Harvard University and Princeton University are tied for the No. 1 spot nationally in the U.S. News & World Report's 2012 rankings of top national universities, followed by Yale University in third place and Columbia University in fourth place. The rankings are based on such categories as academic reputation, faculty resources, graduation and retention rates, student quality and alumni giving.

In addition to the No. 1 ranking by US News, Princeton University is rated No. 2 in the Forbes ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions in America's Best Colleges, and No. 1 in the list of "100 Best Values in Private Colleges" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, which came out in fall 2010.

US News ranked Wake Forest University 25th among national universities, and recognized the school for its value, undergraduate business program and commitment to economic diversity among its students. In the overall ranking, the University achieved strong results in a number of categories due to in part to a student/faculty ratio of 11 to one; 54 % of classes having fewer than 20 students; and 94 % of first-year students returning for sophomore year.

The University of Arkansas continues to place among the first tier of national universities in the 2012 edition of America's Best Colleges. It is the only higher education institution in Arkansas listed among the 200 schools in the top of the national rankings. The University also remains in the category “A-Plus Schools for B Students,” a list of 80 national universities that the publication describes as being places where high school students who are “nonsuperstars have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving.”

10 Best National Universities for 2012:
1 Harvard
1 Princeton
3 Yale
4 Columbia
5 California Institute of Technology
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5 Stanford
5 Chicago
5 Pennsylvania
10 Duke
Source: US News

* Suggested Reading:

2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges

Princeton Review Best Colleges 2012

U.S. News Best Hospitals 2011-2012

World University Ranking Tables

America - US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, BusinessWeek
Canada - Maclean's, Gourman Report Ranking of Canadian Universities
UK - Sunday Times, Guardian, Times Good University Guide, Daily Telegraph
World - Shanghai Jiao Tong ARWU Rankings, Webometrics, Newsweek
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