Culture / Newsy

Step Aside, Princeton!

Houston School Zooms By Ivy League Powers For Top 5 Colleges In America Ranking


You almost have to feel for those poor, poor Ivy League schools.

They keep putting their power, enviable alumni lists and legendary connections on the line … and they keep getting beat by a relatively little college in Houston, Texas. Yes, the “Ivy of the South” has done it again and bested many of the real things in new rankings of the Best Colleges In America.

Rice University takes fifth in Niche’s recently-released 2016 Best Colleges. The Owls trail only No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 MIT, No. 3 Yale and No. 4 Harvard in the new rankings. That puts Rice ahead of the other 1,708 public and private colleges analyzed by the Pittsburgh-based rankings service. In fact, Rice is ranked six spots higher than vaunted Princeton and 18 places ahead of Cornell.

And you thought pedigree means everything?

Many of the storied Ivy League colleges could not match Rice’s string of A+ grades in Niche’s academic-modeled rankings system. Rice captured A+ marks for Academics, Value, Professors, Diversity, Campus Quality and Student Life. The only area in which the school dipped at all was in safety, grabbing a B there.

Being Top 5 in the nation makes Rice the highest-ranked university in Texas, of course. But it’s not the only Lone Star State college with reason to be proud.

The University of Texas finished an impressive 16th, better than academic powers such as Notre Dame and Vanderbilt. Longhorn Nation pulled off the unusual trick of earning A+ rankings in both Academics and Partying. UT’s not the only “well rounded” school in Texas, however. Texas A&M University comes in at No. 40 out of more than 1,700 universities, and it likely would have ranked even higher if not for its C+ Diversity grade.

SMU (No. 75), TCU (No. 116), Baylor (No. 141), Texas Tech (No, 152) and the University of Houston (No. 169) also all finished within the Top 200 of these rankings.

But Rice — one of the smaller colleges on the list with its enrollment of 6,621 — reigns supreme in Texas (and very nearly in the entire country).

Sorry, Princeton, there’s always next year.

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