The Best College in Each State

It’s a tough topic to be objective about, so you’ll probably have some thoughts.
It's the same hat at every school.
It's the same hat at every school. / DBenitostock/Moment/Getty Images

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a college, from program offerings and location to acceptance rate and tuition.

Niche, an online platform, does its best to make your evaluation easier by taking stock of all the relevant data and ranking colleges for you. Prospective students can filter schools by a variety of factors: four- or two-year, private or public, general areas of study, specific majors, tuition cost, student body size, test score requirements, median starting salary after graduation, and more. Only want to see schools that offer early decision, or don’t require an application fee? You can do that, too.

You can also browse by state, which is a fun way to find out which institutions lead the pack wherever you live (or are hoping to go to school). Niche has a very in-depth process for determining these rankings, which involves weighted grades given in nine categories: academics, value, professors, campus, diversity, student life, student surveys on overall experience, local area, and safety. The quality of professors is weighted quite a bit more heavily than, say, the quality of the dining hall, but it’s nice that campus food is considered worth evaluating at all. Niche factors in about half a million student surveys, too, so the breakdown isn’t just a clinical reflection of statistics.

The best colleges overall are of course also the best colleges in their respective states. For Connecticut, that’s first-place finisher Yale University; runner-up Stanford University holds the top spot for California; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in third place, edged out Harvard University (fourth place overall) on the Massachusetts list. Yes, Ivy League schools perform well in Niche’s breakdown. But if you want to filter for only public schools, again, that’s easy to do.

See which college took the top spot in each state below, and explore Niche’s offerings here.

Read More About Education: