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Sep 15, 2016 08:33 AM EDT

Princeton University, Williams College and the University of California-Berkeley nabbed the top spots as the best schools in the United States. This comes after the U.S. got the top three spots in the world's best universities list for 2016 by QS.

"I encourage parents and students to use the wealth of data and information in Best Colleges to identify schools that suit their specific needs," Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of the publication said. "In addition to considering factors like location and cost, families should pay close attention to graduation and retention rates. These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially."

The list is collated by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. Princeton University leads the rankings as one of the best national universities. It is followed by Harvard University. The University of Chicago and Yale University both got third place in the list. Columbia and Stanford are at fifth place.

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is at seventh place. Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania are at eighth and Johns Hopkins University finished the top ten list.

Williams College is reportedly the best national liberal arts college. Amherst and Wellesley have the second and third places, respectively. Middlebury and Swarthmore are tied in fourth place.

University of California - Berkeley is believed to be the top national public university. Its Los Angeles campus is tied in second place with the University of Virginia. The University of Michigan is at fourth place while the University of North Carolina finished the top five.

In another report, U.S. News revealed how the rankings were calculated. First, the publication categorized regionally accredited schools by their mission.

National universities are those that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, master's and doctoral programs as well as emphasize on faculty research. National liberal arts colleges, on the other hand, have an exclusive focus on undergraduate education.

Afterwards, the publication collects data from each college on 15 indicators of academic excellence. This includes graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation and faculty resources, among others.

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