These Massachusetts colleges are the best in the country, according to Forbes

A view of Harvard from above the Charles River. —David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

Massachusetts colleges and universities took top honors on Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of the country’s best schools, including Harvard, which got the No. 1 spot, and MIT, which came in fourth.

Both also ranked among the top regional colleges in the Northeast. In total, four Massachusetts schools ranked among the top 20 nationally, with seven in the top 50.

The comparison, which was released this week, slightly differs from other lists of the nation’s institutions of higher education. Instead of ranking SAT scores, tuition costs, and acceptance rates, Forbes focuses on aspects like debt students have upon leaving school, alumni salaries, graduation rates, academic success, and student experience.

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Schools are also cross-referenced with the magazine’s “American Leaders List,” which Forbes calls “a roster [of] thousands of successful people and their alma maters,” such as former U.S. presidents, world leaders, and top award winners who can be found in each school’s yearbooks.

Here are the Massachusetts schools that topped the publication’s national and regional lists:

America’s Top Colleges

#1 – Harvard University

#4 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

#11 – Williams College

#16 – Amherst College

#33 – Tufts University

#44 – Wellesley College

#50 – Boston College

#59 – College of the Holy Cross

#64 – Babson College

#78 – Boston University

#79 – Smith College

#97 – Brandeis University

Top Colleges of the Northeast

#1 – Harvard University

#3 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

#8 – Williams College

#12 – Amherst College

#19 – Tufts University

#24 – Wellesley College

Forbes also ranked schools by additional categories. See the full report here.