Best National Research Universities 2018

College Consensus (, a unique new college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, has published their ranking of the Best National Research Universities 2018 at

To identify the Best National Research Universities 2018, College Consensus combined the latest results from the most respected college rankings with thousands of real student reviews to produce a unique consensus score for each school. According to College Consensus founder Jeremy Alder, “Like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic does for movies, College Consensus gathers the publisher rankings and student reviews from around the web and distills the results into simple, easy to understand scores so students can quickly and easily compare schools. It is the ranking of all rankings, so to speak.” Learn more about the College Consensus rankings methodology at

To help prospective college students and their families evaluate the educational options open to them, College Consensus has identified the best national research universities, according to the combination of published rankings and student reviews. The top 10, out of nearly 300, are:

1. Harvard UniversityCambridge, MA

2. Stanford UniversityStanford, CA

3. Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA

4. Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT

5. Princeton UniversityPrinceton, NJ

6. Columbia UniversityNew York, NY (tie)

6. University of ChicagoChicago, IL (tie)

8. Brown UniversityProvidence, RI

9. Cornell UniversityIthaca, NY

10. University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA

The Best National Research Universities, according to Managing Editor Carrie Sealey-Morris, represent “some of the most prestigious and world-renowned names in higher education.” National research universities, for College Consensus ranking purposes, are identified by a few factors. First of all, they are “dedicated not only to teaching, but on creating new knowledge through scientific, social scientific, and humanities research.” Secondly, these schools “draw a student body from across the US and world, rather than a primarily regional population.” Most importantly, national research universities fit Carnegie Classification as “R1 (Highest Research Activity), R2 (Higher Research Activity), or R3 (Moderate Research Activity).” These are the big guns, the universities that don’t just transmit knowledge – they make it.

Echoing founder Jeremy Alder, Sealey-Morris explains the difference between College Consensus rankings and other rankings as “the difference between Rotten Tomatoes and your favorite movie reviewer.” In other words, “College Consensus is comprehensive. It’s not just one voice stating an opinion – it’s many, many voices, computed objectively and equally.” College Consensus brings prospective students a system that allows every institution, “from the richest and best-known university to the smallest and hardest-working regional college,” to demonstrate what they do best. In the College Consensus methodology, “students who are actually there day to day have as much say about their college as experts who have never visited,” making sure that “all of those perspectives mean an even playing field for every college and university.” Because College Consensus knows that the “best ranked” doesn’t always mean the best for every students’ needs, Consensus rankings concentrate on bringing prospective students the widest possible panorama of options.

College Consensus is a new approach to college rankings. We combine the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores from around the web to produce an aggregate College Consensus rating for each school. Students will not find a more comprehensive ranking of the top colleges and universities anywhere. In addition to rankings, College Consensus also offers expert advice and guidance on all aspects of college life, from finding the perfect college, to getting accepted, paying for it, and finding your professional path after graduation.