The 2019 College Rankings Are Here. See Where Your Favorite School Landed

iStock
iStock

Each year, prospective college students pore over the U.S. News & World Report's rankings of best colleges, trying to figure out which universities to apply to and just what their chances of getting a coveted acceptance letter might be.

The results of the 2019 report are now in. Below are the top 10 national universities in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report. It’s not all Ivy League, but they are all private schools. Most also made the top 10 list of the hardest schools to get into last year.

1. Princeton University
2. Harvard University
3. Columbia University (tie)
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)
3. University of Chicago (tie)
3. Yale University (tie)
7. Stanford University
8. Duke University
9. University of Pennsylvania
10. Johns Hopkins University (tie)
10. Northwestern University (tie)

Princeton came in at the top spot for the eighth year in a row. Compared to 2018's list, Columbia University and MIT moved up the list, from being tied for No. 5 to tying the University of Chicago and Yale for No. 3. Stanford was bumped down to No. 7. Duke moved one up the list to No. 8, bumping Penn from No. 8. to No. 9., while Johns Hopkins and Northwestern edged out Cal Tech to tie for 10th place.

These rankings are based on a battery of factors analyzed by U.S. News & World Report including graduation rates, student retention, class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios, financial aid, SAT scores and high school class standing of accepted students, reputation among academic peers and college counselors, and the number of alumni who donate to the school after they graduate.

A top spot on the list is a huge win for a university, but that doesn’t mean the rankings are the best way to choose a college. There’s plenty of information about a university that you can’t glean from simple graduation rates or alumni donation rates.

Nor are the results without their controversy. Some critics argue that the rankings incentivize schools with wealthier student bodies—aside from the fact that schools can use the money from high tuition to keep class sizes low and take other measures to keep their spot in the rankings, affluent students are less likely to drop out before graduation than students who are having trouble making ends meet. Wealthier students are more likely to have money to donate after they graduate, too (especially if they’re a legacy).

The annual report is such a powerhouse in the academic world that universities sometimes allocate funding and set goals based on making the top of the list, including accepting fewer students who placed in the lower tiers of their high school classes and increasing tuition to pay higher faculty salaries. Moving up the rankings is important enough that it often results in raises and bonuses for university presidents.

In part because of those reasons, private schools always dominate the top 10 list for national universities, but the annual report also includes a separate ranking of public schools. Below are the top public universities:

1. University of California—Los Angeles
2. University of California—Berkeley
3. University of Virginia
4. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
5. University of California—Santa Barbara (tie)
5. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill (tie)
7. University of California—Irvine
8. Georgia Institute of Technology (tie)
8. University of Florida (tie)
10. College of William and Mary (tie)
10. University of California—Davis (tie)

Explore the full rankings over on the U.S. News & World Report site.

12 Essential Products to Keep in Your Bag at All Times

iStock/unomat
iStock/unomat

Pretty much everyone has been out and about and faced something they weren't prepared for, whether it was a gait-busting blister or a cringe-inducing wardrobe malfunction. But disaster doesn't have to strike! With these items in your bag, you’ll never be unprepared again.

1. SMIRTI Canvas Bag; $13

A small canvas bag
Amazon

First things first: A bag to keep all of your essentials secure and in one place so they’re easy to find. We like this one because it’s big and because it’s made of canvas, so you can hand wash it if it gets dirty.

Find it: Amazon

2. Scotch Essentials Instant Buttons; $7 for Four

The packaging of Scotch Essentials Easy Button Fix showing a woman in a white shirt and black pants on a blue background.
Amazon

You never want to find yourself in the embarrassing situation of being down a button with no way to fix it. Scotch’s Instant Buttons do away with the needle and thread—all you have to do is place the fallen button on the sticky surface of the pin, then stick the pin through your shirt and secure it with the provided backing. Lost your button? No problem: The pack comes with four buttons.

This isn’t the only wardrobe malfunction-busting product Scotch has made: The company's wardrobe strips, white mark eraser, and adjustable hem tape are on-the-go essentials, too.

Find it: Amazon

3. Baggu Bag; $12

A purple gingham baggu bag folded up in is packaging on a white background.
Amazon

Keeping a bag in your bag might seem silly, but you never know when you might have to lug a bunch of things home from the office or the grocery store. Baggu offers nylon bags in a variety of bright prints for every personality.

Find it: Amazon

4. Brush On Block Powder Sunscreen; $32

Brush on Block Powder suncreen in its blue packaging on a white background.
Amazon

Applying sunscreen before you leave the house is great, but its protective effects will likely wear off by your lunch break. Experts recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours to protect your body’s largest organ from harmful UV rays. Keep this reef-friendly, vegan powder sunblock in your bag for those times when you need to reapply on the run (and don’t forget to dust your scalp and ears!).

Find it: Amazon

5. Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Wipes; $7 for 80

The white-and-blue packaging of the Zeiss lens cleaning wipe on a white background.
Amazon

Sometimes, breathing on your glasses and wiping them with a cloth just doesn’t do the trick. These wipes from Zeiss will leave your lenses crystal clear.

Find it: Amazon

6. Band-Aid Family Pack; $13 for 280 Bandages

A family pack of Band-Aids
Amazon

No one wants to get caught with a cut and no way to cover it up. This 280-package of various sizes and fabrics will keep you covered no matter what, or where, the injury.

Find it: Amazon

7. Compeed Blister Cushions; $17 for 10

Compeed blister cushions
Amazon

Sometimes, a regular bandage isn’t enough to take on a blister. Instead of limping along, make sure you have these cushioned gel blister bandages in your bag. Each case holds two pads for heels, two for the side of the foot, and one patch for the toe; the waterproof patches fit like a second skin, keeping the blister protected from dirt and bacteria and providing comfort.

Find it: Amazon

8. Everyone Hand Sanitizer; $15 for Six 2-Ounce Bottles

Every Hand Sanitizer gel on a white background.
Amazon

Not all hand sanitizers need to smell like the doctor’s office and leave your hands feeling extra dry. Instead, combat germs with these cruelty-free gels, which are rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They’re made with plant-based glycerin, jojoba oil, and essential oils, so they smell delicious and leave your hands soft.

Find it: Amazon

8. Kleenex Packets; $9 for Six

Six Kleenex Slim Packs
Amazon

These packets—which are slim enough to fit in the pocket of your jeans—have “very attractive multi pattern packages [to] bring out your personality,” according to one Amazon listing. Patterned packaging or no, you’ll want these on hand in the event of a runny nose.

Find it: Amazon (also available in packs of 18)

9. Portable Phone Fan; $10 for Four

Smartphone fans
Amazon

Yes, it seems silly. But should you find yourself stuck on a sweltering subway platform, or just out and about in a place with no breeze, you’ll be thankful you have this little phone fan in your bag. Just plug it into your Lightning port and feel instantly cooler. (If you’d prefer to listen to music and pretend to be Beyoncé, might we suggest this necklace fan?)

Find it: Amazon

10. Oral B-Floss; $6 for Two

A two-pack of Oral-B Glide floss
Amazon

There’s nothing worse than having something stuck in your teeth and not being able to get it out. If you have floss in your bag, you’ll never have to worry.

Find it: Amazon

11. Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle; $26 to $32

Two green HYDAWAY Bottles—one expanded and one collapsed—on a white background.
Amazon

You might not necessarily need to drink eight glasses of water a day, but staying hydrated is still important. This water bottle will ensure you always have a vessel to prevent parchedness, and packs down small for when you’re not using it. (It’s great for travel, too!)

Find it: Amazon

12. Bamboo Cutlery and Straw Set; $13

A set of bamboo spoons, knives, and forks on a white background.
Amazon

Maybe your city has banned plastic straws and utensils, or maybe you want to do your part to help the environment. Either way, consider keeping a handy pair of reusable utensils in your bag. This set from Bambooster has two knives, two forks, two spoons, and two pairs of chopsticks, and two reusable straws with cleaners—all for just $13.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul Might Be Hinting About a Breaking Bad Reunion

Frank Ockenfels, AMC
Frank Ockenfels, AMC

Dust off your hazmat suits—Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul might have just hinted that there could be a Breaking Bad reunion in the works.

According to NME, the former co-stars tweeted identical photos of “drug mules” on their respective accounts mirrored with the same caption: "Soon." Peter Gould, one of the show’s writers, even reacted with his own tweet where he proclaimed: "Looking forward to this."

These tweets, along with previous talks regarding the development of a Breaking Bad movie, have reignited fan hopes that the paths of Jesse Pinkman and Walter White might somehow cross again.

Breaking Bad remains such a significant pop culture phenomenon that the show continues to inspire fan theories to this day, despite having officially ended in 2013 (though Better Call Saul has helped to fill the void for some viewers). When The Hollywood Reporter announced in November that Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator, was developing a two-hour film adaptation, fans promptly lost their minds with excitement. Some, however, were a bit dubious as to how this cinematic extension would pan out.

Much of this divisiveness stems from the series’s finale. Walter’s supposed death in the final moments of the show begs the question of just how involved Cranston could be in the film’s production. There’s also concern that any film adaptation—whether it’s released theatrically or on TV—would ruin what was widely viewed as a perfect ending to the series.

Whatever the case, the film’s production has largely been a hush-hush affair. Both Cranston and Paul have avoided giving direct answers regarding their involvement with the project, so much so that IndieWire is wondering whether the actors' identical tweets have anything to do with a potential movie at all. Luckily, there appears to be more evidence geared toward the show’s characters reuniting; here’s hoping Blue Sky finally gets its big screen debut.

[h/t NME]

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