Top Private Universities in the USA

Work hard in high school in order to attend one of the top American universities.

"U.S. News & World Report" publishes an annual, ranked list of the top colleges and universities in the USA. In 2010 the top three schools on the list--Harvard, Princeton and Yale--were all private institutions. Each school has an exceptionally competitive admissions process, admitting between 7 and 9 percent of undergraduate applicants.

1 Harvard University

Established in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in America. The school is home to approximately 6,700 undergraduate and 13,600 graduate and professional students, as reported in the fall of 2009. The university is comprised of the undergraduate college, Harvard College, and 13 graduate and professional schools, including a business school, a divinity school and a law school.

In 2010, Harvard University tied with Princeton for the number one spot on the "U.S. News & World Report" list of American universities. Of the applicants who applied to Harvard College for fall 2009, only 7.9 percent were accepted.

Harvard University Massachusetts Hall Cambridge, MA 02138 617-495-1000

2 Princeton University

As of the fall of 2009, Princeton University was home to 5,047 undergraduate and 2,520 graduate students. According to the school's website, 98 percent of undergraduate students reside on the Princeton campus. In addition to the undergraduate school, Princeton includes a school of architecture, school of engineering and applied science, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In 2010, Princeton University tied with Harvard University as the best school in the nation, according to the "U.S. News & World Report" ranked list. Only 9.9 percent of undergraduate applicants for the fall of 2009 were accepted to Princeton.

Princeton University Princeton, NJ 08544 609-258-3000

3 Yale University

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University was officially established in 1701. The university, which received the number 3 ranking on the 2010 "U.S. News & World Report" list of America's top colleges and universities, is home to 5,247 undergraduate and 6,169 graduate and professional students, as reported in the fall of 2009. The university system includes the Yale College, the undergraduate school, as well as a graduate school of arts and sciences and 13 different professional schools. The Yale professional schools include the School of Art, the School of Divinity, the Law School and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The undergraduate acceptance rate for the 2009-2010 school year was 8.6 percent.

Yale University 100 Wall Street New Haven, CT 06511-8913 203-432-2324

Katherine Mitt has been contributing to online publications since 2009, focusing primarily on fashion and style topics. She holds a B.A. in English from a small liberal arts school.