#10: Cornell University
Founded in 1865 and located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is known for many groundbreaking achievements. It awarded the very first degree in journalism, the first U.S. degree in veterinary medicine, and the first doctorate degrees in electrical engineering and industrial engineering. It also has one of only five handwritten copies of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Cornell also ranked #16 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of the best colleges.Notable alumni include management guru Ken Blanchard; psychologist Joyce Brothers; Adolph Coors Jr, Joseph Coors, and Peter Coors of the Coors Brewing Company. Other alumni include Staples founder Myra Hart, Qualcomm founder Irwin M. Jacobs, Burger King founder James McLamore, and Pricelink.com founder Jay Walker.
#9: University Of Pennsylvania
Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, and located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania is also known as UPenn or Penn. This historic university produced eight signers of the Declaration of Independence and nine signers of the U.S. Constitution. UPenn also boasts the country’s first medical school, the first post-secondary business school, and the first student union. The school was tied at #7 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of the best colleges.
Notable alumni include Heisman Trophy namesake John Heisman, billionaire publisher Walter Annenberg, billionaire John Huntsman, H&R Block founder Richard Bloch, Cisco co-founder Len Bosack, Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, Donald Trump and Candace Bergen.
#8: University Of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 in Cambridge, England, and is the second-oldest English university. The British Magazine, Times Higher Education, ranked Cambridge #7 in the world for 2013-2014.
Notable Cambridge alumni include Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, King George VI, Oliver Cromwell, and Harvard University’s John Harvard.
Other alumni include the father of nuclear physics Ernest Rutherford, atomic bomb developer J. Robert Oppenheimer, the developer of the laws of thermodynamics Henry Cavendish, Sir Ian McKellan, William Wordsworth, Bertram Russell, and Alfred Lord Tennyson.
#7: New York University
New York University, located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, was founded in 1831. It is the largest private university in the country, and was ranked #32 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of the best colleges.
Famous alumni include IBM founder Charles Ranlett Flint, Iceland’s first billionaire Thor Bjorgolfsson, founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ben Cohen, Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher, and Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone. Other notable alumni include Martin Scorsese, M. Night Shyamalan, Alec Baldwin and Billy Crystal.
#6: Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded in 1861. The school has produced 81 Nobel laureates and 45 Rhodes Scholars. MIT was also tied for #7 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of the best colleges. According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, “if the active companies founded by MIT graduates formed an independent nation, their revenues would make that nation at least the 17th-largest economy in the world.”
Notable alumni include Donald Douglass and James McDonnell of McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, Cecil H Green of Texas Instruments, and George Eastman of Eastman Kodak. Other alumni include astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Ronald McNair, former Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Kofi Annan.
#5: University Of Oxford
The University of Oxford in Oxford, England, is also known as Oxford University, and is believed to be one of the oldest universities in existence, dating back to 1096. The British Magazine, Times Higher Education, ranked Oxford as the #2 university in the world for 2013-2014.
Oxford has produced 26 prime ministers, including Maragret Thatcher, Tony Blair and David Cameron. Also, former President Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. The great philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke attended the university, as did such literary figures as T.S. Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Johnson, J.R.R. Tolkien and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
#4: Columbia University
The old university in New York and the fifth oldest in the country, Columbia University was founded in 1754. It was the first school to offer an M.D. degree. Columbia University was ranked #4 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of the best colleges. The university produced founding father Alexander Hamilton, and U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama.
Famous alumni include Warren Buffet, Richard Simon – cofounder of Simon & Schuster, Sydney Lumet, Joseph Gordon, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ed Harris, Alicia Keys, and Oscar Hammerstein II.
#3: University Of California
The University of California was established in 1868. It has 10 campuses, including the University of California in Los Angeles, The University of California in Berkeley, and the University of California in San Francisco. Other locations are in Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.
UC Berkeley ranked #20 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of the best colleges and universities. UCLA tied for #23. UC Davis and UC San Diego tied for 39th place. UC Santa Barbara was in 41st place, and UC Irvine was in the 49th spot.
Famous alum include Billionaires Peter Sperling and Robert W. Dugan, Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn, William Rudolf Hearst, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Troy Aikman, Francis Ford Coppola and Carol Burnett.
Situated between San Francisco and San Jose, Stanford University was established in 1885 and opened in 1891. It has the largest contiguous campus in the United States. Stanford was also ranked #5 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 list of the best colleges.
In addition to President Herbert Hoover, famous Stanford alum include many billionaires and millionaires, such as Elon Musk, Phil Knight, Hewlett-Packard founders William Hewlett and David Packard, Tiger Woods, and Yahoo’s co-founder and former CEO Jerry Yang.
#1: Harvard University
Established in 1636, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts has produced 8 U.S. Presidents, 47 Nobel Laureates, and 46 Pulitzer Prize winners. It also has the world’s largest academic library. Harvard was also ranked #2 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best colleges of 2014.Presidents from Harvard include Barack Obama, George Bush, John F. Kennedy, and Theodore Roosevelt. Other notable graduates include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg,Mitt Romney,Tommy Lee, Michael Bloomberg, Al Gore, and Matt Damon.