The highly anticipated annual release of the U.S. News & World Report's list of the best colleges in America has revealed outstanding performance by institutions in Upstate New York.

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One of the new criteria this year focused on first-generation graduation rates, along with the performance of these rates and the proportion of college graduates earning higher incomes compared to high school graduates.

Factors that continued to impact the rankings included student-faculty ratio, tuition costs, campus life, financial aid availability, application requirements, and post-graduate earning potential.

Impressively, several colleges in Upstate New York schools ranked among the top colleges in the United States.

Cornell University - Ithaca (Ranked Number 12)

Cornell climbed a few spots from last year to claim the 12th spot this year. The university is tied with Columbia University and the University of Chicago. Cornell also received recognition for its value (#20), undergraduate engineering programs (#10), and business programs (#8).

University of Rochester - Rochester (Ranked Number 47)

The University of Rochester slipped slightly from its previous ranking at #36. It excelled in the categories of value schools (#30) and nursing degrees (#23).

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - Troy (Ranked Number 60)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Capital Region earned the 60th position this year. The private institution was also commended for its undergraduate engineering programs (#34) and for being one of the best colleges for veterans (#94).

Syracuse University - Syracuse (Ranked Number. 67)

Syracuse University in Central New York shared its rank with several other esteemed institutions such as the University of Miami and George Washington University. Additionally, Syracuse was recognized as a value school (#77), one of the best colleges for veterans (#40), and excelled in undergraduate teaching (#65) and study abroad programs (#10).

Binghamton University / SUNY - Binghamton (Ranked Number 73)

Binghamton University made significant progress this year, moving up 10 spots in the overall rankings. The institution in the Southern Tier performed exceptionally as one of the top public schools (#34), one of the best value schools (#85), and one of the best colleges for veterans (#43).

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Two other notable Upstate New York schools made the top 100 list: the University at Buffalo (#76) and Rochester Institute of Technology (#98).

Additionally, several Upstate New York colleges ranked among the top 10 for veterans in New York, including LeMoyne College in Syracuse (#4), SUNY New Paltz (#8), and SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica (#9).

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