Sorry, Big Ten. The ACC may actually be the college conference with the best academic reputation.
The MONEY’s Best Colleges list was released Monday, ranking a total of 705 schools on 24 criteria, and the ACC led all Division-I conferences with nine schools in the top 100. The Big Ten and Ivy League were tied with eight each. The Division-III NESCAC also has nine schools ranked in the top in 100, with one just outside at No. 104.
Five Pac-12 schools, four SEC schools and one from the Big 12 are in the Top 100. Michigan is the highest-ranked Power Five school at No. 2. Rice (No. 4) and BYU (No. 5) are the highest-ranked non-Power Five schools. Amherst College is the top non-Division I school at No. 6.
Of the 26 non-Power Five Division-I schools in the top 100, three play FBS football, 18 field FCS football teams and five do not play football.
Several fierce rivals are neck and neck in the rankings.
- Cal (No. 5) vs. Stanford (No. 10)
- Virginia (No. 9) vs. Virginia Tech (No. 18)
- Washington (No. 30) vs. Washington State (No. 37)
- Georgia Tech (No. 35) vs. Georgia (No. 56)
- Duke (No. 39) vs. North Carolina (No. 45)
- Minnesota (No. 58) vs. Wisconsin (No. 63)
Other rivalries aren’t so close, most notably Auburn (No. 206) and Alabama (No. 642). Bama is actually dead last among Power Five schools.
MONEY’s rankings are based on 24 criteria that fall into three categories—quality of education, affordability and outcomes.
Read the full list over at MONEY.