THE BLOG
10/06/2011 04:20 pm ET | Updated Dec 06, 2011

FindTheBest Announces First Annual "Best Colleges For You" List

It's that time of year again, when various publications put out their much anticipated annual college rankings months before high school seniors begin the all-important college application and decision-making process.

Just before students send out applications -- and then nervously await acceptance or rejection letters -- colleges go through a similar process, awaiting the publication of ranking reports to see whether they made it into the exclusive "Top 10 Colleges" club. But while rankings like that of the U.S. News & World Report serve as bragging rights for the top ranked universities, they fail to help students personalize the college decision-making process.

With thousands of colleges and universities to choose from, the process of finding "the best school" has become a complicated one -- especially when taking into consideration the diversity of students, their backgrounds, interests, education and finances. It is because of this need for personalization that many of the popular, broad-scale ranking systems fail to apply to the majority of non-Ivy League education-seeking students.

Broad-scale rankings also have an element of subjectivity to them; they depend on what factors are most important to the institution doing the ranking -- factors that might not be important to many of the students who are actually doing the decision making and selecting a school.

Understanding that the college decision-making process is a very personal one, FindTheBest -- a data-driven comparison engine -- has compiled its first annual "Best Colleges For You" list in the following 8 categories:

Top 10 Colleges for the Student on a Budget
Who says all good schools cost an arm and a leg? The following 10 schools have in-state tuitions under $15,000/year.

1. Georgia Institute of Technology: $7,282
2. The University of Texas at Austin: $9,346
3. University of Georgia: $9,472
4. University of Wisconsin-Madison: $9,701
5. University of Virginia: $11,584
6. UC Los Angeles: $12,192
7. College of William and Mary: $13,132
8. UC San Diego: $13,234
9. St. Mary's College of Maryland: $13,630
10. UC Berkeley: $14,460

Top 10 Colleges for Presidential Hopefuls
For those who have always dreamed of becoming president, the colleges below are the most common alma maters to past U.S. presidents.

1. Harvard
2. Yale
3. College of William and Mary
4. Columbia
5. Princeton
6. Georgetown
7. U.S. Military Academy
8. Stanford
9. Duke
10. Johns Hopkins

Top 10 Schools with the Highest Student Default Rates
All students are different, but most are looking for jobs that can pay off their student loans after graduation. For those who are looking to avoid schools with high student default numbers, beware of the schools below. According to the U.S. Department of Education's most recent data, the schools below have the highest number of students in default.

1. University of Phoenix
2. Kaplan University
3. DeVry University
4. American InterContinental University
5. Colorado Technical University
6. Inter American University of Puerto Rico
7. Kaplan College
8. Everest Institute (Michigan)
9. Baker College
10. Everest Institute (Texas)

Top 10 Universities for the Library Lovers
Are you a bookworm? Do you enjoy spending hours reading at the library? The schools below have some of the most extensive libraries.

1. Harvard
2. Yale
3. UC Berkeley
4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
5. Columbia University
6. The University of Texas at Austin
7. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
8. Stanford University
9. UC Los Angeles
10. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Top 10 Colleges for Those Who Blanked on Their SATs
Just because you didn't score above a 600 on your SAT Math or Verbal doesn't mean you're not college material. The schools below accept students whose average SAT math and verbal scores are just below 600.

1. Wabash College
2. Rollins Colleges
3. Loyola Marymount University
4. Berea College
5. Agnes Scott College
6. Quinnipiac University
7. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
8. University of Vermont
9. Indiana University-Bloomington
10. Marist College

Top 10 Schools for the Social Butterfly
These schools have the highest student populations, which means there's always a social event or outing to attend.

1. Arizona State University
2. Miami Dade College
3. Ohio State University, Main Campus
4. University of Florida
5. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
6. University of Central Florida
7. The University of Texas at Austin
8. The City College of San Francisco
9. Houston Community College System
10. Texas A & M University

Top 10 Colleges for the Math Brains
For those of you whose dominant left-brain has landed you the highest scores on your math SATs, here are some schools for you.

1. California Institute of Technology
2. Harvey Mudd College
3. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5. Yale University
6. Princeton University
7. Harvard University
8. Washington University in St. Louis
9. Pomona College
10. Duke University

Top 10 Schools for the Right Brainers
For those of you whose dominant right-brain has landed you the highest scores on your verbal SATs, here are some schools for you.

1. Yale University
2. Harvard University
3. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
4. Pomona College
5. Princeton University
6. California Institute of Technology
7. Harvey Mudd College
8. Washington University in St. Louis
9. Swarthmore College
10. University of Chicago

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