If you're going to straddle yourself to a lifetime of student loans, you might as well sink your money into one of the best colleges in the U.S. After all, bragging rights are sometimes worth more than any old diploma, and you'll need something to hold onto once you're working off that student debt.

In a move that sparks handshakes, friendly (and not so friendly) banter and social media outrage, U.S. News and World Report published its yearly compendium of the best national colleges. The list ranks schools across the U.S. based on cost and aid, academic offerings, groundbreaking research and other criteria. Among 311 colleges surveyed, the ivies typically take the most prestigious rankings.  

This year, Princeton University topped the list with Harvard following closely at its heels. The University of Chicago, Yale, Stanford, M.I.T. and Columbia also tied among the top five schools. 

Was your college among this year's top contenders? 

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