The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

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October 16, 2013

The Daily Beast releases Top 200 Colleges rankings

College rankings are seemingly available everywhere, but they're often confusing and haphazard in terms of criteria.

According to a 2012 survey of college freshmen by the Higher Education Research Institute, 88% said getting a "better job" is "very important" — above things like becoming a more "cultured person" and learning "more about things that interest me." The desire to "make more money" hit an all-time high, with 75% saying it was very important.

With this in mind, The Daily Beast analyzed nearly 2,000 four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities in the U.S., using publicly available data and data collected and published by College Prowler, an online guide created by students that ranks hundreds of colleges on everything from the intelligence of professors to attractiveness of students. Criteria for The Daily Beast's rankings includes future earnings, quality of education, affordability and diversity.

Here are the top 10:

1. Yale

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3. Stanford

4. Harvard

5. Columbia

6. Princeton

7. University of California, Berkeley

8. Williams College (Williamstown, Pa.)

9. University of Virginia

10. University of Pennsylvania

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