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50 best colleges on the East Coast

Jannis Tobias Werner // 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.

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 (current as of July 2019) 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

Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia Commons
#50. Lafayette College

- Location: Easton, PA
- Acceptance rate: 31%
- Net price: $26,148
- SAT range: 1260-1440
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $68,600
- Overall rank: #75
 

Noteremote // Wikmedia Commons
#49. Vassar College

- Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
- Acceptance rate: 24%
- Net price: $23,763
- SAT range: 1330-1500
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,600
- Overall rank: #72
 

DXR // Wikimedia Commons
#48. University of Georgia

- Location: Athens, GA
- Acceptance rate: 54%
- Net price: $15,934
- SAT range: 1200-1370
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,500
- Overall rank: #67
 

Jorge Salcedo // Shutterstock
#47. Boston University

- Location: Boston, MA
- Acceptance rate: 25%
- Net price: $33,728
- SAT range: 1300-1480
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $65,300
- Overall rank: #66
 

Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia Commons
#46. Bucknell University

- Location: Lewisburg, PA
- Acceptance rate: 31%
- Net price: $37,817
- SAT range: 1250-1420
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $70,800
- Overall rank: #65
 

Peter // Flickr
#45. University of Rochester

- Location: Rochester, NY
- Acceptance rate: 34%
- Net price: $37,064
- SAT range: 1300-1490
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,200
- Overall rank: #63
 

Spohpatuf // Wikimedia Commons
#44. University of Florida

- Location: Gainesville, FL
- Acceptance rate: 42%
- Net price: $15,283
- SAT range: 1240-1400
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,000
- Overall rank: #62
 

Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons
#43. Wesleyan University

- Location: Middletown, CT
- Acceptance rate: 16%
- Net price: $24,251
- SAT range: 1300-1480
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,700
- Overall rank: #59

Talbot0893 // Wikimedia Commons
#42. University of Richmond

- Location: University of Richmond, VA
- Acceptance rate: 33%
- Net price: $24,575
- SAT range: 1270-1460
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $64,500
- Overall rank: #58
 

littlenySTOCK // Shutterstock
#41. New York University

- Location: New York, NY
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Net price: $36,256
- SAT range: 1290-1490
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,900
- Overall rank: #57
 

Nick McPhee // Flickr
#40. Smith College

- Location: Northampton, MA
- Acceptance rate: 32%
- Net price: $26,734
- SAT range: 1240-1470
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,200
- Overall rank: #56
 

Fryslan0109 // Wikimedia Commons
#39. Colgate University

- Location: Hamilton, NY
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Net price: $22,182
- SAT range: 1310-1500
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,600
- Overall rank: #55
 

Dacoslett // Wikimedia Commons
#38. Davidson College

- Location: Davidson, NC
- Acceptance rate: 20%
- Net price: $28,339
- SAT range: 1310-1470
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,900
- Overall rank: #54
 

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

- Location: Clinton, NY
- Acceptance rate: 24%
- Net price: $22,139
- SAT range: 1360-1510
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,200
- Overall rank: #53
 

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

- Location: Williamsburg, VA
- Acceptance rate: 36%
- Net price: $17,415
- SAT range: 1300-1480
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,500
- Overall rank: #52
 

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

- Location: Chestnut Hill, MA
- Acceptance rate: 32%
- Net price: $27,299
- SAT range: 1320-1490
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $72,500
- Overall rank: #51
 

Roman Boed // Flickr
#34. Colby College

- Location: Waterville, ME
- Acceptance rate: 16%
- Net price: $20,361
- SAT range: 1340-1500
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,100
- Overall rank: #50
 

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

- Location: Bethlehem, PA
- Acceptance rate: 25%
- Net price: $26,933
- SAT range: 1270-1430
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $81,900
- Overall rank: #49
 

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

- Location: Blacksburg, VA
- Acceptance rate: 70%
- Net price: $18,700
- SAT range: 1180-1360
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $62,500
- Overall rank: #47
 

Njt188 // Wikimedia Commons
#31. Northeastern University

- Location: Boston, MA
- Acceptance rate: 27%
- Net price: $30,784
- SAT range: 1370-1520
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,400
- Overall rank: #46
 

Jijithecat // Wikimedia Commons
#30. Wake Forest University

- Location: Winston-Salem, NC
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Net price: $23,986
- SAT range: 1270-1410
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,800
- Overall rank: #45
 

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

- Location: Chapel Hill, NC
- Acceptance rate: 24%
- Net price: $11,100
- SAT range: 1270-1460
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,600
- Overall rank: #44
 

Josh Kuckens // Wikimedia Commons
#28. Bates College

- Location: Lewiston, ME
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Net price: $23,312
- SAT range: 1385-1460
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,200
- Overall rank: #43
 

Daderot // Wikimedia Commons
#27. Williams College

- Location: Williamstown, MA
- Acceptance rate: 15%
- Net price: $20,380
- SAT range: 1400-1570
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,000
- Overall rank: #42
 

Jackbauerinvc // Wikimedia Commons
#26. Haverford College

- Location: Haverford, PA
- Acceptance rate: 20%
- Net price: $23,582
- SAT range: 1390-1530
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,700
- Overall rank: #40
 

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

- Location: Wellesley, MA
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Net price: $20,189
- SAT range: 1360-1530
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,800
- Overall rank: #39
 

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

- Location: Atlanta, GA
- Acceptance rate: 23%
- Net price: $15,873
- SAT range: 1090-1520
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $79,100
- Overall rank: #38
 

MarmadukePercy // Wikimedia Commons
#23. Washington & Lee University

- Location: Lexington, VA
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Net price: $25,029
- SAT range: 1350-1490
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $76,100
- Overall rank: #36
 

Popova Valeriya // Shutterstock
#22. Barnard College

- Location: New York, NY
- Acceptance rate: 15%
- Net price: $23,736
- SAT range: 1310-1500
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $57,900
- Overall rank: #34
 

Michael Coghlan // Flickr
#21. Carnegie Mellon University

- Location: Pittsburgh, PA
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Net price: $29,817
- SAT range: 1430-1560
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $83,600
- Overall rank: #33
 

Margaret Berry // Shutterstock
#20. Middlebury College

- Location: Middlebury, VT
- Acceptance rate: 17%
- Net price: $22,841
- SAT range: 1320-1510
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,200
- Overall rank: #32
 

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

- Location: West Point, NY
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Net price: $
- SAT range: 1180-1400
- Median earnings six years after graduation: Not available
- Overall rank: #31
 

Spiroview Inc // Shutterstock
#18. Swarthmore College

- Location: Swarthmore, PA
- Acceptance rate: 11%
- Net price: $20,444
- SAT range: 1380-1540
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,700
- Overall rank: #30
 

Bestbudbrian // Wikimedia Commons
#17. University of Virginia

- Location: Charlottesville, VA
- Acceptance rate: 27%
- Net price: $16,594
- SAT range: 1310-1500
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,200
- Overall rank: #28
 

Mpspqr // Wikimedia Commons
#16. Emory University

- Location: Atlanta, GA
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Net price: $26,867
- SAT range: 1350-1520
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $66,000
- Overall rank: #27
 

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

- Location: Baltimore, MD
- Acceptance rate: 13%
- Net price: $29,066
- SAT range: 1450-1570
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $73,200
- Overall rank: #26
 

iluvgadgets // Flickr
#14. Tufts University

- Location: Medford, MA
- Acceptance rate: 15%
- Net price: $29,449
- SAT range: 1410-1540
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $75,800
- Overall rank: #25
 

Mark Yarchoan // Shutterstock
#13. Amherst College

- Location: Amherst, MA
- Acceptance rate: 13%
- Net price: $19,519
- SAT range: 1400-1560
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $65,000
- Overall rank: #24
 

Flapane // Wikimedia Commons
#12. Georgetown University

- Location: Washington D.C.
- Acceptance rate: 16%
- Net price: $27,420
- SAT range: 1350-1520
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $93,500
- Overall rank: #22
 

sach1tb // Wikimedia Commons
#11. Cornell University

- Location: Ithaca, NY
- Acceptance rate: 13%
- Net price: $31,449
- SAT range: 1390-1550
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $77,200
- Overall rank: #21
 

Pixabay
#10. Dartmouth College

- Location: Hanover, NH
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Net price: $22,303
- SAT range: 1430-1560
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $75,500
- Overall rank: #19
 

Ron Cogswell // Flickr
#9. Bowdoin College

- Location: Brunswick, ME
- Acceptance rate: 14%
- Net price: $24,447
- SAT range: 1360-1510
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $65,500
- Overall rank: #17
 

chensiyuan // Wikipedia
#8. Brown University

- Location: Providence, RI
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Net price: $25,651
- SAT range: 1400-1570
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,500
- Overall rank: #9
 

Ilyse Whitney // Flickr
#7. Duke University

- Location: Durham, NC
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Net price: $22,011
- SAT range: 1380-1540
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $84,400
- Overall rank: #8
 

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

- Location: New York, NY
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Net price: $22,824
- SAT range: 1410-1570
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $83,300
- Overall rank: #7
 

Eileen_10 // Shutterstock
#5. University of Pennsylvania

- Location: Philadelphia, PA
- Acceptance rate: 9%
- Net price: $24,539
- SAT range: 1420-1560
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $85,900
- Overall rank: #6
 

Harshil Shah // Flickr
#4. Princeton University

- Location: Princeton, NJ
- Acceptance rate: 6%
- Net price: $16,302
- SAT range: 1430-1570
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $74,700
- Overall rank: #5
 

Pixabay
#3. Yale University

- Location: New Haven, CT
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Net price: $18,053
- SAT range: 1460-1580
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $83,200
- Overall rank: #4
 

Muns // Wikimedia Commons
#2. Harvard University

- Location: Cambridge, MA
- Acceptance rate: 5%
- Net price: $17,030
- SAT range: 1460-1590
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $89,700
- Overall rank: #3
 

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

- Location: Cambridge, MA
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Net price: $22,230
- SAT range: 1490-1570
- Median earnings six years after graduation: $104,700
- Overall rank: #1

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