Service academies are recognized almost as much for their academic tradition as they are the quality of their graduates, and in Forbes' recent rankings of the best college in the U.S., they performed particularly well. This was especially true for the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., which landed at No. 7, beating out the likes of Harvard, MIT and Cornell.

West Point was not the only service academy to earn praise from the venerable publication. The U.S. Naval Academy came in at No. 28, while the Air Force Academy ranked No. 31. Military officials were pleased to be so well represented in the rankings because it is indicative of the quality of today's servicemembers.

"I think that's a great testament to the kind of students and faculty we draw to the military academies," Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost, dean of faculty at the Air Force Academy, told Military Times. "We continue to focus on offering our students a world-class education that is combined with leadership development unmatched on the planet."

There were some other surprises in the rankings. Stanford was No. 1 and Pomona College was No. 2, marking the first time two non-Ivy League schools have earned the two top spots.