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2021 Best Colleges in the United States for Students from United Kingdom

556 Colleges
$54,384 Avg Tuition & Fees*
81% 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. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Colleges for British Students ranking.

We analyzed 556 colleges and universities across the United States to determine which were the best for British students. Our ranking is based on several objective factors, including the school's overall quality and the total number of international students at the school. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

Customizing Your List

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. 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 online students or returnings adults.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering, or bookmark the tool so you can experiment with it later.

Top Colleges in the U.S. for Students from United Kingdom

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

Columbia University in the City of New York tops this year’s ranking as the best school for British students. 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. Students studying at Columbia come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. On top of its placing in this ranking, Columbia 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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#2

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Harvard University helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for British students. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,902 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Around 23.0% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at Harvard come from such countries as China, Canada, and India.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 7 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. Harvard also took the #3 spot in our overall quality rankings.

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#3

New York University

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

A rank of #3 on our list means New York University is a great place for British students working on their bachelor’s degree. NYU is a private not-for-profit institution located in New York, New York. The school has a large population, and it awarded 6,658 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 27.6% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to NYU to study.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. NYU 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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#4

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Southern California. The school came in at #4 in this year’s ranking. Located in Los Angeles, California, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 5,337 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 23.9% are international. Students studying at USC come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 96%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. USC also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#5

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Out of the 556 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Pennsylvania landed the #5 spot on the list. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 3,632 students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 20.6% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to UPenn 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. UPenn excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#6

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Yale University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for British Students ranking. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 1,664 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Around 20.7% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at Yale are China, Canada, and India.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 99%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Yale also is in the top 1% of our overall quality ranking.

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#7

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for British Students ranking. Princeton, New Jersey is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,297 students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 23.4% are international. Students studying at Princeton come from such countries as China, Canada, and India.

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

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#8

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California

University of California - Berkeley landed the #8 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. UC Berkeley is a public institution located in Berkeley, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 9,627 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

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

With a freshman retention rate of 97%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, UC Berkeley 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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#9

Stanford University

Stanford, California

Stanford University landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. Located in Stanford, California, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 1,892 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students 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 Canada come to Stanford to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Stanford also is in the top 1% of our overall quality ranking.

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#10

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Northeastern University came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for British Students ranking. Northeastern is a private not-for-profit institution located in Boston, Massachusetts. The school has a large population, and 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 studying at Northeastern come from such countries as China, India, and Taiwan.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, Northeastern is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#11

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

Cornell University ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges for British 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.

Around 22.6% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at Cornell are China, India, and Canada.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. In addition to its great ranking here, Cornell is in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#12

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

With a ranking of #12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it awarded 1,333 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

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.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 99%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. MIT not only placed well in this ranking, but it is also #5 on our overall quality list.

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#13

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

With a ranking of #13, University of California - Los Angeles did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. Los Angeles, California is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,069 students in 2018-2019.

International students make up 15.8% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at UCLA 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. In addition to its great ranking here, UCLA is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#14

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

With a ranking of #14, University of Chicago did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. UChicago is a private not-for-profit institution located in Chicago, Illinois. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,024 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 25.9% are international. Students studying at UChicago come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The student-to-faculty ratio of 5 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UChicago also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#15

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Duke University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for British Students ranking. Duke is a private not-for-profit institution located in Durham, North Carolina. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,303 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 21.6% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Duke to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 97%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Duke not only placed well in this ranking, but it is also #2 on our overall quality list.

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#16

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston University ranked #16 on this year’s Best Colleges for British Students list. Boston, Massachusetts is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,780 students in 2018-2019.

Around 24.8% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at Boston U come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, Boston U is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#17

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

With a ranking of #17, Northwestern University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. Located in Evanston, Illinois, the large private not-for-profit school handed out 2,770 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 17.1% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at Northwestern come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 98%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Northwestern also is in the top 1% of our overall quality ranking.

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#18

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for British Students ranking. U-M is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,815 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

International students make up 14.9% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to U-M to study.

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

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#19

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island

With a ranking of #19, Brown University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Providence, Rhode Island, and it awarded 2,097 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 18.0% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and Canada come to Brown to study.

The impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 7 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Brown 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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#20

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

California Institute of Technology came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for British Students ranking. Caltech is located in Pasadena, California and, has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 241 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Of the total number of students at the school, 30.5% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and Canada come to Caltech to study.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 98%. Caltech did well in our overall quality rankings, too. It placed #4 on our overall quality list.

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#21

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University landed the #21 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for British Students. Johns Hopkins University is a large private not-for-profit school located in Baltimore, Maryland that handed out 1,747 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 20.0% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Johns Hopkins to study.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 7 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. Johns Hopkins 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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#22

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia

Georgetown University ranked #22 on this year’s Best Colleges for British Students list. 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.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. 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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#23

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York

University of Rochester ranked #23 on this year’s Best Colleges for British Students list. University of Rochester is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Rochester, New York that handed out 1,921 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 30.9% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at University of Rochester are China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. University of Rochester 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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#24

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges for British Students list. Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school has a fairly large population, and 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.

With a freshman retention rate of 96%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Carnegie Mellon also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#25

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, California
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of California - San Diego ranked #25 on this year’s Best Colleges for British Students list. This large public school is located in La Jolla, California, and it awarded 8,037 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 23.2% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to UCSD to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, UCSD is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for British students

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

#26

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
#27

University of Miami

Coral Gables, Florida
#28

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
#29

Dartmouth College

Hanover, New Hampshire
#30

Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia
#31

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia
#34

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana
#35

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York
#36

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia
#37

Tufts University

Medford, Massachusetts
#38

Babson College

Wellesley, Massachusetts
#39

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin
#41

University of California - Davis

Davis, California
#42

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida
#44

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota
#45

Rice University

Houston, Texas
#46

Mount Holyoke College

South Hadley, Massachusetts
#48

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, California
#49

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas

Rest of the Top 15% Best Colleges in the United States for International Students

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

Rank College Location
51 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
52 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
53 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
54 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
55 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
56 Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA
57 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
58 The New School New York, NY
59 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
60 Wesleyan University Middletown, CT
61 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
62 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
63 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
64 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
65 Pomona College Claremont, CA
Rank College Location
66 Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
67 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
68 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
69 Wellesley College Wellesley, MA
70 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
71 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
72 Bentley University Waltham, MA
73 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
74 Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI
75 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
76 American University Washington, DC
77 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
78 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
79 Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL
80 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
81 Lafayette College Easton, PA
82 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
83 University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK
84 Clark University Worcester, MA

Honorable Mentions

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

Rank College Location
85 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
86 Trinity College Hartford, CT
87 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
88 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
89 Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA
90 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
91 Amherst College Amherst, MA
92 Williams College Williamstown, MA
93 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
94 Smith College Northampton, MA
95 Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA
96 Fordham University Bronx, NY
97 Barnard College New York, NY
98 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
99 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
Rank College Location
100 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
101 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
102 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
103 University of Denver Denver, CO
104 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
105 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
106 Pitzer College Claremont, CA
107 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
108 Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
109 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
110 Berklee College of Music Boston, MA
111 University of Houston Houston, TX
112 Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO

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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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