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Harvard, Princeton Share Top Spot in U.S. News Rankings

Harvard University and Princeton University shared the top spot in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 rankings of the best U.S. academic research institutions, followed by Yale University.

The top three schools mirrored the 2012 rankings, according to the list released today by the magazine. Columbia University and the University of Chicago shared fourth place. The top liberal arts colleges were also unchanged from a year ago, with Williams College in first, followed by Amherst College and Swarthmore College.

The rankings, begun in 1983 and based on criteria such as graduation rate, reputation and class size, can be influential with students and parents. The California Institute of Technology, which tied for fifth place a year ago, dropped to 10th place and tied with Dartmouth College. Eighty-seven percent of Caltech students graduated in 2011, the lowest percentage in the top 20.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University tied for sixth place. Yesterday, MIT was named the world’s top university by QS World University Rankings, a U.K.- based marketing company.

The University of California, Berkeley -- tied for 21st place with Georgetown University -- was the highest-ranked public school.

Claremont McKenna College, which said in January that an admissions official had reported inflated SAT entrance exam scores since 2005, fell one spot to 10th among liberal arts colleges.

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