(KRON) — It’s no question that Stanford and UC Berkeley are considered two of the most prestigious universities in the Bay Area. One renowned national publication ranked these two universities in the region very high on its list of best colleges.

Forbes ranked Stanford No. 3 and UC Berkeley No. 5 on its 15th annual America’s Top Colleges List released last week. Only Princeton (No. 1) and Yale (No. 2) ranked ahead of Stanford.

The factors that were considered in the ranking include median 10-year post-graduation salary, average financial aid provided and average student debt. Forbes analyzed thousands of schools across the nation, which included both public and private institutions.

Forbes: Top 10 America’s Top Colleges List

  1. Princeton University
  2. Yale University
  3. Stanford University
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  5. University of California, Berkeley
  6. Columbia University
  7. University of California, Los Angeles
  8. University of Pennsylvania
  9. Harvard University
  10. Williams College

However, Stanford did drop one spot from being ranked second in Forbes’ 2022 list. Berkeley also received a second-place ranking that year — tied with its Bay Area private school counterpart.

Forbes listed 500 colleges on its list. In the bottom ten was Menlo College in Atherton, which ranked 490th on the list. You can view Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges List HERE.


Every year, Forbes ranks the 500 best schools from a pool of thousands considered each year. The company uses these seven factors and breaks them down on weight of importance:

  • Alumni Salary (20%)
  • Debt (15%)
  • Graduation Rate (15%)
  • Forbes American Leaders List (15%)
  • Return On Investment (15%)
  • Retention Rate (10%)
  • Academic Success (10%)

For Forbes’ full methodology, click the link HERE.