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50 best colleges on the East Coast

  • 50 best colleges on the East Coast
    1/ Lewis Liu // Shutterstock

    50 best colleges on the East Coast

    Considering the United States was birthed from a revolution waged along the eastern seaboard, it makes sense that the roots of the country's higher education system were planted there as well. Harvard University came first, founded in 1636, predating the Declaration of Independence by 140 years. The nation's oldest institution of higher learning was followed by a slew of state and public universities throughout the 13 colonies.

    Today, the East Coast remains home to a number of private and public colleges that consistently top “best of" lists, highlighted by the prestigious Ivy League eight. Stacker combed through Niche's 2019 Best Colleges in America list (updated August 2018) in order to discover which 50 East Coast schools, old and new, are the cream of the crop.

    Niche ranks colleges by analyzing student and alumni reviews, as well as data on academic, admissions, and student life culled from the U.S. Department of Education. Stacker filtered its list to include schools in the District of Columbia and states that border the Atlantic Ocean within 100 miles of their eastern borders: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

    Click through the list to find the best schools on the East Coast, and if any of them could beat out the Ivies for the top spot.

    You may also like: 50 best colleges on the West Coast

  • #50. Lafayette College
    2/ Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. Lafayette College

    Location: Easton, PA
    Acceptance rate: 28%
    Net price: $26,208
    SAT range: 1200–1390
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,500
    Overall rank: #75

  • #49. Vassar College
    3/ Noteremote // Wikmedia Commons

    #49. Vassar College

    Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
    Acceptance rate: 27%
    Net price: $21,933
    SAT range: 1330–1500
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,400
    Overall rank: #72

  • #48. University of Georgia
    4/ DXR // Wikimedia Commons

    #48. University of Georgia

    Location: Athens, GA
    Acceptance rate: 54%
    Net price: $14,956
    SAT range: 1140–1340
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,500
    Overall rank: #67

  • #47. Boston University
    5/ Cmcnicoll // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. Boston University

    Location: Boston, MA
    Acceptance rate: 29%
    Net price: $31,539
    SAT range: 1220–1420
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $62,000
    Overall rank: #66

  • #46. Bucknell University
    6/ Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia Commons

    #46. Bucknell University

    Location: Lewisburg, PA
    Acceptance rate: 30%
    Net price: $34,339
    SAT range: 1200–1380
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $66,200
    Overall rank: #65

  • #45. University of Rochester
    7/ Peter // Flickr

    #45. University of Rochester

    Location: Rochester, NY
    Acceptance rate: 36%
    Net price: $34,170
    SAT range: 1250–1450
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $57,500
    Overall rank: #63

  • #44. University of Florida
    8/ Spohpatuf // Wikimedia Commons

    #44. University of Florida

    Location: Gainesville, FL
    Acceptance rate: 46%
    Net price: $14,761
    SAT range: 1180–1370
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $53,100
    Overall rank: #62

  • #43. Wesleyan University
    9/ Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

    #43. Wesleyan University

    Location: Middletown, CT
    Acceptance rate: 18%
    Net price: $20,490
    SAT range: 1300–1480
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,200
    Overall rank: #59

  • #42. University of Richmond
    10/ Talbot0893 // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. University of Richmond

    Location: University of Richmond, VA
    Acceptance rate: 32%
    Net price: $22,400
    SAT range: 1220–1420
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,700
    Overall rank: #58

  • #41. New York University
    11/ InSapphoWeTrust // Flickr

    #41. New York University

    Location: New York, NY
    Acceptance rate: 32%
    Net price: $35,147
    SAT range: 1250–1480
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,600
    Overall rank: #57

  • #40. Smith College
    12/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #40. Smith College

    Location: Northampton, MA
    Acceptance rate: 37%
    Net price: $24,258
    SAT range: 1240–1470
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $44,900
    Overall rank: #56

  • #39. Colgate University
    13/ Fryslan0109 // Wikimedia Commons

    #39. Colgate University

    Location: Hamilton, NY
    Acceptance rate: 29%
    Net price: $22,463
    SAT range: 1290–1460
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,300
    Overall rank: #55

  • #38. Davidson College
    14/ Dacoslett // Wikimedia Commons

    #38. Davidson College

    Location: Davidson, NC
    Acceptance rate: 20%
    Net price: $27,897
    SAT range: 1250–1440
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,600
    Overall rank: #54

  • #37. Hamilton College
    15/ Benjamin D. Esham // Wikimedia Commons

    #37. Hamilton College

    Location: Clinton, NY
    Acceptance rate: 26%
    Net price: $24,397
    SAT range: 1300–1480
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,400
    Overall rank: #53

  • #36. College of William & Mary
    16/ Jrcla2 // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. College of William & Mary

    Location: Williamsburg, VA
    Acceptance rate: 37%
    Net price: $16,734
    SAT range: 1250–1470
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,400
    Overall rank: #52

  • #35. Boston College
    17/ Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism // Flickr

    #35. Boston College

    Location: Chestnut Hill, MA
    Acceptance rate: 31%
    Net price: $27,167
    SAT range: 1260–1460
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $70,000
    Overall rank: #51

  • #34. Colby College
    18/ Roman Boed // Flickr

    #34. Colby College

    Location: Waterville, ME
    Acceptance rate: 19%
    Net price: $21,032
    SAT range: 1270–1470
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,000
    Overall rank: #50

  • #33. Lehigh University
    19/ Joseph Giansante '76 // Wikimedia Commons

    #33. Lehigh University

    Location: Bethlehem, PA
    Acceptance rate: 26%
    Net price: $27,478
    SAT range: 1230–1420
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $77,200
    Overall rank: #49

  • #32. Virginia Tech
    20/ Eric T Gunther // Wikimedia Commons

    #32. Virginia Tech

    Location: Blacksburg, VA
    Acceptance rate: 71%
    Net price: $17,190
    SAT range: 1100–1320
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,500
    Overall rank: #47

  • #31. Northeastern University
    21/ Njt188 // Wikimedia Commons

    #31. Northeastern University

    Location: Boston, MA
    Acceptance rate: 29%
    Net price: $29,998
    SAT range: 1330–1510
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $64,000
    Overall rank: #46

  • #30. Wake Forest University
    22/ Jijithecat // Wikimedia Commons

    #30. Wake Forest University

    Location: Winston-Salem, NC
    Acceptance rate: 30%
    Net price: $23,826
    SAT range: 1270–1410
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,200
    Overall rank: #45

  • #29. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    23/ Yeungb // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Location: Chapel Hill, NC
    Acceptance rate: 27%
    Net price: $10,077
    SAT range: 1210–1420
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,100
    Overall rank: #44

  • #28. Bates College
    24/ Josh Kuckens // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. Bates College

    Location: Lewiston, ME
    Acceptance rate: 23%
    Net price: $24,055
    SAT range: 1385–1460
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,700
    Overall rank: #43

  • #27. Williams College
    25/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #27. Williams College

    Location: Williamstown, MA
    Acceptance rate: 18%
    Net price: $18,167
    SAT range: 1330–1540
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,100
    Overall rank: #42

  • #26. Haverford College
    26/ Jackbauerinvc // Wikimedia Commons

    #26. Haverford College

    Location: Haverford, PA
    Acceptance rate: 21%
    Net price: $21,144
    SAT range: 1320–1520
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,300
    Overall rank: #40

  • #25. Wellesley College
    27/ Jared and Corin // Wikimedia Commons

    #25. Wellesley College

    Location: Wellesley, MA
    Acceptance rate: 28%
    Net price: $20,013
    SAT range: 1310–1500
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,100
    Overall rank: #39

  • #24. Georgia Institute of Technology
    28/ Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

    #24. Georgia Institute of Technology

    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Acceptance rate: 26%
    Net price: $13,340
    SAT range: 1320–1500
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $75,800
    Overall rank: #38

  • #23. Washington & Lee University
    29/ Woody Hibbard // Flickr

    #23. Washington & Lee University

    Location: Lexington, VA
    Acceptance rate: 24%
    Net price: $23,867
    SAT range: 1320–1460
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $72,300
    Overall rank: #36

  • #22. Barnard College
    30/ The Fixers // Wikimedia Commons

    #22. Barnard College

    Location: New York, NY
    Acceptance rate: 15%
    Net price: $22,815
    SAT range: 1270–1470
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,400
    Overall rank: #34

  • #21. Carnegie Mellon University
    31/ Andrew Parnell // Wikimedia Commons

    #21. Carnegie Mellon University

    Location: Pittsburgh, PA
    Acceptance rate: 22%
    Net price: $35,250
    SAT range: 1380–1550
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $81,800
    Overall rank: #33

  • #20. Middlebury College
    32/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #20. Middlebury College

    Location: Middlebury, VT
    Acceptance rate: 16%
    Net price: $21,437
    SAT range: 1280–1495
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,600
    Overall rank: #32

  • #19. United States Military Academy at West Point
    33/ Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture // Wikimedia Commons

    #19. United States Military Academy at West Point

    Location: West Point, NY
    Acceptance rate: 10%
    Net price: $0
    SAT range: 1180–1390
    Median earnings six years after graduation: Not available
    Overall rank: #31

  • #18. Swarthmore College
    34/ Ugen64 // Wikimedia Commons

    #18. Swarthmore College

    Location: Swarthmore, PA
    Acceptance rate: 13%
    Net price: $19,641
    SAT range: 1305–1530
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,500
    Overall rank: #30

  • #17. University of Virginia
    35/ Bestbudbrian // Wikimedia Commons

    #17. University of Virginia

    Location: Charlottesville, VA
    Acceptance rate: 30%
    Net price: $15,945
    SAT range: 1240–1460
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,700
    Overall rank: #28

  • #16. Emory University
    36/ Mpspqr // Wikimedia Commons

    #16. Emory University

    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Acceptance rate: 25%
    Net price: $24,804
    SAT range: 1290–1500
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,500
    Overall rank: #27

  • #15. Johns Hopkins University
    37/ Inactive account – ID 12019 // Pixabay

    #15. Johns Hopkins University

    Location: Baltimore, MD
    Acceptance rate: 13%
    Net price: $27,352
    SAT range: 1400–1570
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $69,800
    Overall rank: #26

  • #14. Tufts University
    38/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #14. Tufts University

    Location: Medford, MA
    Acceptance rate: 14%
    Net price: $28,076
    SAT range: 1370–1520
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $66,500
    Overall rank: #25

  • #13. Amherst College
    39/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #13. Amherst College

    Location: Amherst, MA
    Acceptance rate: 14%
    Net price: $19,055
    SAT range: 1360–1555
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,700
    Overall rank: #24

  • #12. Georgetown University
    40/ Flapane // Wikimedia Commons

    #12. Georgetown University

    Location: Washington, DC
    Acceptance rate: 17%
    Net price: $26,625
    SAT range: 1320–1520
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $90,100
    Overall rank: #22

  • #11. Cornell University
    41/ Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

    #11. Cornell University

    Location: Ithaca, NY
    Acceptance rate: 14%
    Net price: $30,014
    SAT range: 1330–1530
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $73,600
    Overall rank: #21

  • #10. Dartmouth College
    42/ Inactive account – ID 12019 // Pixabay

    #10. Dartmouth College

    Location: Hanover, NH
    Acceptance rate: 11%
    Net price: $21,177
    SAT range: 1350–1560
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $70,000
    Overall rank: #19

  • #9. Bowdoin College
    43/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #9. Bowdoin College

    Location: Brunswick, ME
    Acceptance rate: 15%
    Net price: $24,888
    SAT range: 1360–1510
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,700
    Overall rank: #17

  • #8. Brown University
    44/ chensiyuan // Wikipedia

    #8. Brown University

    Location: Providence, RI
    Acceptance rate: 9%
    Net price: $25,264
    SAT range: 1370–1570
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,100
    Overall rank: #9

  • #7. Duke University
    45/ Carine06 // Flickr

    #7. Duke University

    Location: Durham, NC
    Acceptance rate: 11%
    Net price: $19,950
    SAT range: 1380–1570
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $77,900
    Overall rank: #8

  • #6. Columbia University
    46/ Kristina D.C. Hoeppner // Flickr

    #6. Columbia University

    Location: New York, NY
    Acceptance rate: 7%
    Net price: $22,973
    SAT range: 1410–1590
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $78,200
    Overall rank: #7

  • #5. University of Pennsylvania
    47/ Bryan Y.W. Shin // Wikimedia Commons

    #5. University of Pennsylvania

    Location: Philadelphia, PA
    Acceptance rate: 9%
    Net price: $22,944
    SAT range: 1380–1570
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $82,400
    Overall rank: #6

  • #4. Princeton University
    48/ Harshil Shah // Flickr

    #4. Princeton University

    Location: Princeton, NJ
    Acceptance rate: 7%
    Net price: $17,732
    SAT range: 1400–1590
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $80,500
    Overall rank: #5

  • #3. Yale University
    49/ None // Max Pixel

    #3. Yale University

    Location: New Haven, CT
    Acceptance rate: 6%
    Net price: $18,319
    SAT range: 1420–1600
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $83,200
    Overall rank: #4

  • #2. Harvard University
    50/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #2. Harvard University

    Location: Cambridge, MA
    Acceptance rate: 5%
    Net price: $16,205
    SAT range: 1430–1600
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $90,900
    Overall rank: #3

  • #1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    51/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    #1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Location: Cambridge, MA
    Acceptance rate: 8%
    Net price: $21,576
    SAT range: 1460–1590
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $94,200
    Overall rank: #1

     

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