Three local universities cracked the top 25 in the 2009 edition of U.S. News & World Report's university rankings.
Johns Hopkins University heads the list of local schools by coming in at No. 14. Georgetown came in at No. 23, while the University of Virginia was in a tie at No. 24 and William and Mary ranked No. 33.
Perennial contenders Harvard and Princeton share the top spot in the latest edition. Williams heads the list of liberal arts
colleges while Dartmouth wins a new category ranking commitment to undergraduate teaching.
Other local schools that made the list:
53(t). George Washington
53(t). University of Maryland (College Park)
71. Virginia Tech
84. American University
96(t). Howard University
121(t). Catholic University
While Howard came in No. 96 in the overall rankings, it ranked No. 2 among "America's Black Colleges" behind Spelman College in Georgia.
George Mason and University of Maryland-Baltimore County didn't rank high enough to receive their own numbers, but were mentioned in the list's "third tier."
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
UMBC and Mason did rank Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the publication's list of "Up-and-Coming National Universities."
Mason also was noted as an "A+ School for B Students" along with St. Mary's College of Maryland and West Virginia University. The report says those types of schools "accept students with a desire to achieve but less than stellar grades."
The latest edition of the contentious but closely followed "America's Best Colleges" appears online and in print Thursday.
Last year, Princeton had surrendered the top spot to Harvard after eight straight years at least tied for No. 1. This year the Ivy League rivals are followed by No. 3 Yale and a four-way tie for No. 4: Cal Tech, MIT, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania.
The ranking formula takes account of factors such as SAT scores, peer reputation, selectivity and alumni giving.
The Top 10:
1. Harvard University
1. Princeton University
3. Yale University
4. California Institute of Technology
4. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology
4. Stanford University
4. University of Pennsylvania
8. Columbia University
8. University of Chicago
10. Duke University