The 20 Smartest Colleges In America

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Courtesy of The Business Insider

Think there’s a difference between the most selective colleges and those with the smartest students?

That’s what Lumosity, a cognitive training site run by Lumos Labs, sought to find out with a series of games designed to test America’s leading higher education institutions.

After realizing that national and global rankings for colleges each year were based almost solely on standardized test performances and information about the school’s resources (including endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, and graduation rates), Dr. Daniel Sternberg at Lumosity took it upon himself to discover which institution really had the smartest individuals.

He and his team tested 60,000 students at over 400 colleges and universities to play games that measured various cognitive skills including attention, memory, speed of processing, problem solving, and flexibility.

The study even broke down the college rankings by cognitive area, finding that Dartmouth College performed the highest on attention, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology was the best with memory, Harvard students ranked highest at speed of processing, and that Yale students performed best on flexibility.

The overall winner was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the school with the best problem solvers. MIT has consistently ranked highly on best-of-schools lists, and was recently named the top university in the world by the QS World University Rankings list, beating last year’s winner the University of Cambridge as well as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton for the title.

The top 20 schools are below. Click here to view the complete Lumosity study.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Harvard University
  3. Stanford University
  4. Northwestern University
  5. Yale University
  6. Washington University in St Louis
  7. Dartmouth College
  8. Wellesley College
  9. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  10. Duke University
  11. College of William and Mary
  12. University of Pennsylvania
  13. University of Portland
  14. University of California-Berkeley
  15. Vanderbilt University
  16. University of Chicago
  17. Carnegie Mellon University
  18. Macalester College
  19. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  20. University of California-Los Angeles


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