The new academic year is just beginning, and the research website is out with its annual list of the best colleges and universities in the United States.

What were schools rated on?

Thousands of institutions of higher education across the country were rated in a variety of metrics including academics, value; diversity; campus; athletics; professors; location; dorms; campus food; student life; safety, and party scene.

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How were ratings determined? collected data from a variety of sources to determine the scores it assigned to various colleges and universities, including the National Center for Education Statistics, the Office of Post-Secondary Education (OPE) from the U.S. Department of Education, and The Center for Measuring University Performance.

College data on athletics, campus crime and loan default information was considered, as was college data on faculty and student awards, data on post-graduate earnings from the U.S. Department of Education, and college data on value-added for attending a particular college.

Data on college expenditures by department was used in final calculations, as was proprietary data collected by Niche's own College Student Survey, administered to millions of current students and recent alumni through its website.

We mined the data to find out how colleges and universities across Michigan scored. Both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University rate very well, and Michigan's top 10 list features a good variety of both public and private colleges and universities. Small and large schools make the list.

Michigan's Top 10

Take a look at this year's Top 10 colleges and universities in Michigan, according to

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