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A Deep-dive into the TOP TEN Communication Colleges

An unbiased look into the top ten colleges offering a BA in communications, and all the details you should know. 

Any google search can land you with a hardy list of colleges and universities that offer a BA in Communications & Media but then that leads to further research on the college and what they can offer you, so I’ve done the work for you by taking the top ten colleges and universities and picking them apart for you.

I’ve lined them up against each other and compared the facts. College and deciding where to go is the first step at deciding how you’re going to be perceived in your career, there’s already a lot of pressure on you so let me take some of that off of you. 

The first Three. The top Three. Are the leaders of the pack? 

Having the clout of going to one of the top three ranking schools for the degree you’re going after sounds good. Sounds great in conversation, as well as looks great on your resume. But it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the right school for you.

So let’s take a look at the first three schools ranked in the top ten and see why or why you shouldn’t consider one of these remarkable establishments. 

Coming in at #1 is the prestigious Northwestern University located in Evanston, IL one of the first private universities on the list, this school has a very narrow margin for an acceptance rate coming in at 9% the average cost after aid is $24,664 dollars annually this is considering all grants, and scholarships, without the aid you’re looking at an average cost of $81,283 with tuition being $58,701 of that investment. 

Though Northwestern is not an Ivy League school it rivels the Ivies in the terms of its prestige, the admissions department’s selectivity with its students, and research output. Northwestern is known for being a leading research university that’s home to more than 90 school-based centers and more than 50 University research centers. Campus life at Northwestern is moderately more on the side of the serious where 90% of its students consider themselves hard studiers and 60% love to party. 

With two main housing models at Northwestern one being the residence hall and the second being residential colleges the only primary difference is the amount of faculty involvement. Residence Halls have programs that support student needs, and residential colleges offer more opportunities for faculty engagement. 

Residential services will assign you a building and a room based on the preferences you share in the housing contract, and though nothing will be promised they ensure they will do their best to ensure you the best of experiences. 

And in number #2 the University of Southern California located in Los Angeles California, with a higher rate of acceptance by 2% than Northwestern coming in at 11% is also a private university with aid you can look at spending $29,528 this price includes grants and scholarships from the institution and without the aid you can look at spending $80,151 with tuition being $60,275 of that price. 

With a 92% graduation rate, you’re looking at a really good option for a school with a lot of prestige, in fact, The University of Southern California is one of the most prestigious universities in the entire world! When students were asked “Why they attended USC” their response was overwhelming “We wanted the college experience with the perks of a big school.” 

USC looking for ambitious intellectual and professional students is also looking to take advantage of fishing from a large pond of diverse individuals as they have a huge variety of programs available. USC likes to form communities around their freshmen where students can live and study together, socialize over their meals, and adjust to their new lives together. 

Coming in at #3 is the University of Pennsylvania admittedly has the lowest acceptance rate of the other in this category coming in at only 6% this private university with aid will cost you $25,802 a year including the grants and scholarships afforded to you by the school, and with the cost before aid settling in at $81,110 with tuition costing $60,042 of that cost we can see that perhaps this might be one of the reasons why it is in the top three based on cost alone, but let’s dig a little deeper into this rank and see what else it has to offer. 

UPenn was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin and is one of eight private universities known as an Ivy League university, ranking in the top ten of their national Best College rankings, and thusly making UPenn exceedingly difficult to get into, only 3,202 students were offered admission from a record-setting pool of 56,333 applicants for the class of 2025 resulting in an ultimate low acceptance rate of 5.68%. 

So let’s say taking in all of that knowledge that you get in, what kind of students in UPenn looking for? UPenn is looking for a diverse based student pool, students who reflect the world around them and they truly do enroll students from all corners of the world with a wide range of backgrounds who are looking to refine their talents and develop their abilities within the walls of their hallowed halls. 

So we know the top three and we know why they’re ranked top three, but let’s look at the next three and see how they compare. 

Four, Five, Six who do we appreciate! 

So take a deep breath, we’ve taken in a lot of knowledge we’ve seen a lot of scary numbers but we are only ankle deep into this exploration into colleges and universities. So plowing on.

let’s look at #4 in our ranking Stanford University with a severely low acceptance rate that matches its ranking at 4% let’s discover why. Stanford University is a private University in Stanford California, has a reputation as one of the countries greatest institutions of higher education, consistently ranking in the top ten national universities.

On top of all of that Stanford is known for its great return in investment, and the entrepreneurial student body. Standford is hands down the most competitive college in America even more competitive than Harvard, and even though it’s not an Ivy league its reputation rivals its competition. So again, let’s say you get in. 

What are you facing at this prestigious school? Remarkably in comparison to the top three with aid and scholarships, the data we were given shows us that you could be paying $11,496 and without you’re looking at $78,218 with $56,169 of that being tuition alone. 

Not so bad. With a diverse campus, and 18% of its students receiving the Pell grant I can confidently say though the margin of acceptance might be low, the risk is worth the benefits of Stanford. 

An impressive #5 brings us to the first of our east coast universities the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a high acceptance rate of 23% this is our first on the ranking that is indeed a public university, let’s see how it measures up! 

After all grants, and scholarships are cashed in from the school, and federal government you’re looking at only $12,352 annually and without the assistance of grants and scholarships, the average cost is $24,5466 with tuition only being $8,980 of that cost. 

Our lowest in the ranking thus far. So why did the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill make it on the list?  Well, UNC-Chapel Hill is a public research institution that’s known for its highly acclaimed academic programs and sports, it offers 74 bachelor programs, gaining attention for their political science, biology, and psychology programs through the College of Arts & Sciences department. Though not an Ivy League school it is one of the most prestigious and iconic public universities in the United States. 

Offering residence halls with prices for the year, double, triple, and single occupancy that are comparable to renting an apartment UNC-Chapel Hill works so that the student has the best experience possible. 

And onto #6 we have the University of Florida located in Gainsville Florida with a high acceptance rate of 37% much like UNC-Chapel Hill, UF is a public University, that with after the aid of grants and scholarships we are officially at our lowest price annually coming in at $6,302 and if you’re a resident of the state of Florida you could qualify for free tuition using your Bright Futures scholarship, but even without the assistance of scholarships you’re only looking at $21,431 annually and $6,381 of that is tuition. 

U.S. News ranked UF #9, tying it with Stanford and Brown for the best student outcomes with 97% of its graduates being successful. So in my humble opinion don’t snooze on this hidden gem. But there’s still some left in the list so let’s tie this up. 

Underdogs Finish Strong. 

Our first choice in #7 is the University of Texas – Austin and if its alumni Matthew McConaughey doesn’t sell you on it perhaps this will, with a 32% acceptance rate, this public university though not as impressive of a lower rate as UF, University of Texas – Austin only costs after all aid comes in $18,023 and without only $28,928 with $11,448 of that being tuition, so with all of that being not really anything too remarkable in comparison to the wow moment we just had a minute ago, why should we consider University of Texas?

 Ranked 35 in the U.S. News and World Report Best Global Universities, more than 40 UT Austin graduate programs were ranked among the top ten in the nation by 2020 and therefore proving that UT Austin’s performance was driven by its high reputation with scores and research across its top-performing subjects. 

UT Austin is the only Texas university that ranks in the top 100 schools on any list. Outranking Texas A&M. Interestingly enough the top majors that UT-Austin is known for and top ranking in are Engineering, Communications, Journalism, and related programs. Making this a really good option if you’re located near UT-Austin. The dorms are listed as “extraordinary living.’ and the pictures prove them to be very clean and attractive not your normal dorm life type dorms, truly everything is bigger in Texas, and a very good ranking at #7 for…

Our impressive #8 our list takes us to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem North Carolina with a 30% acceptance rate this beautiful campus has by far been my favorite to research, a private university with all the old Americana charm this university will cost you $29,990 with aid and assistance and $77,278 without, a startling $57,760 of that is tuition. 

Ranked in the top thirty of national universities for twenty-five consecutive years this university carries clout, so why is it ranked so low on the list? Founded in 1834, Wake Forest is a private research university that is proud to be a part of the Southern Ivy League group of private schools in the southern United stages, though not officially ranked as an Ivy League school their clout and reputation is enough to be considered one.

 Primarily known to be a business school offering a 20-month MBA program with a strong study abroad program this might account for why it’s listed in the top ten for communications, and might be a strong candidate for anyone considering a study abroad program. Using a lottery system Wake Forest offers a dorm life that matches the prestigious university and charm of their campus. 

The #9 the University of George in Athens Georgia, with a whopping 45% acceptance rate, a public university, costing you an average of $13,649 with assistance and $27,648 without and $12,080 of that being tuition this school comes with its only special considerations. 

Founded in 1785 this school with so much history and well-earned clout ranked number 15 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 ranking of the best public universities in the nation marks UGA’s 5th consecutive year at earning a place in the top 20 rankings.

The University of Georgia has once again made the list of “Public Ivy School” by Education Quest making it one of the twenty-eight schools that met the qualifications to be categorized as a Public Ivy League school. UGA is known for its popular majors in Finance, and Biology/Biological Sciences, but it should be noted that communications weren’t listed among the top five portions of the degree were, like Marketing, and management. 

Making UGA a good option for anyone who lives near its campus and looking to stay near home. 

And last but certainly not least is our #10 our last and final school to look at Cornell University in Ithica New York. With an 11% acceptance rate, I have to stop and ask myself what earned Cornell the #10 slot? A private University, Cornell will set you back $40,126 with aid and assistance. Already setting it at the bottom slot of choices for me based purely on finances, without the aid and assistance you could look at spending $78,992 with $59,282 of that being your tuition, so let’s explore more of maybe why you’d pick Cornell. 

Cornell was the first in a lot of spaces the world’s first degree in journalism, the nation’s first degree in veterinary medicine, and the first doctorates in electrical and industrial engineering. Cornell was the first U.S. university to offer a major in American Studies, and there’s nothing better to put on your resume than saying you went to Cornell. 

You’re paying for clout with an Ivy education, a beautiful campus, and by far the most educationally diverse campus in the Ivy Leagues. But with articles being written about how 40% of Cornell’s students are unable to function academically for a least a week due to depression you have to wonder if the clout and name on a resume are worth it?

In the end, does it really even matter?

With all the pressures one goes through at this phase of your life does it truly matter the choices you make on the educational establishment you choose? Some people would give a resounding yes and some would give a hard no, but based on the insight we just gained looking at the top ten universities for just one degree we can see there’s really no one right choice. 

They all have their pros and cons what’s important is what you feel works best for you. So look at the information, ask questions, visit campuses, and envision yourself living life there, not just going to class and doing the work but truly being a part of the day-to-day life of the campus. 

The right choice might not even be on this list. The right choice might be the community college down the street from your grandma’s house, but whatever the choice is it doesn’t negate the truth. You were designed to learn, designed to grow, and designed to develop. Don’t let the fear of choosing wrong keep you from choosing at all.

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