The University of Pennsylvania dropped a spot, while Princeton University remained the best school in the nation in the latest college-rankings list from U.S. News and World Report.

Both Ivies, as expected, placed strongly on the highly publicized list released today: Princeton again bested Harvard for the top spot among national universities, while Penn tied with Duke for eighth place. Last year, Penn, Duke and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were tied in the seventh slot.

Colleges in the Philadelphia suburbs had a strong presence on the list of the best national liberal arts schools: Swarthmore College was ranked third, while Haverford College tied for eighth. Swarthmore's place was unchanged from last year; Haverford moved up one spot.

For national universities, three other Pennsylvania schools landed in the top 50: Carnegie Mellon University tied for 25th, Lehigh University tied for 40th and Penn State tied for 48th overall and was tied for 14th among public schools. No other New Jersey universities were in top 50.

Rutgers University was ranked 70th overall and 26th among public universities. In Philadelphia, Drexel tied for 95th and Temple tied for 121st. Those three schools ranked 69th, 97th and 121st, respectively, last year.

Six Pennsylvania liberal arts colleges joined Swarthmore and Haverford in the top 50 on that list: Bryn Mawr College tied for 27th, Bucknell University tied for 32nd, Lafayette College tied for 35th, Dickinson College and Franklin and Marshall College tied for 37th, and Gettysburg College ranked 50th.

For regional universities -- those with undergraduate and some master's programs but few doctoral degrees -- Villanova University was named best in the north region and the College of New Jersey tied for third.

The U.S. News list is among the most well-known and parsed-over college rankings system each year. But the rankings have come under criticism in recent years for failing to give students and parents useful information about colleges or allowing them to make meaningful comparisons among schools. And some universities have admitted to misreporting data used to compile the rankings.

U.S. News says it factors undergraduate academic reputation, retention rates, faculty resources, selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates and alumni giving rates into its rankings.

Here are the top 10 national universities and liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News:

National universities:
1. Princeton University
2. Harvard University
3. Yale University
4. Columbia University
4. Stanford University
4. University of Chicago
7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
8. Duke University
8. University of Pennsylvania
10. California Institute of Technology

National liberal arts colleges:
1. Williams College
2. Amherst College
3. Swarthmore College
4. Wellesley College
5. Bowdoin College
5. Pomona College
7. Middlebury College
8. Carleton college
8. Claremont McKenna College
8. Haverford College