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2021 Best Colleges in the United States for Students from Sri Lanka

176 Colleges
$45,323 Avg Tuition & Fees*
67% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

Quality BadgeWith all of the options international students have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

Our analysis looked at 176 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the best for Sri Lankan students. Instead of depending on subjective information, we focus on objective factors to determine this ranking. These factors include such things as the total number of international students at the school and the school's overall quality.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors such as those of importance to online students or returning adults or those who value diversity and value for your money.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head! If you don't have time right now, you can bookmark it for later.

Top Colleges in the U.S. for Students from Sri Lanka

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

Our analysis found Columbia University in the City of New York to be the best school for Sri Lankan students in this year’s ranking. New York, New York is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 2,702 students in 2018-2019.

International students make up 36.3% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at Columbia are China, India, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 97%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, Columbia is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#2

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Northeastern University. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan students list. Northeastern is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Boston, Massachusetts. It awarded 4,127 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 32.5% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and Taiwan come to Northeastern to study.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Northeastern also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#3

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Cornell University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan students list. This large private not-for-profit school is located in Ithaca, New York, and it awarded 4,145 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 22.6% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and Canada come to Cornell to study.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. On top of its placing in this ranking, Cornell also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 1% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#4

New York University

New York, New York
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend New York University. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan students list. NYU is located in New York, New York and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 6,658 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Of the total number of students at the school, 27.6% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at NYU are China, India, and South Korea.

The student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. On top of its placing in this ranking, NYU also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#5

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Out of the 176 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Boston University landed the #5 spot on the list. Boston U is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Boston, Massachusetts. It awarded 4,780 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 24.8% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Boston U to study.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. Boston U excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#6

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,902 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 23.0% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at Harvard are China, Canada, and India.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 98%. Harvard also took the #3 spot in our overall quality rankings.

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Top 20% in Quality in the United States

The University of Texas at Dallas came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking. Located in Richardson, Texas, the large public school handed out 4,225 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 20.4% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at UT Dallas are India, China, and Taiwan.

With a freshman retention rate of 88%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UT Dallas also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students list. UIUC is a large public school situated in Champaign, Illinois. It awarded 8,983 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 22.3% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at UIUC are China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 92%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UIUC also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#9

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Connecticut ranked #9 on this year’s Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students list. This large public school is located in Storrs, Connecticut, and it awarded 6,052 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 14.1% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at UCONN are China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. UCONN excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#10

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

With a ranking of #10, Carnegie Mellon University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. Carnegie Mellon is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It awarded 1,848 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 41.0% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at Carnegie Mellon come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, Carnegie Mellon also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#11

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

Iowa State University landed the #11 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. Iowa State is located in Ames, Iowa and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,380 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

International students make up 10.5% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at Iowa State are China, India, and Malaysia.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, Iowa State is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#12

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California

University of California - Berkeley landed the #12 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. Located in Berkeley, California, the large public school handed out 9,627 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 17.0% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at UC Berkeley are China, South Korea, and India.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UC Berkeley excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#13

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania landed the #13 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. University of Pennsylvania is a large private not-for-profit school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that handed out 3,632 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 20.6% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to UPenn to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 98%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UPenn also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 1% of all schools in this category.

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#14

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California landed the #14 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. USC is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Los Angeles, California. It awarded 5,337 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 23.9% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to USC to study.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 96%. On top of its placing in this ranking, USC also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#15

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students list. MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and, has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,333 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Of the total number of students at the school, 29.5% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and Canada come to MIT to study.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 3 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. MIT also made our overall quality list, coming in at #5.

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#16

University of Miami

Coral Gables, Florida
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Miami ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students list. U Miami is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Coral Gables, Florida. It awarded 3,118 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 16.1% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at U Miami come from such countries as China, Kuwait, and Venezuela.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. U Miami also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#17

Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas
Top 20% in Quality in the United States

Kansas State University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking. Kansas State University is a large public school located in Manhattan, Kansas that handed out 4,048 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 7.4% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at K -State come from such countries as China, Saudi Arabia, and India.

K -State also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#18

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida
Top 5% in Quality in the United States

University of Florida landed the #18 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. University of Florida is a large public school located in Gainesville, Florida that handed out 9,663 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 8.4% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to UF to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 96%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, UF also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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Top 15% in Quality in the United States

University of South Florida - Main Campus ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students list. Located in Tampa, Florida, the large public school handed out 8,684 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 10.8% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at USF Tampa come from such countries as India, China, and Saudi Arabia.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 90%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, USF Tampa also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#20

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #20, University at Buffalo did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. University at Buffalo is located in Buffalo, New York and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,273 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Of the total number of students at the school, 19.8% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at University at Buffalo are India, China, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 87%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, University at Buffalo is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#21

Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Clemson University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking, coming in at #21. Clemson University is a large public school located in Clemson, South Carolina that handed out 4,676 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 5.7% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as India, China, and Iran come to Clemson to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Clemson also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#22

Rice University

Houston, Texas

Rice University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking, coming in at #22. Rice is a private not-for-profit institution located in Houston, Texas. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,228 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 24.6% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Rice to study.

The student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. In addition to its great ranking here, Rice is in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#23

Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top 15% in Quality in the United States

Drexel University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking, coming in at #23. Drexel University is a large private not-for-profit school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that handed out 3,710 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 11.1% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at Drexel are China, India, and Vietnam.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 89%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Drexel also is in the top 15% of our overall quality ranking.

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#24

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

Michigan State University landed the #24 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. Located in East Lansing, Michigan, the large public school handed out 8,997 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 12.4% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, South Korea, and India come to Michigan State to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 91%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, Michigan State also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#25

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia

Georgetown University landed the #25 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Washington, District of Columbia, and it awarded 2,169 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 17.3% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Georgetown to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 96%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Georgetown excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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Rest of the Top 15% Best Colleges for Sri Lankan students

Not only did these schools make the top 27 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
#27

Clarkson University

Potsdam, New York

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges for Sri Lankan Students ranking:

Rank College Location
28 Yale University New Haven, CT
29 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
30 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
31 Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta, GA
32 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
33 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
34 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
35 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
36 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate 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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