1580

Share of freshmen in the top 10% of their high school class: 94%

Acceptance rate: 7%

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