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2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region

397 Colleges
$69,124 Avg Salary*
83% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when you have so many options available. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Top Middle Atlantic Region Schools ranking.

Our analysis looked at 397 schools in the Middle Atlantic Region to determine which ones were the best in terms of overall quality. Our ranking is based on over 20 objective factors, including post graduate earnings, freshman retention, and graduation rate. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as value or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Our 2022 rankings named Princeton University the best school in the Middle Atlantic Region in terms of overall quality for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Princeton is a private not-for-profit institution located in Princeton, New Jersey. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 2,188 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 90%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Princeton go into careers with an average salary of $74,700 during the early years of their career.

Full Princeton University Report

#2

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Out of the 397 schools in the Middle Atlantic Region that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Pennsylvania landed the #2 spot on the list. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 9,795 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 6 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. During the early years of their career, graduates from UPenn make an average of $85,900 a year.

Read full report on University of Pennsylvania

#3

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Cornell University. It ranked #3 on our 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Located in Ithaca, New York, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 8,245 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Cornell go into careers with an average salary of $77,200 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Cornell University

#4

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Georgetown University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools in the Middle Atlantic Region . Georgetown University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Washington, District of Columbia that handed out 7,451 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.0%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown is $93,500 during the early years of their career.

Full Georgetown University Report

#5

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Out of the 397 schools in the Middle Atlantic Region that were part of this year’s ranking, Johns Hopkins University landed the #5 spot on the list. Johns Hopkins University is a large private not-for-profit school located in Baltimore, Maryland that handed out 9,265 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 1.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins make an average of $73,200 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Johns Hopkins University

#6

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region ranking, coming in at #6. Carnegie Mellon University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that handed out 5,414 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 0.6% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon make an average of $83,600 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Carnegie Mellon University Report

With a ranking of #7, Columbia University in the City of New York did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Located in New York, New York, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 13,628 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 6 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. During the early years of their career, graduates from Columbia make an average of $83,300 a year.

Read More…

#8

Colgate University

Hamilton, New York

With a ranking of #8, Colgate University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Colgate is located in Hamilton, New York and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 908 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Colgate make an average of $63,600 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Colgate University Report

#9

Barnard College

New York, New York

Barnard College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region ranking, coming in at #9. Barnard is a small private not-for-profit school situated in New York, New York. It awarded 777 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The school boasts an average 4-year graduation rate of 85%, which is excellent when compared to the national rate of 33%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $57,900 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Barnard College

#10

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Swarthmore College ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Swarthmore is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. It awarded 569 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The 4-year grad rate at the school is 87%. That’s impressive when you compare it to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Swarthmore make an average of $56,700 a year.

Read full report on Swarthmore College

#11

Haverford College

Haverford, Pennsylvania

Haverford College ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 371 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2019-2020.

Bachelor’s degree students at the school tend to finish their degree on-time. The 4-year graduation rate is 85%, which is impressive compared to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Haverford make an average of $60,700 a year.

Read More…

#12

Hamilton College

Clinton, New York

With a ranking of #12, Hamilton College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Clinton, New York, and it awarded 597 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton is $60,200 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

Teachers College at Columbia University ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Teachers College at Columbia University is a small private not-for-profit school located in New York, New York that handed out 1,879 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The low student loan default rate of 1.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1% The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Teachers College is $73,400 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Teachers College at Columbia University

#14

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Bucknell University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list.Lewisburg, Pennsylvania is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,022 students in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 92%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Bucknell make an average of $70,800 a year.

Read More…

#15

Lafayette College

Easton, Pennsylvania

Lafayette College ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Lafayette is a private not-for-profit institution located in Easton, Pennsylvania. The school has a small population, and it awarded 779 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The 4-year grad rate at the school is 87%. That’s impressive when you compare it to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Lafayette make an average of $68,600 a year.

Read More…

#16

New York University

New York, New York

New York University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. This large private not-for-profit school is located in New York, New York, and it awarded 18,334 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. The average salary of a graduate with a bachelor’s degree from NYU is $61,900 during the early years of their career.

Read More…

#17

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Lehigh University ranked #17 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 2,137 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh make an average of $81,900 per year during the early years of their career.

Full Lehigh University Report

#18

Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania

With a ranking of #18, Villanova University did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and it awarded 3,708 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1% Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $77,900 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Villanova University

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in Troy, New York that handed out 2,093 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

With a freshman retention rate of 92%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $82,000 during the early years of their career..

Read More…

#20

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region ranking, coming in at #20. Gettysburg College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that handed out 694 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

The 4-year grad rate at the school is 80%. That’s impressive when you compare it to the national rate of 33%. During the early years of their career, graduates from Gettysburg make an average of $56,100 a year.

Read More…

#21

University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, Maryland

University of Maryland - College Park ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Located in College Park, Maryland, the large public school handed out 12,365 bachelor’s degrees in 2019-2020.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 95%. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from UMCP go into careers with an average salary of $62,900 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on University of Maryland - College Park

#22

Dickinson College

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

With a ranking of #22, Dickinson College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region list. Dickinson is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 666 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson go into careers with an average salary of $57,400 during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Dickinson College

#23

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, New York

Vassar College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region ranking, coming in at #23. Vassar is located in Poughkeepsie, New York and has a small student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 760 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Upon graduation, bachelor’s degree recipients go on to jobs making an average salary of $54,600 during the early years of their career..

Read full report on Vassar College

#24

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York

University of Rochester landed the #24 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region ranking. University of Rochester is located in Rochester, New York and has a fairly large student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 3,869 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 94%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Those who receive a bachelor’s degree from University of Rochester go into careers with an average salary of $61,200 during the early years of their career.

Full University of Rochester Report

#25

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York, New York

Fashion Institute of Technology came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region ranking. FIT SUNY is located in New York, New York and has a medium-sized student population. In 2019-2020, this school awarded 3,766 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from FIT SUNY make an average of $48,900 per year during the early years of their career.

Read full report on Fashion Institute of Technology

Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia
#27

The College of New Jersey

Ewing, New Jersey
#28

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, New Jersey
#29

Franklin and Marshall College

Lancaster, Pennsylvania
#32

Excelsior College

Albany, New York
#33

University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware

#34

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

#35

Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, New York
#36

American University

Washington, District of Columbia
#37

Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#38

Rutgers University - New Brunswick

New Brunswick, New Jersey
#39

Union College New York

Schenectady, New York
#40

Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland
#42

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, New York
#43

Ithaca College

Ithaca, New York

#44

Bergen Community College

Paramus, New Jersey

#45

Binghamton University

Vestal, New York
#46

Montgomery College

Rockville, Maryland
#47

Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#48

Clarkson University

Potsdam, New York
#49

Fordham University

Bronx, New York
#50

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark, New Jersey

View Best Colleges Nationwide >

Rest of the Top 15% Colleges in the Middle Atlantic Region

To learn more about the schools below, just click on their names:

Rank College Location
51 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
52 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi, MD
53 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
54 Towson University Towson, MD
55 Nassau Community College Garden City, NY
56 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
57 Manhattan College Riverdale, NY
58 Middlesex County College Edison, NJ
59 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
60 Muhlenberg College Allentown, PA

All Majors and Fields of Study >

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges ranking:

Rank College Location
61 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
62 SUNY Cortland Cortland, NY
63 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
64 Siena College Loudonville, NY
65 Elizabethtown College Elizabethtown, PA
66 Lebanon Valley College Annville, PA
67 Wagner College Staten Island, NY
68 Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology Lancaster, PA
69 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
70 Baruch College New York, NY
71 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY
72 Yeshiva University New York, NY
73 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
74 Borough of Manhattan Community College New York, NY
75 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
Rank College Location
76 Suffolk County Community College Selden, NY
77 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
78 LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, NY
79 The Graduate Center, CUNY New York, NY
80 Catholic University of America Washington, DC

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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