Connecticut’s representative to the Ivy League, Yale University, ranked second in the nation in WalletHub’s 2023 list of top colleges and universities. The overall rankings put Yale just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but ahead of schools like Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, and others.

Yale also ranked well ahead of other Connecticut schools. The University of Connecticut came closest, coming in at 85th overall, followed closely by Connecticut College at 93. In a ranking of over 900 schools, that still puts both in the top 10% of colleges and universities nationwide.

Of the 500 schools listed, Fairfield University came in at 150, the University of Hartford was ranked 417, and Central Connecticut State University sat at 490. The University of Saint Joseph, the University of New Haven, and the University of Bridgeport each ranked lower. Some schools were excluded from rankings due to insufficient data.

WalletHub ranking factors included selectivity, overall expenses, campus safety, student success, and post-graduate opportunities. Second-ranked Yale was one of the most selective schools and one of the most expensive, however, the school ranked low for campus safety, coming in 8th out of the nine CT schools for on-campus crime.

UConn ranked second in the state for on-campus crime, while coming in third for selectivity, graduation rates, and median salary for graduates. Yale, of course, ranked first.

Connecticut College meanwhile ranks bottom in the state for on-campus crime but 2nd in student selectivity and 4th for student-faculty ratios, graduation rates, and post-attendance salaries.

With Ivy League schools taking up the majority of the top rankings, the question becomes whether it is worth it for students to attend. Experts say that for most students it depends on the student’s goals for the future:

“For those aspiring to attend an elite institution for a graduate degree, an Ivy League undergraduate degree may deliver a higher likelihood of acceptance. For those wishing to enter politics, or aspire for an elite position with multi-national companies like Google, Facebook, and others, pedigree is important,” says Linda Serra Hagedorn. “However, for most students seeking a baccalaureate degree, an award from an Ivy League is not necessary. A good undergraduate GPA, a strong application essay, and a degree from a fully accredited not-for-profit postsecondary institution can get most students into medical schools, law schools, and graduate programs in most degree-granting institutions.”

Experts also say that students looking to cut the cost of college might consider getting a job out of high school with a company that offers tuition reimbursement as part of its benefits package.

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An Emmy and AP award-winning journalist, Tricia has spent more than a decade working in digital and broadcast media. She has covered everything from government corruption to science and space to entertainment...

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