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Wallethub compared nearly 1,000 higher-education institutions across 30 key metrics to see how they stacked up. (Image: Getty Images)

These are the top colleges & universities in D.C., VA and MD

Is there anything in this universe more contentious than college rankings? Have you ever tried to tell a Yalie that Harvard (or god forbid, Princeton) is a better school than their beloved alma mater? Spoiler alert: It won't go well! Nevertheless, countless websites and books brave the critics and annually publish their end-all, be-all list of the best colleges to help high school seniors make informed school choices.

With the "early decision" application deadline (November 1) looming, and more than 5,000 colleges and universities across the United States for seniors to choose from, WalletHub decided to compare nearly 1,000 of these higher-education institutions to see how they stack up. They evaluated the schools across 30 key measures, ranging from admission rates to net cost, student-faculty ratio, gender and racial diversity, post-attendance median salary and on-campus crime. Two local schools wound up in the top 30: Georgetown University ranked 27th and University of Virginia ranked 30th.

Below, we have the breakdown of the top 10 higher ed institutions in Virginia and Maryland, and the top four in D.C.

Top 10 Colleges & Universities in Virginia

  1. University of Virginia
  2. College of William and Mary
  3. Washington and Lee University
  4. University of Richmond
  5. Virginia Military Institute
  6. Eastern Mennonite University
  7. James Madison University
  8. Randolph-Macon College
  9. Bridgewater College
  10. George Mason University

Top 10 Colleges & Universities in Maryland

  1. Johns Hopkins University
  2. University of Maryland-Baltimore County
  3. St. Mary's College of Maryland
  4. Notre Dame of Maryland University
  5. Bowie State University
  6. Mount St Mary's University
  7. McDaniel College
  8. Univesity of Maryland-Eastern Shore
  9. Coppin State University
  10. Towson University

Top 4 Colleges & Universities in D.C.

  1. Georgetown University
  2. George Washington University
  3. American University
  4. Howard University

You can see the full study details here, and obsessively search for your alma mater's ranking, below.