Offering powerhouse academics and deep-rooted traditions at no cost, the U.S. Service Academies have always been a leader of Top Colleges list, but this year they dominate the Top Public Schools list with the United States Military Academy coming in at No. 1 on, followed by the United States Naval Academy (No. 2) and the United States Air Force Academy (No. 3).
The Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia held steady at No. 4 and the 323-year old College of William and Mary, the second oldest in the nation, rose to No. 5. It is the first time in the past three years that all surpassed U.C. Berkeley, which came in at No. 6. UVA is known for its strong research performance, and the school is the beneficiary of $311 million in research awards and home to over 100 research centers. UVA Cavaliers are dominant sports contenders, as well, and its rival, Virginia Tech, also makes the top public schools list at No. 22.
Even with Berkeley’s fall, many of the University of California schools continue to be a powerhouse on our Top Public Colleges ranking, with U.C.L.A. at No. 8, followed by U.C. Santa Barbara (No. 19), U.C. San Diego (No. 21), and U.C. Davis (No. 25).
Following are the 25 Top Public Colleges:
- United States Military Academy
- United States Naval Academy
- United States Air Force Academy
- University of Virginia
- College of William and Mary
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- University of Wisconsin, Madison
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- University of Washington
- University of Florida
- University of Maryland, College Park
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Texas, Austin
- University of Georgia
- United States Coast Guard Academy
- University of California, Santa Barbara
- Indiana University, Bloomington
- University of California, San Diego
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- University of Colorado, Boulder
- University of California, Davis
- The best public schools in the country are not just limited to those on the nation’s coasts. They can be found all across the country, and five schools from the heartland of the country make this year’s cut: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (No. 7), University of Wisconsin, Madison (No. 10) University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (No. 11), Indiana University, Bloomington (No. 20), and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (No. 23). Those who graduate from UMich are among some of America’s greatest including: former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Google Cofounder Larry Page, former U.S. President Gerald Ford, singer Madonna, and NFL player Tom Brady.