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Study Abroad

Top universities in America

Find out the top 10 universities in the USA for this year as well as how much they charge and where to apply.American university

When applying for universities in America, many UK students will (rightly) be looking for the most popular American universities to get the best education — and make their CVs sparkle!

On this basis, we have used the latest US university rankings by US News, a worldwide recognised list of America's best universities. The ranking is based on a wide array of criteria, with a strong emphasis on those most coveted by employers.

Please note: all tuition fee figures and rankings listed are for 2013-14.

Top 10 American universities

  1. Princeton University - £24,805/yr

    Princeton universityPrinceton University is in a quiet suburban town of New Jersey. Enrollment of new students is around 5,200 a year.

    The application deadline is 1st January and Princeton had an acceptance rate of 8.8% last year.

    Apply for Princeton University >>

  2. Harvard University - £26,115/yr

    Harvard UniversityOnce home to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard University is often cited as the best university in the world. The campus is located in a typical urban setting, just outside of Boston, MA. Harvard enrolls around 6,000 students a year, and the application deadline date is 1st January.

    Of course, at number one, the competition is fierce resulting in an acceptance rate of just 7% - a fraction of which are from outside the US.

    Apply for Harvard University >>

  3. Yale University - £27,170/yr

    Yale universityYale (Connecticut) had an intake of 5,310 students last year. The deadline for applications is 31st December, a little earlier than most US universities, so it's best to get yours in way before Christmas.

    The acceptance rate at Yale is again quite low, with just 8% of students making it through.

    Apply for Yale University >>

  4. Columbia University - £30,343/yr

    columbia universityAside from outstanding educational credentials, being located in New York City Columbia University has one of the most attractive locations for UK students. Of course places are again highly competitive, with 10% of applicants making the grade.

    Don't reduce your chances by making a late application, so get yours in way before the deadline of 1st January.

    Apply for Columbia University >>

  5. Stanford University - £26,705/yr

    StanfordStanford University is located in the California Bay area in a suburban setting. The intake is somewhat larger than the top 6 universities in this list at around 7,000 per year.

    As with most universities in America, the application date is 1st January and the admission rate is a low 7.3%.

    Apply for Stanford University >>

  6. University of Chicago - £28,643/yr

    universty of chicagoChicago is a great American city at which to study, and I'm sure that the 5,238 students who are accepted there every year will agree. It is also one of the top universities in the world (talking top 20) and it has an acceptance rate of 8.8%.

    Applications must be filed by 3rd January.

    Apply for Chicago University >>

  7.  Duke University - £28,082/yr

    duke universityDuke University is located in America's Durham. The total enrollment is 6,664 a year and these are the 16.5% students that are chosen.

    Just be sure to get your application in by 2nd January.

    Apply for Duke University >>

  8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology - £26,860/yr

    MIT uniMIT is geographically near Harvard in Boston, MA.

    You must apply before 1st January to be in with a chance of being one of the 4,200 (10%) that make it into the university.

    Apply for Massachusetts University >>

  9. University of Pennsylvania - £28,337/yr

    University of pennsylvaniaNumber 8 in the list by US News has nearly 8,000 enrolments every year and with an acceptance rate of around 14%.

    For your chance to study in Philadelphia (not the sandwich spread we all love) then you must apply by 1st January.

    Apply for Pennsylvania University >>

  10. California Institute of Technology - £25,650/yr

    CaltechWhilst Caltech benefits from some of the best West coast sunshine, only 967 new students a year get to enjoy it whilst studying at the university.

    If you are after an engineering degree, then this is the college for you. The application date is 1st January with a typical acceptance rate of 13%.

    Apply for California University >>

All tuition fee figures listed are the average cost per year for 2013-14. It is important to remember that these don't include the added cost of living and renting accommodation. For this you would need to add on around £6,000-£10,000 a year depending on your arrangements and living style.

It's worth bearing in mind that although these US universities are seen as the top 10 in academic terms, they may not offer sufficient financial support or even excel in the subject that you wish to take. This is just a broad-based ranking list using one criteria type.

Unfortunately the US college system doesn't benefit from a central body such as UCAS in the UK, so the first step to studying in America is doing a lot of your own research before you ultimately get into the right US university or college for you.

It goes without saying, but the best American Universities for UK and international students will differ slightly to this list. In the near future we will be conducting our own research using a unique system to rank the top American Universities specifically for British students.

This article is part of our Study Abroad series, which has lots more information for international students considering study at American universities (like funding).


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