WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Princeton, Harvard and Yale, the three top members of the Ivy League, topped the U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking, released Tuesday, of U.S. colleges.
They were followed by another Ivy, Columbia, and by Stanford in California, the University of Chicago, Duke in North Carolina, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania and the California Institute of Technology.
The University of California at Berkeley, which tied with Georgetown in Washington for the 20th place, was the highest-ranked public institution on the list.
Forbes magazine, which released its own list in July, put Stanford and another California institution, Pomona College, in the two top spots. Princeton and Yale came in third and fourth and Harvard in eighth place.
Forbes said its rankings were based on the value of the actual education students achieved, not on how selective colleges are.
John Tierney, a former professor of American government at Boston College who taught in a high school after his retirement, attacked the U.S. News list -- and the general idea of college rankings -- in an article published Tuesday on The Atlantic website.
"For parents and prospective students who know almost nothing about America's colleges and universities, the ranking provides a rough guide to the institutional landscape of American higher education," he concluded. "Using the U.S. News rankings for any more exacting purpose is about as good for you as eating potato chips and Gummy Bears for dinner. With maple syrup."