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The best university in the country is ...

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As much as colleges and universities hate them, rankings from U.S. News & World Report influence how prospective students choose a school, according to a 2014 report from the American Educational Research Association.

The magazine annually rates more than 1,600 four-year colleges and universities on 15 indicators of academic quality.

Criteria include academic excellence, student selectivity and financial resources of the school. Thirty percent of a school's score is based on graduation and retention rates.

Here are the top 10 national universities as determined by U.S. News.

A school is considered a national university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching if it offers a full range of undergraduate majors, as well as master's and doctoral degrees. There are 280 national universities in the country, including 172 public schools, 101 private schools, and 7 for-profits schools, according to Carnegie.

All of but one of the schools in the periodical's top 10 list of national universities from last year made the grade this time. (Sorry, Caltech.)

Schools are rated by total weighted score of the 15 indicators. Those tied at the same rank are listed alphabetically.

Check out the full list here.


— By CNBC's Tom Anderson
Posted 13 Sept. 2016

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore, Maryland.
JHU Sheridan Libraries | Gado | Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 10th among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $50,410
Undergraduate enrollment: 6,524

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania campus
Ann Hermes | The Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 8th (tie) among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $51,464
Undergraduate enrollment: 9,726

Duke University (tie)

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina
Lance King | Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 8th (tie) among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $51,265
Undergraduate enrollment:
6,639

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yiming Chen | Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 7th among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $48,452
Undergraduate enrollment: 4,527

5. Stanford University (tie)

Source: Leah Fasten

U.S. News ranking: 5th (tie) among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $47,940
Undergraduate enrollment: 6,999

5. Columbia University (tie)

Columbia University
Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 5th (tie) among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $55,056
Undergraduate enrollment: 6,102

3. Yale University (tie)

Yale University campus, New Haven, CT
Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 3rd (tie) among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $49,480
Undergraduate enrollment: 5,532

3. University of Chicago (tie)

University of Chicago campus
Bruce Leighty | Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 3rd (tie) among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $52,491
Undergraduate enrollment: 5,844

2. Harvard University

Harvard University
Michael Fein | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. News ranking: 2nd among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $47,074
Undergraduate enrollment: 6,699

1. Princeton University

Students walking to classes at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Barry Winiker | Getty Images

For the sixth straight year, Princeton remains the top-rated national university, according to U.S. News.

U.S. News ranking: 1st among national universities
Annual tuition and fees: $45,320
Undergraduate enrollment: 5,402

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