A new ranking of America's best universities is out and, for what seems to be the first time in history, not a single school from New York State made the top 10.

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US News' Annual List

Credit - Emily Xie
Credit - Emily Xie

Each year, U.S. News and World releases its annual ranking of the top colleges and universities in America. To little surprise, Princeton University claimed the No.1 spot while MIT and Harvard respectively rounded out the top 3.

Farther down the ultra-competitive list, Stanford and Yale respectively claimed a fourth and fifth-place finish. Again, this ranking comes to little surprise as these schools have historically claimed the upper crust of the top 10.

Read More: NY College Crowned Nation's Best "Value for Money" University

However, the bottom half of the list sees more changes with some schools rising or falling by a few slots - but it usually included the heavy-hitters from New York State. Columbia and Cornell tend to make it somewhere into the top 10 due to their high graduation rates and the commendable salaries its graduates earn on average a few years after collecting their diplomas.

But in 2024, not a single university within the top 10 had a "NY" next to its name. In fact, both schools saw a stunning fall from grace.

According to US News, these are the country's 10 best universities for 2024:

  1. Princeton University

  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  3. Harvard University

  4. Stanford University

  5. Yale University

  6. University of Pennsylvania

  7. California Institute of Technology

  8. Duke University

  9. Brown University

  10. Johns Hopkins University

Sadly, New York even failed to claim bragging rights that they "almost" had a school make the top 10. Instead, the honor went to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Even more is that university is actually in a 3-way tie for ninth with Brown and Johns Hopkins.

Going Down...


In 2022, Columbia, Cornell and NYU all had impressive finishes on the annual list. Columbia almost beat first-place Princeton while Cornell tied with Rice in 17th place. NYU bowed in 28th place, beating out places like Tufts and Lehigh.

This year, all schools saw a massive dip in their overall rankings, with both Columbia and Cornell tying in 12th place for 2024.

Meanwhile, NYU slipped all the way back to 35th place and was beaten by institutions like the University of Florida and nearly all the Universities of California (Southern, San Diego, Davis, Los Angeles and Berkeley - if you must know.)

Although making the list at all is an impressive feat, I have a strong feeling school administrators are none too thrilled with their placing this year.

Read More: 14 New York Colleges Named Worst in the Country

The fact is: schools receive more applications the higher up they land on the list from US News. Those who make the top 10 tend to get the best and brightest students hoping to join their next graduating class (and score a lovely scholarship in the process).

Students compare universities to not only see which institution fits them best, but also to determine which will open more doors for them. Although American employers are starting to put less consideration into where a prospective employee graduated - it still can make a huge difference.

Photo Credit - AndreyPopov/Thinkstock

For example, if an employer is stuck between two prospective hires that are virtually the same in every aspect, but one went to a very prestigious school, the employer may ultimately choose them because of their education.

That is not always the case, but in this economy, it's possible incoming college freshman want the scales to be tipped even more in their favor.

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