Every year U.S. college research company Niche compiles a list of the best public or private college in each state. This year the company looked at  1713 colleges in its database and ranked them based on more than just basic statistics. According to its website,

This year the company looked at  1713 colleges in its database and ranked them based on more than just basic statistics.

According to its website, Niche strives “to capture the student and alumni realities of each college.” The rankings are compiled using key statistics about academics, students, campus, local area, professors, dorms, food, and athletics.

For the new year, the Best Colleges ranking also includes a “Best Value Colleges” ranking. This section reflects “the experience of alumni in the ‘real world’ ” by assessing the long-term impact a college has had on its students.

Included in the ranking are costs, post-college debt, career advancement, earnings, and “student review on how prepared they feel for life after college.”

While Niche offers a comprehensive list of every college ranked by state, we chose to show only the top school for each state.

Here is the list of the best college in every state and Washington, D.C.

Alabama – University of Alabama

University of Alabama

Location: Tuscaloosa

Overall: A

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 57%

The University of Alabama is known for its academics, which one student called the college’s “top priority.” One freshman reported to Niche that “everybody is extremely friendly and the classes are very unique.”

Alaska – University of Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Location: Fairbanks

Overall: B

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 74%

Despite the freezing temperatures, students attending University of Alaska Fairbanks share a bond. One student told Niche that the student body even has clubs for those who have been around for the state’s -40 and -50 degree days. Another student noted, “There are a lot of classes to choose from.”

Arizona – Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Location: Tempe

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 80%

One student told the research company that, despite the size of ASU’s population, “the class sizes are surprisingly small. She added, “The variety of the courses offered is vast and there are a lot of unique classes that enable you to really customize your general classes to something that you’ll enjoy.”

Arkansas – University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas

Location: Fayetteville

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 59%

According to students, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville does a good job of preparing students for life after college. One student added, “The name of University of Arkansas is respected all over the place. I have great resources at my disposal to find jobs and prepare for interviews. Internships are stressed here and prepared for.”

California – Stanford University

Stanford University

Location: Palo Alto

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 6%

In California, it’s all about getting into Stanford. Unfortunately for applicants, the college’s acceptance rate is just 6 percent. Still, for those who do get in, one student raved, “Stanford is truly the most amazing place in the world.” While she didn’t really feel at home her freshman year, the student explained that her sophomore year was wonderful. She added, “I have finally found [a home] at the Farm. The academics are amazing and the people are even better.”

Colorado – Colorado College

Colorado College

Location: Colorado Springs

Overall: A

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 22%

Students at Colorado College rave about professors, interesting classes, and a beautiful campus. One student added, “Everyone has some sort of hidden talent that surprises you.” She noted, “I love being so close to so many opportunities in the outdoors.”

Connecticut – Yale University

Yale University

Location: New Haven

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 7%

As an Ivy League school, it is no wonder Yale made the list of top schools in the United States. One junior stated that Yale was a draw because of the “close knit community and the welcoming and inclusive social space.” She added that she has a diverse group of friends and credits yale for being “equipped with the vocabulary to express eloquently just who I am.”

Delaware – University of Delaware

University of Delaware

Location: Newark

Overall: A

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 65%

Students at the University of Delaware say that the staff is very helpful, sports are provided all the equipment needed for safety, and the class sizes are typically small to medium. One student added, “So far, the school is great! The professors help you as much as needed, you just need to ask for help. I was accepted into a brand- new partnership and it is FANTASTIC! I would totally recommend this route to anyone.”

Florida – University of Florida

University of Florida

Location: Gainesville

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 47%

Students at UF agreed that sports are a favorite past time and students aren’t afraid of showing off their Gator pride. Sports aside, one junior added, “I enjoy my courses and I built a great relationship with one of my professors from last semester. I am pleased with the overall experience.”

Georgia – Emory University

Emory University

Location: Atlanta

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 26%

One student stated of the academics at Emory, “All my courses have been very valuable and I have little to no complaints about my professors or classes. Professors are all very intelligent and care about student success; try to make the classes are do-able as possible while also being challenging.”

Hawaii – Chaminade University of Honolulu

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Location: Honolulu

Overall: B+

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 84%

Students were overall happy with the academics at Chaminade University. One student wrote, “The classes are small which is good for me because I have a better chance for asking help from the teacher. All the buildings are close to each other so my classes aren’t that far a part from each other. Also, there are a lot of clubs that I can join to just pass the time.”

Idaho – The College of Idaho

College of Idaho

Location: Caldwell

Overall: A-

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 91%

A junior at the College of Idaho writes, “It has a very individualized education that makes students competitive when applying for graduate programs.” A recent graduate added, “The top-quality liberal arts curriculum gives you the opportunity to become a well-rounded person thus leading to not only academic growth but also extraordinary personal growth.”

Illinois – University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Location: Chicago

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 9%

One student explained that UChicago is a great school, with the same drawbacks as any other. Another student added that the people they met “have been some of the most interesting and inspiring individuals. I am literally surrounded by people who are constantly striving towards their dreams.” They added that most students have at least one extracurricular activity and that “the teachers are remarkable and very accomplished.”

Indiana – University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

Location: South Bend

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 22%

long with boasting some of the “toughest academics in the country,” students added that safety is a top priority for the South Bend, Indiana college. One student wrote, “Notre Dame has its own police force, well-lit sidewalks, and emergency call stations all over.”

Another freshman added, ” The Notre Dame career center is helpful in applying for jobs and the university sponsors several career expos throughout the year.”

Iowa – Grinnell College

Grinnell College

Location: Grinnell

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 35%

A junior at the school wrote that “the student body is very inclusive and open.” They added that every event is free and everyone on campus is invited to attend. The student added, “we have over 500 events each year, including speakers, parties, performances, and bands, and over 200+ clubs and organizations.”

For academics, another student told Niche, “Professors are always there to help and students can go to other members of the Grinnell community for academic guidance.”

Kansas – University of Kansas

University of Kansas

Location: Lawrence

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 92%

A freshman at University of Kansas stated that they chose to enroll at the college “because it is a well-known school and there is possibility the name benefits me in my career.” The student praised alumni for being involved and wanting to “help students find internships, jobs, and other career opportunities.” They added, “The career center has been helpful in building resumes and creating cover letters, the writing center helps to edit those also.”

Kentucky – Centre College

Centre College Kentucky

Location: Danville

Overall: A-

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 69%

Students at Centre College enjoy a challenging academic life with distinguished professors and a welcoming student body. One freshman added, “I love my school and so many of the people I’ve met there. My roommate is my best friend and we’re very close with our RA and many of her friends are now our friends as well. My professors are all wonderful and approachable and class is challenging, but not overwhelming.”

Louisiana – Tulane University

Tulane University

Location: New Orleans

Overall: A

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 26%

Along with praise for the party scene, Tulane’s students are overall happy with the academic atmosphere. One wrote, “Academics at Tulane are great. They are definitely getting better and better every year. There is a wide variety of interesting classes to take. Classes are small enough to get individual attention. The professors are very easy to reach and helpful.”

Maine – Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College

Location: Brunswick

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 15%

A sophomore praised the academics at Bowdoin, calling them “top-notch in terms of the students who are serious about learning and the professors who care about allowing those students to achieve that goal.”

One frshman added”The academics here are both challenging and worthwhile. The professors are fantastic for the most part; they are approachable and ridiculously smart!”

Maryland – Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 18%

A college freshman wrote, “The program is very difficult. In fact, I found the first semester grueling. However, it has pushed me to become a better student. I’ve improved for next semester and will utilize the campus resources and professors’ advice more.” Another freshman added, “Professors are incredibly helpful if you ask for help.”

Massachusetts – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 8%

A MIT freshman wrote, “Those three letters get you access to virtually any company you want. Just don’t mess up.” Along with excellence in academics, MIT boasts a good student life. One student noted, “The people are wonderful and probably what makes MIT so unique. Everyone wants to learn or advance their fields, both professors and students. There are few who are complacent, which is mostly a great thing.”

Michigan – University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 37%

A junior at UM Ann Arbor noted, “The University of Michigan is overall a great balance between academics and social life. It’s a large school and if you have specific interests, you will find a group of people that share that interest. That said, I think it does take some time finding a social network here, particularly if not a lot of people you went to high school with came here and if you don’t join Greek Life. ” While the social aspect may be difficult, one student noted, “This school is crazy about its football.”

Minnesota – Carleton College

Carleton College

Location: Northfield

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 21%

A sophomore at Carleton raved, “Carleton is an incredible place to go to school–the people really care about academics, real issues, and each other. There are also literally hundreds of activities to get involved with, so there is pretty much something for everyone.”

Mississippi – Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University

Location: Starkville

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 65%

Students at MSU boast pride for their school, along with great academics. A senior explained, “I have applied for many internships, and heave never had a problem getting accepted into a good internship program while being a Student at MSU. I have completed 3 Summer internships at various facilities in the Southeastern United States, and all have commended myself and my college on being prepared, knowledgable, and a hard worker.”

Missouri – Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis

Location: St. Louis

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 16%

One senior shared, “Washington University in St. Louis has been a wonderful experience. I am an international student attending the LLM. I have found the professors and dean to be extremely helpful. The program is top notch. The “Law” family is very welcoming and always getting together for academic and social entertainment.”

Montana – Carroll College

Carroll College

Location: Helena

Overall: B+

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 53%

A freshman told Niche, “The small size means students receive one-on-one attention from professors. “I really do love that all my classes are under 40 people, and I get to work directly with the teacher. It’s nice when they know your name and you can ask THEM questions about the homework, not just a lab aid.”

Nebraska – Creighton University

Creighton University

Location: Omaha

Overall: A-

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 77%

“What I really enjoy about Creighton is that the students are here to learn and better themselves,” wrote a sophomore. “There are always fun activities going on around campus like the foam party or ‘Wednesdays After Class.’ We have great Greek life and a lot of ways to get involved around campus.

Nevada – University of Nevada at Reno

University of Nevada at Reno

Location: Reno

Overall: B

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 84%

A recent alumnus shared, “Career prospects are tremendous and valuable to the individual for the most professional jobs in the market. Employees like U.N.R students.”

One freshman added, “My overall experience at UNR has been spectacular. I feel I have learned very much in my first semester alone and plan to do the same going forward.”

New Hampshire – Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College

Location: Hanover

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 10%

One student noted that, while the course load might be tough, “The professors seem to really have an interest in students as individuals. I have profited from relatively small class sizes couple with very accommodating office hours.”

New Jersey – Princeton University

Princeton University

Location: Princeton

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 7%

One Princeton freshman wrote, “The professors are definitely experts in their field. The professors I have had so far are enthusiastic about what they teach and give honest feedback.” The student added, “It can be pretty stressful at times but student organizations seem to be making an effort to make it more manageable. There are several classes one can take and although Princeton doesn’t offer majors in things like Theater or African American Studies, one can get certificates in these fields.”

New Mexico – New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

Location: Las Cruces

Overall: B-

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 85%

One junior wrote, “There are career fests for almost every single career choice that you can make at NMSU. The opportunities really are huge but not so engaging that most of the students feel obliged to take time out of their busy schedule and learn what it means to create their own future.”

New York – Columbia University

Columbia University

Location: New York City

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 7%

One college freshman raved about the school, saying, “I am so glad that I chose Columbia. It has been my dream school ever since I was little and I love it. The academics are challenging but not too much to handle, and the social scene is exciting and fun. I have made a lot of friends and being in New York City is such an advantage.”

North Carolina – Duke University

Duke University

Location: Durham

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 13%

One sophomore wrote, “Duke is difficult, but I would choose it again if I had to do it all over. The classes make me think, the basketball is fantastic, and the people are amazing.”

North Dakota – University of Jamestown

University of Jamestown

Location: Jamestown

Overall: B

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 57%

A senior at University of Jamestown noted, “University of Jamestown is a unique college with absolutely amazing and smart staff that will teach you and give you all you need for your journey to success! My major was computer science and I have only positive feedback to leave in here. Professors are helpful and smart, athletics are wonderful.”

Ohio – Ohio State University

Ohio State University

Location: Columbus

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 56%

One freshman noted that taking APs in high school helped prepare them for life at Ohio State. Another freshman added, “I think that the academics at OSU are fantastic. A majority of my courses push me to work harder than I ever had to in my high school classes. Also, in order to do well in them, one has to learn and memorize information as well as be able to understand the explanation behind that knowledge and why things are the way the are.”

Oklahoma – Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

Location: Stillwater

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 76%

One freshman wrote, “I love all the professors I have had class with and they are all very willing to help in any way that they can.” Another student added, ” I think that OSU is the best school for my field of study which is Aerospace Engineering. Since this is my Freshman year I’m not yet into the engineering classes that I’m looking forward to; just getting the basics out of the way.”

Oregon – Willamette University

Willamette University

Location: Salem

Overall: A-

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 58%

One college freshman wrote, “I think Willamette was the best option for me. It’s diverse in many aspects–ethnically, intellectually, and socioeconomically–in comparison to most other liberal arts colleges. It has a growing reputation and the professors seem to genuinely care. I’ve met some really amazing people so far and I do feel like I made the right decision to go here even though it was not my first choice. I am also learning a lot even though it is a lot of work.”

Pennsylvania – University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 12%

A recent alumnus told Niche, “My Penn experience was excellent – a variety of different academic and extracurricular opportunities, and a great semi-urban feel to the campus. The environment was also extremely competitive and I had to learn to really manage my time and the stress that came with academic and professional deadlines. The city of Philadelphia is a great place to go to college and the east coast provides a lot of different career opportunities for both internships and full time jobs.”

Rhode Island – Brown University

Brown University

Location: Providence

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 9%

A sophomore at Brown University wrote, “It’s a smaller program so it’s a closer community. Thanks to this there is a lot of opportunity to get involved in research. The workload is not bad at all and either way the courses are very interesting. The department’s building is one of the nicest on campus- it has great offices, computer labs, study areas, and labs.”

South Carolina – Clemson University

Clemson University

Location: Clemson

Overall: A

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 58%

One junior noted, “Clemson is a fantastic school. It’s the perfect mix of a larger school without being too large.” They added, “The students are friendly and welcoming to all types of people. The professors really care about helping you learn and aren’t just research focused.”

South Dakota – South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Location: Rapid City

Overall: B+

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 86%

“I think it is a wonderful school, and all students are very accepting of you as a person. Classes are challenging, but not to hard,” one student wrote.

Tennessee – Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

Location: Nashville

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 13%

A Vanderbilt freshman wrote, “They really take care of their freshmen. The teachers are leaders in their field but also approachable and friendly. People are very smart but not as nerdy as you’d expect. It’s not a very pretentious school either.

Texas – Rice University

Rice University

Location: Houston

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 17%

“I’m incredibly happy with my decision to come to Rice. It’s a small campus, so you’ll have pretty small class sizes (max 150 for intro STEM classes, once you get past those its usually 15-40 people in a class) and personal relationships with your professors, “noted one sophomore. They added, “It’s pretty easy to make friends since you see a lot of familiar faces everywhere and you’ll see a lot of the same people at events you’re interested in (i.e. make sports friends at athletic events, party friends when you go out, school friends in classes- and a lot of these overlap).”

Utah – Bringham Young University

Brigham Young University

Location: Provo

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 49%

According to one junior, “[BYU] is a wonderful place, I just attended a study abroad in the Middle East and it was wonderful. I loved running with the professors, I love the environment, the people are very integral and kind. It is a wonderful place to be and very affordable, a great value.”

Vermont – Middlebury College

Middlebury College

Location: Middlebury

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 17%

A freshman, thrilled with their education, wrote, “Professors here are extremely helpful. They are truly here to teach above anything else. They go out of their way to not only make sure that you understand, but also to make sure that you’re comfortable and happy. Classes are extremely interesting due to the material but also due to the professors teaching them. There are so many different class options and class sizes are small and perfect.”

Virginia – University of Virginia

University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 30%

One sophomore noted, “I absolutely adore my school. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t walk to class, finding new reasons to be grateful for choosing it.” They added, “The combination of history, academics, athletics, social scene and opportunities is one that cannot be compared.”

Washington – University of Washington

Washington - University of Washington

Location: Seattle

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 55%

One freshman raved, “Attending the University of Washington was everything I could have imagined and more. It is a HUGE school – not only because I’m below 5 feet tall and everything is a 4-8 stories high, but because this school’s historical significance, class size and vast amount of opportunities are absolutely colossal.”

Washington, D.C. – Georgetown University

Georgetown University

Location: Washington, DC

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 17%

A senior at Georgetown wrote, “There is an active connect between many of the large programs in the DC area and this program at Georgetown. Many of the pro teams and professional organizations are hiring students directly out of this program or offering them real-world internships.”

West Virginia – West Virginia University

West Virginia University

Location: Morgantown

Overall: B+

Academics: B-

Acceptance rate: 85%

“The academics here are great!” one junior noted. They added, “This school offers a wide variety of majors, programs, and has employed some amazing professors and advisors to help you succeed in those majors and programs. The registration process has always been quick and easy for me, the only difficult part is choosing between all the great classes and professors offered.”

Wisconsin – University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin

Location: Madison

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 68%

A sophomore at University of Wisconsin wrote, “Academics are probably my favorite part here. Maybe it’s just my department (history), but I’ve always found my professors to be incredibly engaging, experts in their field, and generally approachable.” The sophomore added, “It’s the professors here that I have loved so much that have inspired me to become a professor myself!”

Wyoming – University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming

Location: Laramie

Overall: B+

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 96%

“The quality of the education is really great and my professors are always helpful,” wrote a junior. “I have learned to take advantage of their help and dedication to their positions. The tuition is just the cherry on top. I would never change my decision to come here.”