Graduates participate in Howard University's 146th commencement exercises on May 10, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Getty Images

There are about 100 historically black colleges and universities, nicknamed HBCUs, scattered across the country. So how do you pick which one to attend?

U.S. News & World Report announced its 2017 best college rankings Tuesday, and it broke out an HBCU-only list. Looking at factors like graduation, student selectivity and peer assessment, the media company determined the top HBCUs in the nation.

Coming in first place was Spelman College, a women's college in Atlanta, followed by Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Hampton University in Virginia. Though HBCUs cater to all students, they've produced nearly a quarter of bachelor's degrees held by black graduates, according to the Network Journal. If you attend, you'll be in good company alongside Toni Morrison, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee.

Though you should take all college rankings with a grain of salt, U.S. News' list seems to align with a similar ranking from, which put Howard at No. 1, Spelman at No. 2 and Hampton at No. 3. The U.S. News ranking is also useful for comparing information on class size and acceptance rate.

"In addition to considering factors like location and cost, families should pay close attention to graduation and retention rates," U.S. News editor Brian Kelly said in a news release. "These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially. Getting into a good school means nothing if you cannot graduate."

Spelman College | StartClass

Check out the top 10 HBCUs:

1. Spelman College in Atlanta

2. Howard University in Washington, D.C.

3. Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

4 (tie). Morehouse College in Atlanta and Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama

6. Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans

7. Florida A&M University in Tallahassee

8. Fisk University in Nashville

9. Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina

10. North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina