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Redefining the Best: College Raptor Releases the Nation’s Top 50 Best Colleges and Introduces New Ranking Categories for 2024

New Rankings Include ‘Best D3 Colleges,’ and ‘Best Easier-to-Get-Into Colleges’ with updated lists for ‘Best HBCUs’ and ‘Best Colleges for Middle-Income Affordability’

College Raptor, the most comprehensive college search site and a wholly owned subsidiary of Citizens, today released its ninth annual “Best Colleges” rankings, based on an analysis of each school’s selectivity, financial health, academic rigor and student success. The 2024 Best College Rankings include the Top 50 Best Colleges, as well as the Top 25 Colleges in 19 additional categories. When used with College Raptor’s College Match Tool, these rankings empower students and families to customize their own “best colleges” lists, employing their campus preferences, academic performance and goals, and financial circumstances.

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Notable 2024 Best Colleges categories include:

  • Top 50 Best Colleges Nationally. The definitive list of the most desired colleges across the country.
    • Top 3: Harvard University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Best D3 Colleges. NCAA Division III schools represent an opportunity for student-athletes who want a combined athletic and academic college experience.
    • Top 3: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, University of Chicago
  • Best Easier-to-Get-Into Colleges. A list of colleges that accept 80 percent or more of student applicants, this ranking addresses the need for a mix of safety, match and reach schools.
    • Top 3: Indiana University-Bloomington, Michigan State University, Miami University-Oxford
  • Best HBCUs. This list highlights schools that are important for students who may consider attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
    • Top 3: Spelman College, Howard University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Best Colleges for Middle-Income Affordability. A must-have resource for students and families looking for a high value education without a substantial financial burden.
    • Top 3: Williams College, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University

“There’s no question that rising college costs present an additional financial challenge to students and families today,” said William Staib, Co-Founder and President of College Raptor. “We create our annual rankings as a jumping off point, encouraging families to use our tools to create personalized rankings for a student’s specific preferences, academic credentials and financial resources.”

The complete College Raptor 2024 College Rankings include:

College Raptor’s Best Colleges rankings are based on publicly available data, and colleges and universities are included based strictly on the merits of their institution, as shown by the data. The full methodology of College Raptor’s rankings is outlined here.

College Raptor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Citizens, a leader in student lending that is committed to empowering students and families throughout the college selection, financing and post-college lifecycle.

About College Raptor

College Raptor is the most evolved, accurate, and comprehensive college search site with tools to empower students, parents, counselors, and colleges with college planning. College Raptor is the only college search platform that enables students and families to discover quality, affordable college options based on personalized estimates of financial aid, scholarships, academic match, and acceptance odds at every 4-year college in the country. More than 25 million students and families have used College Raptor to find cost-effective, academically appropriate college options that prepare them for future careers. For more information, visit

About Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $222.3 billion in assets as of March 31, 2023. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a full-service customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 3,400 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers a broad complement of financial products and solutions, including lending and leasing, deposit and treasury management services, foreign exchange, interest rate and commodity risk management solutions, as well as loan syndication, corporate finance, merger and acquisition, and debt and equity capital markets capabilities. More information is available at or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.


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