It is commonly regarded as necessary to get into a good college or university after high school in order to achieve a good education and to get a great job. However, you can’t just pick any top-rated school at random and assume that success will fall into your lap. Let’s take a look at US News’ top ranked universities in the US and discuss how these different schools suit the needs of different students.

US News Top 25 Universities in the US

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Yale University
  4. Columbia University, Stanford University, University of Chicago (tied)
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  6. Duke University, University of Pennsylvania (tied)
  7. California Institute of Technology
  8. Dartmouth College
  9. Johns Hopkins University
  10. Northwestern University
  11. Washington University in St. Louis
  12. Cornell University
  13. Brown University, University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University (tied)
  14. Rice University
  15. University of California—Berkley
  16. Emory University, Georgetown University (tied)
  17. University of California—Los Angeles, University of Virginia (tied)
  18. Carnegie Mellon University, University of Southern California (tied)

These top universities have produced some of recent history’s greatest individuals. It is especially interesting that some of these institutions have created a wide variety of successful alumni in many different areas, while others seem to have a great deal of alumni whom all follow the same path.

Dartmouth College is widely known for its schools of engineering, medicine, and business, and is the alma mater of businesspeople like Janet L. Robinson of the New York Times Company and David Hodgson of General Atlantic. However, Dartmouth College is also the home of many famous people of the arts as well, including famous children’s author Dr. Seuss, and actors including Meryl Streep, Mindy Kaling, and Aisha Tyler.

Harvard University, on the other hand, has produced a high volume of successful people that went on to serve in the US federal government. Just a few of these Harvard graduates include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama among many others who would go on to politics.

This diversity in the range of university specialties goes to show that getting into any good school in and of itself is not enough to guarantee your success—your school must teach you what you want to learn and provide you with the tools to succeed. Therefore, deciding which school you will go to is an incredibly important choice. For more information about which of these top ranked schools might be best for you, be sure to read the full breakdown of these institutions from US News.