The 11 Best Colleges for ‘B Students,’ According to US News and World Report

I kid.

Back in September, US News and World Report broke down a list of “A+ Schools for B Students.” Here's the methodology:

To judge the level of quality at each of the schools on the A+ Schools for B Students list, we first examined two variables: the school's performance in the 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings and the average freshman retention rate.


So how did they decide which schools are for smart, “A students” and who's just dumb? Glad you asked!

  • SAT 75th percentile score less than or equal to 1,350 (based on Critical Reading and Math)
  • SAT 25th percentile score greater than or equal to 980 (based on Critical Reading and Math)
  • ACT Composite 75th percentile score less than or equal to 30
  • ACT Composite 25th percentile score greater than or equal to 20
  • Proportion of freshmen from the top 10 percent of their high school class less than or equal to 50 percent (for National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges only)
  • Proportion of freshmen from the top 25 percent of their high school class less than or equal to 80 percent
  • Proportion of freshmen from the top 25 percent of their high school class greater than or equal to 40 percent
  • Average freshman retention rate greater than or equal to 75 percent


OK, glad we have that out of the way. There will be a test at the end, so study up, slackers. Here's the Top 11 schools that made the list, via the Huffington Post:

11. Pepperdine University

10. Fordham University

9. Syracuse University

8. Purdue University

7. Rutgers University

6. Michigan State University

5. University of Iowa

4. University of Delaware

3. Baylor University

2. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

1. University of Alabama

Didn't see a New York forestry school coming out of nowhere to grab second place, did ya? Power play by the Mighty Oaks. Final tally: Four private schools, seven public schools. Three alone from the Big Ten. Four if you count Rutgers, which no one does. Way to rep.

I can hear your outrage now: “XYZ STATE SCHOOL DIDN'T MAKE THE LIST? BULLSHIT.” The bottomline is this: There are a lot of schools for us underachievers to spend the best four years of our lives. 

Plus, “good” schools are for suckers.

The best part about every single one of these schools is that they're A LOT OF FUN. Just look at the schools that made the list: 11.) Pepperdine? It's on a freakin' beach in Malibu. 10.) Fordham? Eh, the Bronx… But you'll probably spend your weekends getting plastered in the East Village. 7.) Rutgers? You'll put on 25 pounds by October from all those drunk 4 AM trips to Mr. C's. 4.) UDel? Bro… If you even have to ask. 1.) Alabama, home of back-to-back football National Championships? Even on a quiet Wednesday in January the Red Shed on the Strip gets wild. $1 beers tend to do that.

B student schools are awesome. People learn things at them, too! Real, actual knowledge and skills. It's better than spending four years on some stuffy campus quad surrounded by (usually) rich and (usually) geeky brainiacs who only want to achieve something in life. That's a suckers game. After graduating, as long as you're generally good at something, you'll be just fine getting a job. You know why? Because B student schools hire their own. They — the B school alumni employers — know you're not some stuffy, stuck-up half-wit who relies on namedropping one's laurels. They're real people, not SAT-programmed robots. They know talent when they see it. Zero shame in a life spent watching YouTube videos and browsing Reddit in middle management.

I say all of this as a proud, one time high school B student and graduate from a B student school that didn't make the list. I'm almost pissed about it being snubbed. It's embarrassing that our mediocrity wasn't enough. May God bless America for its plethora of options when it comes to state schools. 

But congratulations, University of Delaware Blue Hens, for finally making a list. You should celebrate as any B-student would: Blowing off class/studying and heading down to Grotto Pizza for 5 dollar pitchers of beer. 

Pull a B student a solid and follow me on Twitter here.

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: