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The 25 top colleges in the US, and how much you might be earning 6 years after graduating

Amherst College

A new school year is about to begin, which means a new group of high school students are deciding which colleges they should apply to.

To help both students and parents, school-ranking website Niche has released its 2020 list of the best colleges in America, after rating more than 1,000 schools. Niche based its rankings on factors like acceptance rates, student and alumni reviews, professor ratings, graduate income, and campus life.

The top spot went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The other top spots went to Stanford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton.

Here are the 25 best colleges in America.

25. Tufts University — Medford, Massachusetts

Acceptance rate: 15%

Undergraduate students: 5,483

Net cost of tuition: $29,449

Most popular majors: Economics, Biology, International Relations

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $75,800

According to a student: "I could not be more happy with the experience I've had at Tufts. It is a very demanding academic institution but also provides us with the cutting edge of research and the best professors, so you know why so much is expected of you."

24. Georgetown University — Washington, DC

Acceptance rate: 16%

Undergraduate students: 6,987

Net cost of tuition: $27,420

Most popular majors: Political Science and Government, International Relations, Finance

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $93,500

According to a student: "Georgetown was such a great experience for me personally — I found the professors to truly care about their students and most of the student body was driven, intelligent, and genuine."

23. University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, Michigan

Acceptance rate: 27%

Undergraduate students: 28,702

Net cost of tuition: $16,408

Most popular majors: Information Science, Business, Research and Experimental Psychology

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $63,400

According to a student: "The University of Michigan has really turned into my home. The atmosphere of the school as well as the challenging but also supportive academic environment were the two things that I was really looking for in a school and Michigan does it so well. You really need to take initiative to succeed here, but if you do it's great."

22. Amherst College — Amherst, Massachusetts

Acceptance rate: 13%

Undergraduate students: 1,836

Net cost of tuition: $19,519

Most popular majors: Economics, Research and Experimental Psychology, Mathematics

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $65,000

According to a student: "I've grown intellectually more than I could have imagined during my time at Amherst. The student body is amazing from top to bottom, which allows classes to move at a very fast pace. Much material is covered, very quickly, each semester. Plenty to do on campus, in town and in the surrounding area, the Pioneer Valley is beautiful."

21. Bowdoin College — Brunswick, Maine

Acceptance rate: 14%

Undergraduate students: 1,813

Net cost of tuition: $24,447

Most popular majors: Political Science and Government, Economics, Mathematics

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $65,500

According to a student: "So glad I chose to come to Bowdoin! A very close community where people treat each other with kindness and are excited to learn from their peers. Quality of life is great, with great dorms, food and surrounding area. Classes are challenging but there is very little competitiveness and lots of support for students academically. For a small liberal arts school, there is a very healthy and fun social life."

20. Cornell University — Ithaca, New York

Acceptance rate: 13%

Undergraduate students: 14,898

Net cost of tuition: $31,449

Most popular majors: Biology, Computer Science, Business

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $77,200

According to a student: "Cornell has such a great and welcoming community. The campus is absolutely beautiful, from the antique buildings to the nature surrounding them."

19. University of Southern California — Los Angeles, California

Acceptance rate: 17%

Undergraduate students: 18,631

Net cost of tuition: $32,892

Most popular majors: Business, Communications, Biology

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $74,000

According to a student: "There are many resources available before and after graduation. The professors all care about the students and the students are all helpful to each other as well. The connections are unmatched by any other school. Even after you graduate, the networking is unparalleled."

18. University of Chicago — Chicago, Illinois

Acceptance rate: 8%

Undergraduate students: 5,978

Net cost of tuition: $34,834

Most popular majors: Economics, Mathematics, Biology

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $68,100

According to a student: "A great experience! Definitely rigorous and not for the faint of heart. Academically excellent, fantastic research opportunities, diverse, professors are amazing. I participate in varsity sports and it's a great community."

17. University of Notre Dame — Notre Dame, Indiana

Acceptance rate: 19%

Undergraduate students: 8,557

Net cost of tuition: $27,453

Most popular majors: Finance, Accounting, Economics

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $78,400

According to a student: "Notre Dame has the academic rigor and challenging discourse of a top US university. What surprised me instead is the kindness and understanding among the students and faculty I encountered during my first year; I wouldn't have expected such a competitive environment to foster such charity in its community."

16. California Institute of Technology — Pasadena, California

Acceptance rate: 8%

Undergraduate students: 961

Net cost of tuition: $24,466

Most popular majors: Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $85,900

According to a student: "The best school in the country, period. Great research opportunities, faculty and resources make up Caltech. But it is the incredible people around that make it such a worthwhile experience."

15. Dartmouth College — Hanover, New Hampshire

Acceptance rate: 10%

Undergraduate students: 4,360

Net cost of tuition: $22,303

Most popular majors: Economics, Political Science and Government, Computer Science

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $75,500

According to a student: "I think in the end, I look back and love the time I've spent at this school, because I've grown so much as a person compared to when I first got here: emotionally, socially, and academically. The school has given me many gifts of friendship and maturity, along with many challenges in the classroom and lab that have made me think about myself and my future goals."

14. Washington University in St. Louis — Saint Louis, Missouri

Acceptance rate: 16%

Undergraduate students: 7,074

Net cost of tuition: $27,777

Most popular majors: Finance, Psychology, Computer Science

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $70,100

According to a student: "WashU is an amazing school full of kind people and staff that truly want you to succeed. There are so many resources to help students in any area, and campus has a friendly atmosphere rather than a competitive one. Campus is so beautiful and dorms are some of the best in the country."

13. Pomona College — Claremont, California

Acceptance rate: 8%

Undergraduate students: 1,578

Net cost of tuition: $18,427

Most popular majors: Economics, Computer Science, Mathematics

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $58,100

According to a student: "I had a great time at Pomona. The class sizes were small so I was able to build close relationships with my professors. Professors were generally available and happy to talk to students during office hours about the lectures as well as life in general. I also loved being surrounded by brilliant peers who inspired and pushed me during my time at Pomona."

12. Vanderbilt University — Nashville, Tennessee

Acceptance rate: 11%

Undergraduate students: 6,805

Net cost of tuition: $23,295

Most popular majors: Economics, Social Science Research Methods, Liberal Arts and Humanities

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $69,000

According to a student: "Vanderbilt is full of bright kids, and everyone is insanely welcoming. This is truly a community-based university, with everyone trying to help out the underclassmen, and the professors always being receptive."

11. Northwestern University — Evanston, Illinois

Acceptance rate: 9%

Undergraduate students: 8,205

Net cost of tuition: $26,099

Most popular majors: Economics, Communications, Psychology

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $69,000

According to a student: "Northwestern University taught me an incredible amount about myself as a person through its academic rigor. I was honored to work alongside and with very talented and gifted peers and professors who challenged me and made me a better student and young adult."

10. Rice University — Houston, Texas

Acceptance rate: 16%

Undergraduate students: 3,916

Net cost of tuition: $24,131

Most popular majors: Economics, Information Science, Chemical Engineering

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $65,400

According to a student: "Rice gives you so many opportunities to challenge the way you think, approach, and solve different issues in society. Whether you are a STEM major or a humanities major, there are lots of interdisciplinary classes/organizations so that you are able to view things from different perspectives."

9. University of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Acceptance rate: 9%

Undergraduate students: 10,496

Net cost of tuition: $24,539

Most popular majors: Finance, Nursing, Economics

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $85,900

According to a student: "I love the history of the university and the diversity of the education. One of my favorite things is being able to easily take classes from all four undergraduate schools and be able to interact with students from all different interests and backgrounds."

8. Columbia University — New York, NY

Acceptance rate: 7%

Undergraduate students: 7,592

Net cost of tuition: $22,824

Most popular majors: Economics, Computer Science, Political Science and Government

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $83,300

According to a student: "For the past two semesters, my experience has been nothing but eye-opening. I came in as a transfer student from Bronx Community College and the transition into a 4-year top-tier college was incredible. Columbia is a type of environment with an air of excellence which elevated my mindset into knowing that I am cut out to succeed."

7. Brown University — Providence, Rhode Island

Acceptance rate: 8%

Undergraduate students: 6,666

Net cost of tuition: $25,651

Most popular majors: Biology, Economics, Computer Science

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $67,500

According to a student: "Brown is more than just an elite institution, it's a community of people who are all so amazingly brilliant in their own unique ways and I often catch myself surprised by how impressive everyone is."

6. Duke University — Durham, North Carolina

Acceptance rate: 10%

Undergraduate students: 6,669

Net cost of tuition: $22,011

Most popular majors: Economics, Computer Science, Public Policy Analysis

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $84,400

According to a student: "Duke is an amazing place to live, eat, learn, and cultivate who you want to be when you grow up (as cliché as that sounds). I was a student-athlete, and my experience with the student body and professors could not have been better. I love having all the support in the world from people in the Duke community."

5. Princeton University — Princeton, New Jersey

Acceptance rate: 6%

Undergraduate students: 5,260

Net cost of tuition: $16,302

Most popular majors: Computer Hardware Engineering, Economics, Public Policy Analysis

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $74,700

According to a student: "Having just completed my first year as an undergrad, I can truly say that attending this university is the best choice I've ever made. Not only are the professors incredible and the resources abundant, but I've made an incredible network of close friends. And, as a low-income student, I have never wanted for anything due to Princeton's generous financial aid."

4. Harvard University — Cambridge, Massachusetts

Acceptance rate: 5%

Undergraduate students: 7,147

Net cost of tuition: $17,030

Most popular majors: Economics, Computer Science, History

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $89,700

According to a student: "Harvard was an incredible experience unlike any other. I instantly felt connected as a global citizen like never before, meeting some of the most intelligent and unique people I am likely to come across in my life. The institution prides itself on maintaining high standards, and one leaves its gates understanding not 'what' to think but 'how' to think — the most valuable skill set of all."

3. Yale University — New Haven, CT

Acceptance rate: 7%

Undergraduate students: 5,743

Net cost of tuition: $18,053

Most popular majors: Economics, Political Science and Government, History

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $83,200

According to a student: "An amazing school with so many different positive qualities about it! There's also a lot of balance — Greek life doesn't dominate but it's still there and pretty open to most people. Academics are challenging/rigorous but so captivating that you're motivated to work hard. There is a variety of social, political, economic, religious views represented on campus and yet almost everyone is respectful and open about getting to know about why you think the way you do. To cut a long story short — best college in the world, and I couldn't be happier."

2. Stanford University — Stanford, California

Acceptance rate: 5%

Undergraduate students: 7,064

Net cost of tuition: $16,562

Most popular majors: Computer Science, Biology, Engineering

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $94,000

According to a student: "Stanford is the greatest place on earth. I feel so at home here and love everything about the campus and life here. The weather is amazing (no snow! or freezing temperatures), people are happier than many other schools, and you have the freedom and flexibility to study anything and switch your major around."

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Cambridge, MA

Acceptance rate: 7%

Undergraduate students: 4,510

Net cost of tuition: $22,230

Most popular majors: Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics

Median annual earnings six years after graduation: $104,700

According to a student: "MIT is an outstanding university with numerous and diverse opportunities in research and academics. Classes at MIT are indeed difficult, with homework and associated studying consuming a large chunk of time. The beauty of this is that it pushes students to go above and beyond their previous understanding of what they believed themselves to be capable of."

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