Last Updated: May 8, 2017

Americans wear gear from colleges they have never been to. One million international students come to study in the US. Innumerable movies and TV shows have plotlines about going off to school.

It’s clear from these examples—and more—that going to college is an important part of American culture. And it’s also an important part of the American economy. Yes, college is getting more and more expensive, but it’s hard to deny that going to college isn’t worth it. Most people who write about the topic still agree: the increase in earning potential and the chance to expand your horizons mean that if you can afford it, and if it seems right for you, you should definitely get a college degree.

But with the long series of decisions you have to make about where to go and what to study, it makes deciding to go to college seem easy in comparison. So once you have decided, what do you do next?

That’s where we come in. College Choice is an independent college search publication dedicated to helping you choose the right college, one that not only fits your interests but also will work for your and your family’s financial situation.

That’s why, in our rankings, we not only take academic quality into account but also return on investment. Return on investment is basically a comparison of tuition—how much you’ll pay—with expected early career salary—how much you’ll earn.

College Choice has lots of rankings, from state-specific comparisons to online college lists to rankings of the best places to get certain degrees. But this one is simple: the Best Colleges and Universities in the country. If you’re looking for a traditional, on-campus experience—as opposed to an online college, for example—and you are interested in an education as excellent as possible, no matter where in the country it takes you, then you’ve come to the right place.

The United States is home to over 3,000 four-year colleges and universities. About 21 million students are currently enrolled in college. We’ve combed through the data to produce this list of the 100 Best Colleges and Universities. Best of luck in your search!

1

Harvard University

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $15,095

School Website

harvard university (1)

Harvard University is a private, not-for-profit, Ivy League research university that is the oldest school in the country. It was established in 1636 and is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is the most prestigious and selective school in the country. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC.

Harvard confers 46 undergraduate degrees and 166 graduate and professional degrees within its 11 academic units. It is also a highly selective school and rigorous in terms of academic standards; transferring in is almost impossible and students who do transfer in are almost always behind schedule for their graduation timetable.

Life at Harvard can be difficult, particularly considering how much emphasis is put on educational outcomes. Students often build their own internship and research opportunities and take the time to network with both classmates and faculty. Ambitious students will find the 400 student organizations to be a welcome relief from the rigors of academia, all which make up one of the best institutions of higher learning in America.

2

Princeton University

College Choice Score: 97.42

Average Net Price: $18,885

School Website

Princeton_University

Princeton University is a private, not-for-profit, Ivy League research university that was founded in 1746 and is one of the oldest schools in America. It is associated with producing a large number of US politicians, Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, and Marshall Scholars. This school is located in Princeton, New Jersey, and holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This school offers degrees in 31 areas at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Certificate programs, as well as some select online offerings, are also available for ambitious students. The most popular programs at this school include engineering, biology, business, and chemistry.

All students have guaranteed placement during their undergraduate years at Princeton. Students also have access to a variety of traditions, cultural events, and even the Model United Nations Conference, all on campus. Students are also encouraged to become members of any one of the 250 student organizations that are represented on campus.

3

Stanford University

College Choice Score: 96.27

Average Net Price: $17,952

School Website

Stanford University

Stanford University is a private research university that is headquartered in Stanford, California. It is one of the largest campuses in the country and covers over 12 square miles. The school is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

This university offers over 100 degrees at all levels of education, including professional degrees, across seven different schools. Stanford houses its own medical and law school, meaning that undergraduate students in these areas of study can move onto advanced study through their alumni. Currently, the school’s majors with the highest enrollments numbers are STEM subjects.

Stanford has over 650 student organizations that are represented on campus, including religious groups, political organizations, sports clubs, and more. Greek life is also a large part of life on campus, and traditions help create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

4

Yale University

College Choice Score: 95.45

Average Net Price: $19,317

School Website

Yale University

Yale University is a private, Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. It is one of the most prestigious universities in the world; Yale has graduated U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, diplomats, and Rhodes Scholars. It is regionally accredited by the NEASC.

Yale confers over 65 undergraduate degrees and 100 graduate and postgraduate degrees, including professional and online programs. Dual degree and concurrent programs are also available. Students can also take part in certification and non-degree offerings as well.

The school has over 375 registered student organizations, with 75 groups in the application process at any given time. The school’s student life is best known for its secret societies, including Skull and Bones, the Scroll and Key, and the Sage and Chalice. Traditions and annual events are also celebrated throughout the school year.

5

Duke University

College Choice Score: 93.64

Average Net Price: $21,764

School Website

Duke_University

Duke University is a private, not-for-profit research university that is located in Durham, North Carolina, and is part of the state’s Research Triangle. It is known as one of the best universities in the world. This school holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

This school offers over 100 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional programs. The university is best known for its professional schools, including the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and the Fuqua School of Business. Online courses are also available; however, there are no online degrees.

Duke students are required by the school to live on campus for the first three years of their undergraduate career; it has been mandated in order to make students feel more apart of the campus. The school also offers more than 400 clubs and organizations that are recognized by the student association, as well as civic engagement activities and traditions.

6

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 93.15

Average Net Price: $22,212

School Website

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university that is known as one of the world’s top institutions. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and focuses on STEM subjects. This school holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This university confers 11 degrees at all levels of education in over 100 major areas of study. Students often refer to their majors through numbers or acronyms alone, showcasing the individual nature that comes with learning at the school. Students may also decide to take on concurrent or dual degrees, thereby shortening their time at the school. Online courses are also available through the school and on Coursera.

MIT differs from other schools in various ways; there is no grading system for undergraduates. Instead, they are graded on a pass/fail basis, alleviating some of the stress of trying to maintain perfect scores. Students are also required to complete the General Institute Requirements, regardless of their major, and may also be required to recite formulas and take oral examinations in lieu of traditional assignments.

7

Dartmouth College

College Choice Score: 90.22

Average Net Price: $21,277

School Website

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is a private, not-for-profit, Ivy League research university that is located in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was established in 1769, making it one of the oldest colleges in the country. It is regionally accredited by the NEASC.

This school offers undergraduate degrees in over 55 areas of study and 19 degrees at the graduate and postgraduate levels. Dual-degree programs in partnership with other schools is also available here, especially through the Thayer School of Engineering. Students can also elect to take courses online through the school’s portal.

Dartmouth is consistently named one of the best schools for its “quality of life,” including student life. The campus offers more than 350 student organizations, team sports, arts groups, and more for students; traditions and celebrations are also par for the course at this school.

8

California Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 89.61

Average Net Price: $26,910

School Website

California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology is a private, not-for-profit university that is headquartered in Pasadena, California. It was founded in 1891 as a vocational school but quickly grew to become a doctorate-granting institute. It holds regional accreditation from the WASC SCUC.

This school offers undergraduate degrees in more than two dozen major areas of interest as well as over 60 degrees at the graduate and postgraduate levels. This school has a vested interest in the STEM fields; students often choose to major in engineering, biochemistry, or applied science. Online programs are also available; however, they are currently limited to California residents.

Caltech has a variety of pranks and traditions that liven things up on campus, particularly during the holidays and throughout the school year. These include the Millikan Pumpkin-Drop Experiment, Ditch Day, Ride of the Valkyries, and more. Past pranks include covering up the Hollywood sign to read “Caltech” and other various widely-reported antics.

9

Amherst College

College Choice Score: 89.31

Average Net Price: $14,687

School Website

Amherst

Amherst College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. It is the third-oldest institution in the state. It was established in 1821 and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

This school confers 38 undergraduate degrees in an open curriculum tradition. Students may also feel free to create their own major with the help of an advisor or faculty member. The school is currently ranked in the top tier by both U.S. News and World Report and Forbes.

Students have a variety of student organizations and traditions to look forward to when attending Amherst, including the Sabrina State Battle and other musical events and lecture series. Freedom of speech is also huge at the school; while several members have spoken out against the liberal views held by the college, it nevertheless allows its faculty and members to speak freely about their own beliefs.

10

University of Pennsylvania

College Choice Score: 87.23

Average Net Price: $22,694

School Website

University_of_Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League, research university that is located in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities and an original member of the Colonial Colleges. It is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

This school was founded by Benjamin Franklin and focuses on education for public service and commerce. It confers undergraduate degrees in more than 90 areas of study and more than 170 graduate degrees across 16 colleges and schools. The school is also known for its dual-degree programs that are in partnership with other colleges, including professional degrees that are both dual-degree and accelerated.

Penn is known for its number of major scientific discoveries that students have shared in. It is the home of the first general-purpose electronic computer, the first spelling and grammar check applications, as well as the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines. The school integrates research with education, meaning that students all have the option to share in these discoveries if they choose to go that route.

11

Rice University

College Choice Score: 86.96

Average Net Price: $20,512

School Website

Rice University

Rice University is a private, not-for-profit research university that is located in Houston, Texas. It is the best university, public or private, in the state. This school has an undergraduate focus and holds regional accreditation from the SACS COC.

Through the 19 schools and colleges, Rice confers 50 undergraduate degrees and 75 degrees at the graduate, postgraduate, and professional levels. Certifications and endorsements for teachers are also available. The most popular programs are economics, education, and business.

Rice is heralded as an applied science research hub; there are centers at the campus that are devoted to the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, and materials science. Some of these centers, such as the Rice Space Institute and the Laboratory for Nanophotonics, are nationally recognized by the National Science Foundation. These centers are a great place for students to get hands-on experience researching specialized areas within their field of study.

12

Vanderbilt University

College Choice Score: 86.91

Average Net Price: $22,173

School Website

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University is a private research university that is a member of the Association of American Universities. It is the home to the only Level I Trauma Center in the state. This school is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

This university offers more than 250 degrees, certificates, and endorsements at al levels of education. The school is well known for its dedication to medicine and health sciences; roughly half of all graduates earn a degree in this discipline. Online graduate degrees are also available.

This university officially recognizes over 530 student organizations, including outdoor clubs, sporting teams, political groups, and religious organizations. Student-run media and traditions also feature heavily in life at Vanderbilt, including the Sailing Club Regatta, Occupy Vanderbilt, and more.

13

Pomona College

College Choice Score: 86.87

Average Net Price: $19,205

School Website

Pomona College

Pomona College is a private liberal arts college that is located in Claremont, California, and is a founding member of the Claremont Colleges Consortium. It is an undergraduate institution that has been nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and Forbes. This school has been regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

Pomona offers undergraduate degrees in over 45 major areas of study; students can also feel free to take courses at the other colleges within the Consortium for one flat rate. Study abroad experiences are also normal for students, with over half of all students studying in another country prior to graduating.

Pomona College shares its student life with the other four colleges within the Consortium, all of which features on this ranking. Students share equal access to all the dining halls, the library, special programs, and even housing exchanges across the campuses. This makes for a unique experience that is hard to find anywhere else in America.

14

Brown University

College Choice Score: 86.72

Average Net Price: $21,193

School Website

brown university (1)

Brown University is a private, not-for-profit, Ivy League research university that is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. It is one of the nine Colonial Colleges that was founded before the American Revolution. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

This school confers over 40 degrees at the undergraduate level, 28 graduate degrees, and 51 doctoral degrees. These include professional degrees in the realm of engineering, public health, and medicine. There are a variety of dual degrees available as well; while the school does not currently offer fully online degrees, online courses are slowly becoming available.

Brown University has many traditions that mark the school year, one of which is the Spring Weekend, a music festival that has featured famous musicians such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen among others. The school also has Greek life, societies and clubs, as well as intramural sports teams and more for students to enjoy.

15

Columbia University in the City of New York

College Choice Score: 86.27

Average Net Price: $20,838

School Website

Columbia_University

Columbia University is a private, not-for-profit, Ivy League research university that is located in the heart of Manhattan, New York City, New York. It was established in 1754 and is the oldest colleges in the state. This school holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

There are 20 schools associated with Columbia, including professional and graduate schools; together, the campus confers over 200 degrees at all levels of education, including terminal degrees for a select number of professions. The school also has global satellite campuses in the MENA region, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Dual Degrees with Dartmouth and other schools are also available through the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Columbia is the home of the Pulitzer Prize; it is therefore not a coincidence that so many of the faculty who have been awarded these prizes are also alumni. The school has also produced five of the founding fathers of the country, Supreme Court Justice, and US Presidents.

16

Cornell University

College Choice Score: 86.24

Average Net Price: $28,537

School Website

Cornell_University

Cornell University is a private, Ivy League institution that was founded in 1865. It is located in Ithaca, New York, and is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution. It holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This school has 14 colleges and schools that offers nearly 190 degrees at all levels of education. This includes professional and dual-degree programs, many of which are independently ranked and accredited by national associations. Cornell also offers online courses and summer school via its online portal, eCornell.

Cornell is one of the only schools on this list to offer undergraduate studies with a global focus, including studies in each of the major regions around the world, including Near Eastern and Africana Studies. The school also has partnerships that allow for students to study abroad on six continents in summer or semester-long experiences.

17

University of Chicago

College Choice Score: 86.06

Average Net Price: $34,352

School Website

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a private, not-for-profit research university that is a top-tier national university. It is located in Chicago, Illinois and is known for the wealth of professional schools it houses on its campuses. This school holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

This school confers 50 undergraduate degrees and more than 150 graduate and professional degrees among its 13 schools and colleges. The professional schools, including the UC Medical Center and the UC Law School, are some of the most prestigious in the country. Online degrees and courses are also available at this school.

UC is known for its scientific research and has been designated a center with “the highest research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation. The school operates more than 140 research centers and institutes on campus. It is also well known for student-involved research that has resulted in developments within sociology and economics.

18

Claremont McKenna College

College Choice Score: 85.26

Average Net Price: $23,982

School Website

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College is a private, independent liberal arts college that has a state emphasis on economics, government, and public affairs. It is a member of the Claremont Colleges and is located in Claremont, California. It is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

This school confers over 100 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees in government and business. Additionally, the school also provides online courses for working professionals through their Division of Continuing Studies. This school is currently a top-tier liberal arts college as ranked by Forbes and Washington Monthly.

Like many of the other Claremont Colleges, this school puts an emphasis on the Core Curriculum; however, Claremont McKenna puts an emphasis on the social sciences over everything else. In fact, the school offers a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major that is reminiscent of the Oxford major under the same name. It is a great degree for any student seriously considering a career in government.

19

Georgetown University

College Choice Score: 85.05

Average Net Price: $25,786

School Website

Georgetown_University

Georgetown University is a private, not-for-profit university that has an affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church. It is located in Washington, D.C., and is one of the most formidable schools in the country. It is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit school in America. This school holds regional accreditation from the NCACS THLC.

This school offers degrees in 50 different areas of study at all levels of education. The school provides these degrees from nine different schools; it is most noted for its business and political programs. Online courses are available, but are selective, so students are encouraged to apply early.

This school is best known for being home to the country’s largest student-run business as well as the largest student-run financial institution; both of these are feats in and of themselves and are registered as charity organizations. They are in competition with other student-run businesses, such as the ones held at Columbia and Harvard, and are one of the best ways for students to get noticed by potential employers.

20

Williams College

College Choice Score: 84.24

Average Net Price: $20,315

School Website

Williams_College

Williams College is a private, not-for-profit, selective liberal arts college that was established in 1793. It is a member of the Annapolis Group, the 568 Group, and the Oberlin Group. It is currently ranked first nationally as the best liberal arts college in the nation. This school is located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

This university offers more than 33 majors at the undergraduate level and two master’s degrees for its students. Additionally, students can elect to complete concentrations in a dozen other areas not offered as majors at this time. The student to faculty ration stands at a steady 7:1, and most faculty members hold terminal degrees in their field.

Williams has a lot in common with Oxford University; the school has taken parts of its education modules and modeled it after the way Oxford teaches its own students. In fact, the school has a close working relationship with Exeter College, where the school owns homes and sends students for study abroad experiences. Exeter is also home to the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford, which allows select undergrads the chance to attend Oxford for the junior year as full-fledged members of the college.

21

Johns Hopkins University

College Choice Score: 83.47

Average Net Price: $25,207

School Website

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is a private, not-for-profit, research university that was founded in 1876. It was named after the abolitionist Johns Hopkins, who founded and established the university as a medical school. This university is located in Baltimore, Maryland, and operates centers all over the world, including in Italy and China. This school holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This university offers every way possible to get a degree; traditional, hybrid, part-time, evenings, and online degrees are all available here. There are over 50 degrees at the undergraduate level and more than 150 degrees available at the graduate and professional levels, all available for students in ways that fit their needs the best. The most popular programs tend to be STEM subjects and medical degrees.

Johns Hopkins is best known as a medical research school. Research is a large part of the undergraduate education here; over 80 percent of all students perform independent or team research alongside faculty and staff. In fact, the school’s research is often the most cited in the medical and science world, attracting more than one million citations over a ten-year period. It is the school to attend for students interested in medical research.

22

Northwestern University

College Choice Score: 82.83

Average Net Price: $28,667

School Website

Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private, not-for-profit, research university that has a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church that dates back to its establishment in 1851. It is a comprehensive doctoral research university that is designated an “Ivy Plus” school. This university is located in Evanston, Illinois, with satellite campuses in and around the country as well as overseas in Qatar. This school holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

Northwestern currently confers over 250 degrees at all levels of education; online courses and degrees are also available. The school is also part of the Chicago Star Partnership, a City Colleges Initiative that provides scholarships to students who have graduated from a public Chicago school and received their associate’s degree from an accredited college. It is one of the best universities for students interested in accelerating or completing an undergraduate degree.

Student life at this school is marked by traditions that the entire school celebrates; this includes Dillo Day, the 30-hour Dance Marathon, and the Painting The Rock events. Students are also treated to a plethora of annual productions put on by student-led organizations, including improv groups that list Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Seth Meyers as alumni.

23

Wellesley College

College Choice Score: 82.11

Average Net Price: $21,216

School Website

Wellesley_College

Wellesley College is a private, not-for-profit, women’s liberal arts college that was founded in 1870. It is an original member of the Seven Sisters Colleges. This school has been consistently ranked in the top ten best liberal arts colleges ranking by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. It has graduated notables such as Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and Diane Sawyer. This school is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

Wellesley offers over 50 undergraduate degrees and interdepartmental majors for students; the option to create an individualized major also exists. The school also offers dual degree programs with MIT and the Olin College of Engineering, allowing for two undergraduate degrees to be earned at the same time.

Life at Wellesley is a little different from other schools. This school reports that about 98 percent of all students live on campus, where a sustainable living co-op and a French-language house also reside. There are also over 175 student organizations for a student to sign up for, including student-run media, club sports, and honor societies.

24

Tufts University

College Choice Score: 81.49

Average Net Price: $26,103

School Website

Tufts_University

Tufts University is a private, not-for-profit, research university that was founded in 1852 by Christian Universalists. The school is best known for its international programs and study abroad experiences. This school is located in Medford, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

This school confers over 175 degrees at all levels of education, including first-professional programs and certificates and endorsements. The school is best known for its engineering and medical programs alongside its international relations programs, all of which have been individually ranked by prestigious associations.

Tufts enjoys a large study abroad program that more than 500 undergraduates participate in every year; one of its largest partnerships is with the University of Oxford, which is located in London. Other options include traveling to Paris, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, and other countries around the world; short terms and full semester terms are also available.

25

University of California-Berkeley

College Choice Score: 80.94

Average Net Price: $16,655

School Website

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley, referred to as UC Berkeley by students, is a public, land-grant, state research university that is the flagship institution of the University of California System. It has been often ranked the top public university in the nation and in the world. It is located in Berkeley, California, and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

This school confers over 350 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and professional levels. These degrees are conferred among 14 colleges and schools; online courses and degrees are also available. There is also a joint UC Berkeley – UCSF Medical Program that allows students from this school to attend medical school at the nearby medical school.

UC Berkeley is known for the sheer number of discoveries and innovations that have been cultivated at the school. From the flu vaccine and the wetsuit to the discovery of carcinogens and the invention of the polygraph, over two dozen such discoveries have taken place on campus and through the hard work of both students and faculty researchers.

26

Swarthmore College

College Choice Score: 80.80

Average Net Price: $22,557

School Website

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that has a historical affiliation with the Hicksite Quakers. It was founded in 1864 and is located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. This school is a member of the Tri-College Consortium and the Quaker Consortium. It holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This college confers undergraduate degrees in over 40 major areas of study. The school currently does not offer online learning. Students are able to design their own major or dual major upon approval of the admissions advisor. Some ambitious candidates will even be offered placement within the Honors Program, which is was inspired by the programs delivered by Oxbridge and consists of taking double-credit seminars during junior and senior year and writing an honors thesis.

Swarthmore is known for an excellent student life and exceptional students, but more importantly, it’s known for something else: 16 percent of all undergraduate enter into prestigious graduate or professional programs immediately upon graduating; alumni have gone on to complete degrees at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and John Hopkins, just to name a few.

27

Haverford College

College Choice Score: 80.67

Average Net Price: $22,409

School Website

Haverford College

Haverford College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college with a historical affiliation with the Orthodox Quakers. It focuses on providing an exceptional undergraduate education to all of its students, most of whom reside on campus. This school is located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

This school confers the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science in over 30 areas of study, including the humanities and the social sciences. Students are also required to complete a senior thesis prior to graduation; additionally, some majors, such as those in the STEM fields, may also require a junior project. All students must take courses in both science and liberal arts classes for a well-rounded education.

Haverford has a variety of activities for students to participate in once they are finished with their studies. This includes fashion publications, student-run media, cappella groups, and more. The school also hosts annual traditions and musical events, including the Spring Formal, Bowling Night, and more.

28

University of California-Los Angeles

College Choice Score: 80.33

Average Net Price: $12,510

School Website

University_of_California_Los_Angele

The University of California at Los Angeles is a public, state-supported, land-grant research university that is currently ranked 16th in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The school is a member of the Association of American Universities and is part of the University of California System. This school is located in Los Angeles, California, and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

UCLA offers over 200 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels of education, including professional degrees. There is also a Division of Continuing Studies, where students who are working professionals can find online courses and degrees that could fit their needs. The school also offers first-professional degrees in the areas of law and medicine.

Student life at UCLA is perfect for students who are interested in exploring the arts and entertainment venues that the city of Los Angeles has to offer. The school is close to the Getty Center, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and more. For students who want to get the most out of their time at the university, there are over 800 recognized student groups on campus alone; if that isn’t enough, undergraduates and graduates alike can take time to learn a water sport at the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center that is located in Marina del Rey.

29

University of Notre Dame

College Choice Score: 79.89

Average Net Price: $27,025

School Website

University_of_Notre_Dame

The University of Notre Dame du Lac, known simply as Notre Dame to students, is a private, not-for-profit, Catholic research institution that is affiliated with the Congregation of the Holy Cross. This school is one of the top-tier institutions in the nation and is ranked in the top 20 best schools by U.S. News and World Report, the Princeton Review, and the Financial Times. This school is located in Notre Dame, Indiana, and holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

This school confers more than 75 degrees at the undergraduate level and over 100 degrees at the graduate and postgraduate levels. First-professional degrees are also available at this school; certifications and endorsements for teachers make up a large part of the non-degree students at Notre Dame. As with many other schools, this university also provides some online courses for busy students.

Student-run media is a big part of life at Notre Dame. The school currently has nine outlets, including newspapers, a radio station, a tv station, literary journals, and magazines. Students are so dedicated to these media outlets that the tv station, which was formed in 2002, now broadcasts 24 hours a day and includes original programming.

30

Middlebury College

College Choice Score: 79.87

Average Net Price: $20,903

School Website

Middlebury College

Middlebury College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that served as the first operating institution of higher education in the state. The school is also known for graduating the first African-American to receive a bachelor’s degree, a feat that was completed in 1823. This university is located in Middlebury, Vermont, and holds regional accreditation from the NEASC.

There are over 45 major areas of study at the undergraduate level; the school does not offer graduate studies at this time. More than 40 percent of all students take one major while 30 percent double major in relating areas of interest. This school also provides some online courses online, although at this time there are no 100 percent online degrees available.

There are a variety of international programs available through Middlebury College which will be of significant interest to students with a global focus on their degree. The centers, such as the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, offer students lectures and study abroad opportunities across the world to expand their perspective on their chosen area of study.

31

University of Southern California

College Choice Score: 79.79

Average Net Price: $31,189

School Website

University_of_Southern_California

The University of Southern California is a private, sea-grant, space-grant research university that holds the mantle of being the state’s oldest private institution engaged in research. It has a long tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship and has a number of alumni responsible for the creation of Lucasfilm, Myspace, Riot Games, and more. This school is located in Los Angeles, California, and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

This university confers 95 undergraduate degrees and over 130 graduate and professional degrees across 17 schools. It has a reputation in the entertainment world for producing more Oscar winners than any other school in the nation, including TISCH School of the Arts and Juilliard. Some of the most popular programs, then, are found at the School of Cinematic Arts, the oldest film school in the country.

USC is as well known for its research as it is for its alumni; this school has two engineering-related research centers, has been designated a Center of Excellence by the Department of Homeland Security, and is the home of the Southern California Earthquake Center. The school is also a founding member of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, a non-profit initiative that seeks to provide high-performance web-based networking to researchers across the state.

32

Washington University in St Louis

College Choice Score: 79.63

Average Net Price: $33,374

School Website

Washington University St Louis

Washington University in St. Louis is a private, not-for-profit, research institution that was named after the country’s founding president, George Washington. This school’s undergraduate program is currently ranked 19th in the country by U.S. News and World Report. It is located in St. Louis, Missouri, and holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

WUSTL, as the school is called, confers over 200 degrees at all levels of education. Dual degrees, professional certificates, and online courses are also available. It is also possible to gain terminal degrees in architecture, law, medicine, and social work from this university, as there are schools and colleges that focus solely on these professions.

WUSTL is known for its sheer number of libraries and research centers. The school houses 14 libraries on campus alone with a catalog of over 4.2 million volumes. Each library has a theme of interest, with the exception of the main building that is Olin Library.

The school is also home to partnerships with the United States Department of Defense, NASA, National Institute of Health, and the National Science foundation. The school has been known to receive more than $500 million in research donations every year, allowing it to be the hub for many of the country’s newest inventions.

33

Colgate University

College Choice Score: 79.09

Average Net Price: $21,649

School Website

Colgate University

Colgate University is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that was founded in 1817 by the Baptist Education Society. The school has been ranked as “most beautiful college” by the Princeton Review and is currently listed as one of America’s “25 New Ivies” by Newsweek. This school is located in Hamilton Village, Hamilton, New York. It is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

This university focuses primarily on undergraduate education and confers the Bachelor of Arts degree in over 50 different areas of study. Select students can also take advantage of the one master’s program the school offers, the MAT, although admittance is very competitive. The school currently does not offer any online courses or degree programs.

Colgate is a residential college where the majority of students live in campus housing. Residence halls at this school differ than others; students are allowed to choose a themed house that represents their interests, such as the Creative Arts or Asia House. It is a great way for students to get to know each other through interests and become a part of the friendly atmosphere that makes up this small college.

34

Emory University

College Choice Score: 78.75

Average Net Price: $28,203

School Website

emory-university

Emory University is a private, not-for-profit, research university that is affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is the home of the largest healthcare system in the state and is a leading researcher in diseases. This school is located in Druid Hills, Georgia, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

This school confers over 70 degrees at the undergraduate level and dozens more at the graduate, postgraduate, and professional levels. Dual degrees in both engineering and social work are also available. This is one of the only universities on this list to offer the Associate Degree for students; this is available through Oxford College.

Emory is known for its partnerships when it comes to healthcare research; the school currently enjoys relationships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The school played a crucial role in ending the string of Ebola virus cases in the country in 2014. Students at Emory with a background in medicine will want to give this school a close look because they are always welcome to take part in research efforts.

35

Vassar College

College Choice Score: 78.68

Average Net Price: $19,661

School Website

Vassar College

Vassar College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts institution that was founded in 1861. It was the first college dedicated to educating women in the country. This school has a historic relationship with Yale University and is a member of the Seven Sisters. This school is located in Poughkeepsie, New York, and holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This school confers the Bachelor of Arts in more than 50 areas of studies. It is also known for providing a flexible curriculum that allows a student to pursue the subject areas that interest them the most. Joint programs as well as online degrees are also available.

Life at Vassar is interesting and revolves around providing students with a strong sense of family and connectedness. This school offers a variety of student organizations, including student-run media, environmental and political groups, a literary society, and arts clubs. The school even has a political Student Association, one that is very liberal in terms of perspective towards international affairs.

36

Hamilton College

College Choice Score: 78.41

Average Net Price: $22,392

School Website

Hamilton College

Hamilton College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that was established in 1793. It is a top-tier national liberal arts college as ranked by U.S. News and World Report and is located in Clinton, New York. It is affiliated with the Oberlin Group, the Annapolis Group, and CLAC. The school holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

Hamilton confers the Bachelor of Arts in over 50 areas of study. The school also hosts engineering dual-degree programs with Columbia and Dartmouth; it is not the only school on this list to have this partnership, as this joint program is highly prized among students. There are also a large variety of study abroad programs available, including semester-long stays in China, France, Spain, and cities across the country.

Student-run media at Hamilton is a well-respected tradition; the school currently runs over a dozen different magazines, newspapers, journals, radio stations, and a tv station, all staffed by students who are in the communications and journalism department or who love being a part of the everyday action. The school also has a variety of tradition, including Reunion Day, Class and Charter Day, the Citrus Bowl, and more.

37

Washington and Lee University

College Choice Score: 78.17

Average Net Price: $20,700

School Website

Washington and Lee University is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts institution that was established in 1749. It is named after George Washington, the country’s first president, and General Robert E. Lee, both of whom were directly tied to the school’s success. This school is located in Lexington, Virginia, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

This school confers undergraduate, graduate, and some specialist degrees in over 40 major areas of study. All courses are taught by professors; no graduate students or teaching assistants ever teach a course. Classes rarely exceed 15 students and each student is assigned their own academic advisor.

Washington and Lee has its share of traditions and events. One of these, the Washington and Lee Mock Convention, has been around since 1948 and has correctly guessed the out-of-power presidential nominee for 18 out of the past 23 election cycles. The school also is home to several mysterious societies, including the Sigma Society, the Mongolian Minks, and the Cadaver Society.

38

Grinnell College

College Choice Score: 77.55

Average Net Price: $24,896

School Website

Grinnell College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that has a historical affiliation with the United Church of Christ. It is known for having a rigorous academic curriculum and a tradition of social responsibility. This school, which is located in Grinnell, Iowa, holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

Grinnell has 26 major areas of study and 10 interdisciplinary concentrations; alternatively, students have the option to create their own curriculum and major. This school emphasizes experiential learning and significant academic achievements by students. To this effect, the school does not offer remedial or basic courses in any STEM programs.

The college also encourages the importance of off-campus study; this results in study abroad programs, international and social organizations, and civic engagement. Students often take on an internship or study abroad program to provide perspective to their studies; alternatively, many students take on volunteer activities throughout the course of their time at the school, ensuring a strong connection to both Grinnell and the surrounding community.

39

Barnard College

College Choice Score: 77.35

Average Net Price: $21,791

School Website

Barnard College

Barnard College is a private, not-for-profit, women’s liberal arts college that was established in 1889. It is one of the oldest women’s colleges in the world and was founded by Annie Nathan Meyer. It is affiliated with Columbia University. This school is located in New York City, New York, and is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

Barnard is an undergraduate school that confers the Bachelor of Arts in over 50 areas of study. There are separate joint programs for the Bachelor of Science and other degrees that are in partnership with Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Students, regardless of their major, are expected to complete the Core Curriculum, also known as the Nine Ways of Knowing, prior to graduation.

Barnard and Columbia have an interesting academic relationship that extends to extracurricular activities as well; Barnard students can join activities or organizations sponsored by Columbia. Students can also take part in NPC sororities, participate in traditions such as Take Back the Night and Midnight Breakfast, become part of an intramural sports team, and more.

40

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

College Choice Score: 77.15

Average Net Price: $17,453

School Website

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, often referred to as The Cooper Union, is a private, not-for-profit college that is located in Manhattan, New York City, New York. It was established in 1859 and is modeled after the government-supported École Polytechnique that is housed in France. It is best known for offering full tuition scholarships to every single student it accepts. This school holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This school has a curated and selective list of degrees at all levels of education, including postgraduate advanced degrees. Student research and internship opportunities are also available, as are concurrent degree programs, such as the Architecture five-year plan.

41

Boston College

College Choice Score: 76.58

Average Net Price: $26,335

School Website

Boston_College

Boston College is a private, not-for-profit, Jesuit Catholic, research university that is a member of the 568 Group and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The school remains affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and the Jesuit Order. The school, which is located in Chestnut Hills, Massachusetts, is regionally accredited by the NEASC.

This school confers over 150 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels among its nine schools and colleges. Online programs are also available for working professionals. BC has been designated one of the “25 New Ivies” by Newsweek and has other top-tier rankings by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Princeton Review, and U.S. News and World Report.

One of the most unique programs at BC is AHANA, a program that offers opportunities to students of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent. It is a term that has been trademarked by the school and is officially used for over 50 organizations across the country.

42

Davidson College

College Choice Score: 76.24

Average Net Price: $22,457

School Website

Davidson_College

Davidson College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that is best known for graduating over 20 Rhodes Scholars. It is also known for providing students with a fully-paid tuition by using only grants and work-study funds. This school is located in Davidson, North Carolina, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

This school is an undergraduate institution and currently confers degrees in over 24 majors. Pre-professional majors, such as military science, medicine, and ministry, are also available. The school has a world-class faculty that nearly all have terminal degrees in their profession.

Davidson offers over 150 student organizations on campus, including sports teams, Greek life, political interest groups, and more. The school also offers concerts, festivals, and traditional events that all students can take part of during their time at the school. This is one of the top institutions for students interested in a friendly and welcoming campus.

43

Carnegie Mellon University

College Choice Score: 76.24

Average Net Price: $33,670

School Website

Carnegie_Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a private, not-for-profit research university that was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie. It merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in 1967 and has consistently earned top-tier placement from U.S. News and World Report. The school is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and holds regional accreditation from the MSCHE.

This school confers over 125 degrees at all levels of education, including specialist and professional degrees. Certifications and endorsement programs at the graduate level are also available, as are a select number of joint degree programs. The school is best known for its STEM programs; over 60 percent of all graduates earn a degree in one of these fields.

Carnegie Melon has a strong international reputation, operating satellite campuses around the country and the world. The school currently houses a College of Engineering campus in Kigali, Rwanda, an Entertainment Technology Center in Portugal, and other campuses in Athens and Japan. Programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate degree levels at many of these campuses; however, spaces are limited, so students are encouraged to apply early.

44

Colby College

College Choice Score: 76.11

Average Net Price: $18,477

School Website

Colby College

Colby College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that was founded in 1813 by a Baptist Preacher. The school is ranked in the top 25 best colleges by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, and Washington Monthly. The school is located in Waterville, Maine, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

This school confers undergraduates in over 50 major areas of study and 30 minors. Independent study program options are also available, allowing students to choose what they learn. The school also offers engineering dual-degree programs with Columbia University and Dartmouth College.

Colby has a focus on project and work-based learning. Internships, service learning opportunities, and study abroad programs are all popular forms of experiential learning. In fact, more than 60 percent of students study off campus before they even graduate, earning credits from work or volunteer experiences.

45

University of Virginia

College Choice Score: 75.69

Average Net Price: $14,069

School Website

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is a public-private, not-for-profit, research university. It serves as the flagship school of the University of Virginia system and is a member of the Association of American Universities. It was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson and is known for its secret societies. This school is located in Charlottesville, Virginia, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

This school confers over 200 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, specialist, and professional levels, including degrees in medicine and law. Students also have the option to earn a dual-degree as well; however, this comes under the discretion of UVA faculty. This school is best known for its medical and science degrees, some of which are available online.

Research is a big part of life at UVA. The school has been the home of the map redraw of the human lymphatic system, when UVA School of Medicine researchers discovered unknown vessels that connected the human brain directly to the lymphatic system. It was also the home to the global breakthrough in which 22 students and faculty, along with 270 researchers from around the world, found that over half of previously credible psychology studies could be definitely reproduced with the consistent results.

46

University of California-San Diego

College Choice Score: 75.46

Average Net Price: $13,693

School Website

University of California_San Diego

The University of California at San Diego is a public, sea-grant, space-grant, state research university that is a member of the University of California system. The school is home to the world-renown Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a center dedicated solely to the research of the ocean’s ecosystems. This school is located in San Diego, California, and has regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

This school confers 125 undergraduate degrees, 35 graduate degrees, 47 postgraduate degrees, and five professional programs. There are also nine joint doctoral programs in partnership with other UC campuses. The school is best known for its social sciences and natural sciences degree programs. The school also has a major online presence, with over 20 degrees available 100 percent online.

UC San Diego has been consistently named one of “the happiest colleges” in the US by The Daily Beast. This school offers over 550 student organizations, sports clubs, Greek life societies, and more. The school is also in a great location in San Diego, allowing students to take advantage of the close proximity to the ocean as well as the music and entertainment scene found in the city.

47

Harvey Mudd College

College Choice Score: 75.14

Average Net Price: $33,137

School Website

Harvey_Mudd_College

Harvey Mudd College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that was founded in 1955. It is named after Harvey Seeley Mudd, one of the original investors in the Cyprus Mines Corporation. It is a member of the Claremont Consortium and is affiliated with the Oberlin Group and the Annapolis Group. The school is located in Claremont, California, and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

The school has a stated focus on STEM subjects, and the degrees it offers is in line with that: currently, HMC offers undergraduate degrees in six STEM subjects, including computer science, engineering, and mathematical biology. Joint majors are also available at this school, as well as an individual program of study option. As part of the Claremont Consortium, students can also elect to take their courses at one of the other member institutions, expanding the courses available to them.

HMC is dedicated to its academic offerings; however, to combat, the school also requires that students take a general education Core Curriculum. One-third of all courses must be within the liberal arts, such as humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Students area also required to take part in research in the form of a senior thesis or the school’s Clinic Program; this is a program that offers students the chance to work on real-world team projects for one full year.

48

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

College Choice Score: 74.82

Average Net Price: $10,936

School Website

South Building at the University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, known as UNC to faculty and students, is a public research university. It was established in 1795, making it one of the three universities that can claim the title of oldest public university in the country. It is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

There are over 100 degree programs available in 70 programs of study at all levels of education; these are conferred through 15 different colleges. The school also houses UNC Health Care, a research and treatment center that specializes in cancer care, making it one of the foremost research institutions for oncology students. The school is also recognized as being one of the best online universities for students specializing in health care.

One of the most interesting things about UNC, aside from its nationally ranked student media and the over 200 student organizations it sponsors, is Campus Y. This is a social justice hub that is located on campus and it was founded in 1859. The school provides various service and internationally oriented organizations through the hub and results in hundreds of volunteer hours every year going to help both the campus and the community in much-needed projects.

49

University of California-Irvine

College Choice Score: 74.13

Average Net Price: $12,072

School Website

university of california irvine

The University of California at Irvine is a public, land-grant research institution that is a member of the University of California system. It is designated by the Carnegie Foundation as having “very high research activity” and is a member of the Association of American Universities. This school is located in Irvine, California, and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

UCI offers over 80 undergraduate degrees and nearly 100 graduate, postgraduate, and professional degrees. The school is also home to the UC Irvine Medical Center, which is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country. There are also options for accelerated and dual degree programs for ambitious students.

UC Irvine has one of the best student life experiences on this list; the school currently recognizes over 650 student clubs and organizations that span nearly every interest, political viewpoint, religious affiliation, or hobby. Sports teams and Greek life are also a large part of life here, and the school is known for its unique traditions and events.

50

Carleton College

College Choice Score: 73.89

Average Net Price: $32,017

School Website

Carleton_College

Carleton College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that is considered a top-tier institution by U.S. News and World Report. It is one of the largest producers of undergraduate students pursuing doctorates in the nation. It is located in Northfield, Minnesota and holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

This school confers undergraduate degrees in over 30 different majors and with an added 17 concentrations. Students, alternatively, can create their own major with the help of an academic advisor. Advanced study certifications in a variety of languages are also available at this school.

Carleton is different from many schools in that it does not operate on the traditional semester program. This school operates on a trimester system, meaning students take just three classes per term. Students must also take an Argument and Inquiry Seminar, all of the Core Curriculum courses, and complete a senior project prior to graduating from this selective school.

51

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

College Choice Score: 73.67

Average Net Price: $15,850

School Website

universityofmichiganannarbor

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is a public, sea-grant, space-grant, public institution that is a member of the University of Michigan System. It is a member of the Association of American University and is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This school holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

Michigan, as the school is known, confers over 275 degrees at all levels of education. This includes certifications, endorsements, and non-degree executive education programs. The school also has a stated interest in online education; this is one of the pioneering online universities and already hosts over 20 degrees available 100 percent online.

Michigan is one of the most prestigious research universities in the country and holds a “doctoral university with very high research” designation by the Carnegie Foundation. The school is best known for its focus on STEM fields at the postgraduate level and has been ranked by the Princeton Review, U.S. News and World Report, and the Financial Times for these programs.

52

Scripps College

College Choice Score: 73.64

Average Net Price: $35,037

School Website

Scripps_College_for_Women-10

Scripps College is a private, not-for-profit, women’s liberal arts college that is a member of the Claremont Colleges. It was established in 1926 and has an estimated student body enrollment of just under 1,000 students. It is located in Claremont, California and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

Scripps offers more than 50 majors at the undergraduate level, with a state interest in the humanities and the arts. The school also offers some online courses with a goal of expanding into online degrees in the next five years. Students will find that pre-professional programs are also available at this school.

Like a few other select schools on this list, all students, regardless of their major, are required to take on the Core Curriculum, a three-course sequence that focuses on engaging students in critical thinking and interpersonal skills. Students must also complete a senior thesis, research paper, or some other final project prior to graduating from the school.

53

University of California-Davis

College Choice Score: 73.44

Average Net Price: $16,231

School Website

University_of_California__Davis

The University of California at Davis is a public, land-grant, space-grant, state research university that is a member institution of the University of California System. It has been designated a Public Ivy and holds Carnegie classification as a comprehensive doctoral research university. This school is located in Davis, California, and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

UC Davis confers more than 100 undergraduate degrees and 96 degrees at the graduate and postgraduate level. This school has a vested interest in research, agricultural and animal science; to this end, the school has its own Department of Viticulture and Enology as well as the Agricultural and Resource Economics Program. The most popular programs at this school are firmly in the natural and agricultural sciences.

What makes UC Davis unique from other schools on this list is their devotion to agricultural science. The school houses its own dairy and meat-processing plant, an experimental farm, a vineyard, and an equestrian facility. There is also an arboretum available for students who need it for research purposes, making this the top college for those interested in the natural sciences.

54

University of Richmond

College Choice Score: 73.24

Average Net Price: $24,011

School Website

University of Richmond

The University of Richmond is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, liberal arts institution that was established in 1830. This is a primarily undergraduate institution that offers students the exceptional education of a small university. It is located in Richmond, Virginia, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

The school confers over 100 undergraduate degrees and over 40 graduate and professional degrees. Teacher certifications and endorsements are also available for students who qualify for those programs. A hybrid education can also be found through the School of Continuing Studies for busy working professionals.

Richmond offers over 165 student organizations, club sports, political groups, and hobby clubs. Community service also features heavily at Richmond, with Habitat for Humanity, Bonner Scholars, and the Volunteer Action Council all making their home on campus. Greek life is available as well, with 15 fraternities and sororities being represented at the school.

55

Berea College

College Choice Score: 73.08

Average Net Price: $1,990

School Website

Berea College is a private, not-for-profit, Christian liberal arts college that is located in Berea, Kentucky. It is one of the only colleges on this list to provide free education to all of its students; it also holds the mantle of being the first college in the South to be both coeducation and racially integrated. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

This university offers undergraduate degrees in 32 areas of study. In lieu of tuition, Berea has instituted a mandated work-study program. This program requires each student to work at least 10 hours a week on campus in a service-related job in order to pay for their education, room, and board. It is one of just five work colleges in the country.

Berea has a reputation for producing a large number of students who go on to graduate or professional education; it is also known for its abundant study abroad and global internship options. Students often take advantage of these opportunities because they are free and because of this, become more successful due to the experiences provided to them by the school.

56

Brandeis University

College Choice Score: 72.49

Average Net Price: $26,367

School Website

Brandeis University

Brandeis University is a private, not-for-profit research university that was founded in 1948 by the Jewish community. It is named after Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice to serve on the United States Supreme Court. The school is a member of the Association of American Universities and the Boston Consortium. It is located in Waltham, Massachusetts and is regionally accredited by the NEASC.

Brandeis confers undergraduate degrees in 43 majors; there are 46 minors that students can also choose from to complement their studies. There are also over 65 degree programs at the graduate and postgraduate levels, including some majors, such as Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, that are rare among universities. Like many other universities, this school also provides the opportunity to enroll in dual degree programs as well as online courses.

There are over 270 active student groups on the Brandeis campus at any given time, including Greek life, honor societies, and political groups. The school also has a strong arts-focused student life; there are 11 acapella groups, six theater companies, and one comedy troupe. Activism groups also feature heavily here, with organizations devoted to feminism, LGBTQ, and anti-racism agendas.

57

University of California-Santa Barbara

College Choice Score: 72.47

Average Net Price: $14,966

School Website

UC Santa Barbara

The University of California at Santa Barbara is a public, space-grant research university that is a member of the University of California system. It is one of the country’s Public Ivy university that has been ranked in the top-tier of all the best colleges and universities by U.S. News and World Report, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It is located in Santa Barbara, California and holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

This school confers over 85 undergraduate degrees and 50 graduate degrees; most of the programs have a focus on the arts and sciences. Dual degrees, online programs, and accelerated degree programs are also available at this school. UCSB has also won the distinction being named a Hispanic-Serving institution, making it one of the most diverse universities on this list.

UCSB is one of the most politically active campuses on this list. It has been known to have political organizations representing all political belief systems on campus, including the Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and the Green Party. The school is also well known for its welcoming community and has a strong relationship to its LGBTQ student body and organizations.

58

College of William and Mary

College Choice Score: 72.31

Average Net Price: $12,406

School Website

College of William and Mary

The College of William and Mary in Virginia, known simply as William and Mary, is a public research university that is known as the second-oldest institution of its kind in the US, preceded only by Harvard University. It is the oldest university in the American South and is located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It has educated a variety of US politicians, including Supreme Court Justices, Congress representatives, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and even U.S. Presidents. It holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

The school offers more than 150 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels of education. The majority of undergraduate programs focus on business and liberal arts studies while STEM subjects feature heavily in the graduate programs. The school is most noted for the William and Mary Law School, the oldest law school in the country, and one of the only state-supported institutions to be in continuous operation since its establishment.

Students will find that earning a degree at William and Mary is a unique opportunity for both work and global experience. There are a variety of joint programs held in partnership with more than 20 different schools, including Columbia University and the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Students have the opportunity to enroll in these programs provided they meet the base qualifications; for this reason, a conversation with an admissions advisor is strongly encouraged.

59

Lehigh University

College Choice Score: 72.26

Average Net Price: $27,848

School Website

lehigh-university-copy

Lehigh University is a private, not-for-profit research university that is considered one of the Hidden Ivies within the Northeastern US. The school has a reputation for producing Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize Winners as well as Fulbright Fellows. This school, which is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, holds regional accreditation from the MSCHE.

Lehigh provides over 100 undergraduate degrees and over 80 degrees at the graduate and postgraduate levels. In addition, certificates and endorsements are also available. There is also an option for students to get a BA and an MA plus teacher certification, all within five years.

Greek life and other assorted fraternities and sororities are a big part of life at Lehigh University. There are over 25 Greek societies, six CGCC societies, six professional societies, and 16 honor fraternities. There are also a variety of spirit events and traditions that take place annually for the entire campus and the surrounding community.

60

Reed College

College Choice Score: 71.91

Average Net Price: $18,671

School Website

Reed College is a private, not-for-profit, residential, liberal arts college located in Portland, Oregon. It is known for its unusual curriculum requirements as well as its decorated and accomplished faculty, including Fulbright and Rhodes Scholars. It holds regional accreditation by the NWCCU.

Reed offers over 35 different areas of study at the undergraduate level as well as one graduate degree in liberal studies. Dual Degree and other special programs are also available at this school, including programs in partnership with schools such as Caltech. It is also possible to earn a degree partly online; students are advised to talk to an admissions advisor about online opportunities prior to enrolling.

Reed College is known for being a politically liberal school, and many of its extracurricular student organizations and clubs represent that perspective. The school also holds an interim period for students that is called Paideia, which in Greek means education, and it is a festival of learning that offers students the chance to learn something new without having to worry about that subject interfering with their degree studies.

61

Lafayette College

College Choice Score: 71.82

Average Net Price: $27,019

School Website

Lafayette College

Lafayette College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that has an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church. It is named after General Lafayette, the French aristocrat who fought during the American Revolutionary War. The school is located in Easton, Pennsylvania, and is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

This school confers only undergraduate degrees; there are 50 areas of study available, including special majors in engineering and science. The most popular program is engineering and its five concentrations, earning the school a reputation for providing a large number of students who were ready to obtain a professional engineer’s license. Alternatively, students can choose to come up with their own major by combining courses from other majors under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

Lafayette is one of the only schools on this list to require on-campus housing. This allows students to both be closer to their classmates and professors as well become a part of the Lafayette community. Residence hall rivalries are common, as are traditional events, and students often find themselves engaging in friendly competition both in and out of the class.

62

Case Western Reserve University

College Choice Score: 71.81

Average Net Price: $29,140

School Website

Case_Western_Reserve_University

Case Western Reserve University is a private, not-for-profit, research university that was created following a merger of two of the largest universities in the area. It is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It has been consistently ranked in the top 50 best universities in the nation. This school holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

Case Western Reserve hosts over 200 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels from eight schools and colleges; the most popular programs tend to stem from medicine and engineering. In fact, the school has been ranked by the National Science Foundation for its engineering and science programs. Students who are interested in STEM programs will want to give this school special consideration.

This university has a strong liberal stance when it comes to student life. Co-ed suites and pets are available as well as access to the city center via a student-only shuttle that runs daily between the school and Coventry Village. Students also have access to student-run media and over 75 groups and clubs to join while at the university.

63

Skidmore College

College Choice Score: 71.56

Average Net Price: $24,316

School Website

Skidmore College is a private, independent, not-for-profit liberal arts college that was established in 1903. It is located in Saratoga Springs, New York, and offers primarily an undergraduate education. It is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

This college confers the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science in over 60 areas of study; the school also confers a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. Dual degrees and some online courses can be found here as well. Students will find that there are some pre-professional programs available at this school; however, their ability is based on demand, so it is advised that students check with the admissions office prior to applying.

Skidmore’s roughly 130 student organizations come under the guidance of the College Student Government Association. It is a group that offers students the chance to air grievances or create solutions that impact both them and the school at large. Student-run media, as well as sports clubs and interest groups, are also plentiful on campus and make for a diverse set of extracurricular activities.

64

Georgia Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 71.26

Average Net Price: $12,187

School Website

Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology, which is known as Georgia Tech to faculty and students, is a public, space-grant research university that is a member of the University System of Georgia. It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and has satellite campuses in the state and around the world. It is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

This university confers 40 undergraduate degrees and over 120 graduate degrees. Dual majors and dual degree programs are also available at this school. Many of the Georgia Tech’s most popular programs can also be found on its online portal, allowing students with a busy schedule to still get a degree while continuing to work on their career.

The school’s connection to the industrial world is well-represented, both within the internship and work opportunities offered to students and the sponsored events that they can enjoy while not hitting the books for their degrees. Georgia Tech has various traditions, sponsored clubs and organizations, and even annual conferences that allow students the option to network while still studying for their degree.

65

Kenyon College

College Choice Score: 71.22

Average Net Price: $26,734

School Website

Kenyon College

Kenyon College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that was founded in 1824 by Philander Chase, an Episcopalian bishop. It is located in Gambier, Ohio, where it has been in continuous operation since its establishment. This school holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

Kenyon is an undergraduate school that offers degrees in 34 major areas of study; it is also possible for a student to dual-major in two given fields, provided they receive approval from the faculty. There are no certifications or endorsements conferred at this school nor does the school have an online program for busy students.

No matter what program a student chooses, Kenyon requires that they follow a set course for their Core Curriculum. This includes courses in the fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Students must also take two years of a foreign language and take lead in a comprehensive senior exercise within their major prior to graduation.

66

New York University

College Choice Score: 70.85

Average Net Price: $35,543

School Website

New_York_University

New York University is a private, not-for-profit research university. It is considered to be one of the world’s leading research universities and has been ranked by Times Higher Education, U.S. News and World Report, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities as one of the top 25 institutions in the word. It is located in Manhattan, New York City, New York, but operates satellite campuses all over the world. This school holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

NYU is one of the best online universities in the country, sharing the same reputation with its on-campus programs. There are over 200 programs offered at this school at all levels of education. Many of these programs are rarely found anywhere else and include Luso-Brazilian Language and Literature, Musical Theater Writing, and near Eastern Studies and Business.

NYU is home to over 450 student clubs, organizations, Greek life fraternities and sororities, honor societies, and sports teams. The school also has a variety of student-run media groups, such as newspapers, literary blogs, comedy magazine, tv station, and a radio station. Because of the school’s location within Manhattan, students will never have to wonder about getting bored: everything they could ever hope to find is located within the five boroughs.

67

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

College Choice Score: 70.64

Average Net Price: $10,374

School Website

University_of_Washington

The University of Washington at Seattle is a public flagship research university that is a member of the Association of American University. It is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast and was established in 1861. It is located in Seattle, Washington and is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

There are over 140 different degrees available at this school at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. They are split up into 18 schools and colleges, including the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and the School of Oceanography, both of which are well respected. Online courses and programs, although few, are also available at UW.

This university is well known for the sheer number of rankings it appears on. Select schools have appeared on rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, The Princeton Review, and Washington Monthly. It is one of the most well-regarded institutions, particularly for its health sciences programs, including its medical and nursing degree programs.

68

University of Miami

College Choice Score: 70.43

Average Net Price: $33,284

School Website

University of Miami

The University of Miami is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian research university. It is located in Coral Gables, Florida, where it is the sixth-largest employer. The school is best known for being a nationally ranked top-tier university as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. It holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

This school confers over 115 undergraduate and 150 graduate degrees. The majority of majors at this school are based on research; there are also four areas of professional study available. The school also offers options for accelerated study, dual degrees, and study abroad opportunities. U Miami is also one of the best online universities for students in the Southeast region.

This university offers over 200 student organizations for students to participate in when they’re done with their studies. These include Greek life, honor societies, religious groups, political organizations, intramural sports teams, and more. The school is also located in the heart of the city, so students can take their time and watch sports games, take part in the music scene, or even head to the beach on a nice day. It’s one the top universities for students who love a little sunshine with their studies.

69

Boston University

College Choice Score: 69.83

Average Net Price: $32,539

School Website

Boston University

Boston University is a private, non-profit, nonsectarian research university that enjoys a historical affiliation with the United Methodist Church. This school is a member of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and the Association of American Universities. This school is located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

Boston University confers over 250 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, professional, and specialist levels of education. The school also houses a strong online program for busy students. There are also minors, graduate certifications, endorsements, and dual degree programs for students to choose from. BU has a reputation for an exemplary faculty, which currently includes Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners among the faculty and staff.

Life is never boring at Boston University. This school has everything from honor societies and ROTC to graduate workshops and a community service center. To date, there are over 200 student organizations recognized by the school and many more that are sponsored by various departments. This school is also a great choice for students interested in living and interning in the Boston area.

70

College of the Ozarks

College Choice Score: 69.62

Average Net Price: $14,152

School Website

College_of_the_Ozarks

The College of the Ozarks is a private, not-for-profit, Christian liberal arts college that has a historical affiliation with the Presbyterian Church. It is referred to by students and faculty as “Hard Work U” after it’s unique approach to tuition. This school is located in Point Lookout, Missouri, and holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

This college offers two undergraduate degrees, the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science, in over 30 areas of study. Graduate studies are not available at this school; however, minors in specific fields may be available, depending on the student’s chosen major. Pre-professional programs, such as Pre-Medicine and Pre-Law, are available as well as a selection of certificates for teaching.

The College of the Ozarks is unique to most other schools on this list in that it is the only college that does not charge tuition for full-time students. Instead, the school has instituted a mandatory student-work program for its student body, meaning that a 15-hour-a-week work schedule accompanies a student’s course load. There is a requirement for at least two 40-hour work weeks during breaks; students may also take part in a summer work program that helps cover the cost of room and board.

71

Pepperdine University

College Choice Score: 69.48

Average Net Price: $27,644

School Website

Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University is a private, not-for-profit research university that is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It has been named one of the top 50 best national universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report as well as Forbes. This school is located in Malibu, California, and has satellite campuses all over the state as well as around the world. This university is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

Pepperdine offers over a 75 degrees at the undergraduate level and 40 graduate degrees. The majority of the programs revolve around the humanities and liberal arts subjects, such as art, communications, and journalism. It is also possible to earn teaching certifications and endorsements from this school.

This university believes that teaching in a Christian education also means living in a Christian way. That’s why this school is politically and religiously conservative and has been named one of the most religious schools in terms of student life in the country. However, the school is making the journey to being more accepting, and in 2016 officially recognized its first LGBT student organization.

72

Bryn Mawr College

College Choice Score: 69.33

Average Net Price: $32,285

School Website

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is a private, not-for-profit, women’s liberal arts college. It is a member of the Seven Sister Colleges and the Tri-College Consortium. It derives its name from the Welsh phrase “bryn mawr,” which translates to “great hill” in English. This school is located in Lower Marion Township, Pennsylvania.

Bryn Mawr offers over 20 undergraduate programs and 10 graduate programs, all of which are available within the four schools that make up the campus. This is a small school that requires every undergraduate student undergo the same Core Curriculum. This includes social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences courses as well as at least two years of a language.

This school is proud of its traditions, and these are events that students take part in every academic year. They include Parade Night, Lantern Night, Hell Week, and May Day. These are events that are routinely covered for the school’s student-run media and students from various organizations and groups volunteer to make them a reality.

73

University of Florida

College Choice Score: 69.03

Average Net Price: $14,786

School Website

University_of_Florida

The University of Florida is a public, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant research university that is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. It is also a member of the Association of American Universities and has received the “Research University with Very High Research” distinction by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is located in Gainesville, Florida, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

UF offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees, 200 graduate programs, and over 30 certificates at all levels of education across 16 colleges. It has been ranked as a top-tier school by U.S. News and World Report for its academics; over 20 of its individual programs have been singled out for recognition by prestigious ranking sites.

UF has a large Greek life presence on campus; currently, there are over 25 different fraternities and sororities available for students. The school also hosts the Reserve Officer Training Corps for all four branches of the US military. When not taking part in Greek life or ROTC, students will find over 100 student organizations are available for them, as well as outdoor activities, a gym, a skate park, and more, all within the confines of the campus.

74

George Washington University

College Choice Score: 68.96

Average Net Price: $32,826

School Website

George Washington University

The George Washington University is a private, not-for-profit research university that is the largest college or university in the D.C. Area. It was established in 1821 and is named after the country’s first president, George Washington. This school is located in Washington, D.C., with campuses all over the capitol. The school holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

The school confers over 150 degrees, certifications, and endorsements across ten different colleges and schools. Dual degrees are also available from most of the schools and colleges on campus. Students will find that a variety of complementary programs, such as Study Abroad or internships, are offered as well to give them a well-rounded experience prior to moving into the professional world.

GWU is known to be one of the most politically active schools in the country; this is no doubt due to the fact that students are living and studying in the country’s capital, surrounded by politicians and activists all year round. It will come as no surprise, then, that out of the 300 student organizations available at the school, the political organizations are the most popular.

75

Macalester College

College Choice Score: 68.84

Average Net Price: $27,999

School Website

Macalester_College

Macalester College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that is historically affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. It is an exclusively undergraduate top-tier college that is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. This school is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities. This school holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

This college offers over 37 majors and 63 minors at the undergraduate level. It is also possible for students to create their own major under the supervision of faculty and staff. Pre-professional programs, such as law, medicine, and architecture are also available. Architecture students will find that this school does offer a dual-degree option in partnership with the Washington University’s School of Architecture that is located in St. Louis, Missouri, thereby leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Master’s in Architecture.

Civic engagement is not only a part of the curriculum at Macalester, it is also an important part of student life. The school believes that academic learning lends itself to community involvement, and so Macalester hosts a variety of volunteer opportunities. In fact, 50 percent of students at the school volunteer every semester. Student organizations also take part in the volunteering efforts, ensuring that the school gives back to the community.

76

Bowdoin College

College Choice Score: 68.72

Average Net Price: $22,289

School Website

Bowdoin_College

Bowdoin College is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college that is a founding member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. It is also a member of the Colby-Bates, Bowdoin Consortium. The school is located in Brunswick, Maine, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

The school offers over 33 majors and four minors at the undergraduate level. Bowdoin also has joint engineering programs as part of its partnerships with Columbia University, Dartmouth College, and Caltech. The school has been consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, and Niche as one of the best institutions for a liberal arts education.

Bowdoin knows the value of a great student life and has one of the most elaborate campus life programs of any school on this list. There is no Greek Life here; students are instead given an affiliation with the residence hall they join freshmen year, a tradition that has been a part of the school since 1900. Students also have the option to join the Outing Club, which is the largest organization on school. This program offers students day trips, weekend trips, or even weeklong trips in a variety of outdoor activities all throughout the school year.

77

Tulane University of Louisiana

College Choice Score: 68.41

Average Net Price: $32,797

School Website

Tulane University

Tulane University is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian research university that was founded as a public medical college in 1834. It is a member of the Association of American Universities. It is one of the top universities for med students in the South. This school is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, and holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

Tulane offers over 75 majors across five schools at the undergraduate level, including some pre-professional programs. There are an additional 60 programs at the graduate and postgraduate levels, including dual degrees, that are conferred by nine different schools. It is also possible to take part in accelerated programs for specific degrees.

The school has a robust student life that is well-represented by the student-run media that makes its home on campus. The school has two newspapers, a yearbook, a radio station, and a tv station, all run by volunteer students. There are also 150 student organizations that are available that cover a wide range of political affiliations and interests.

78

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

College Choice Score: 68.38

Average Net Price: $36,374

School Website

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private, not-for-profit, space-grant institution that focuses on engineering and STEM subjects. This school is known as the first and oldest technological university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the National Association of Independent College and Universities. The school is located in Troy, New York, and hods regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

Rensselaer confers more than 140 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Pre-professional programs and dual degrees are also available at this school. This is one of the top colleges for students who are interested in special interdisciplinary programs such as Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences.

RPI has an interesting student life on campus, buoyed by over 170 student organizations and 30 self-sustaining political and religious organizations. The school has 30 fraternities and sororities represented on school campus, 20 intramural sports organizations, and a variety of student-run media. Off-campus, students find outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking great past times, and the school’s own Ski Club offers weekly trips to popular ski areas during the winter season.

79

The University of Texas at Austin

College Choice Score: 68.23

Average Net Price: $16,832

School Website

The_University_of_Texas_at_Austin

The University of Texas at Austin is a public, space-grant research university that is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. It is also a member of the American Association of Universities and is a major center for academic research in the South. This school is located in Austin, Texas, and is just a mile away from the state capitol. It holds regional accreditation by the SACS COC.

UT Austin has been named one of the best institutions in the country by U.S. News and World Report. This is in part because of the school’s academic offerings: there are over 100 undergraduate degrees and 170 graduate and postgraduate degrees to choose from, including dual-degree and impacted majors programs. There are also eight honors programs that students can participate in, most of which reside within STEM majors.

UT Austin is known for its great student life, especially considering that Austin is the home of the SXSW Festival and Austin City Limits, but it is also known for something much more interesting: STEM research. The school attracts more federal research grants than any other university in the country except MIT. It currently focuses on STEM research, specifically engineering and physical sciences. There are also over a dozen research centers on campus that offer student research opportunities to interested undergraduates and graduates.

80

Northeastern University

College Choice Score: 67.92

Average Net Price: $30,546

School Website

Northeastern_University

Northeastern University is a private, not-for-profit research university that holds classification from the Carnegie Foundation. It offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees to its nearly 25,000-strong student body. This school is located in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

This school confers more than 60 degrees at the undergraduate level and over 125 programs at the graduate level as well as various online programs for working professionals. This school operates on an experiential-based teaching module, allowing students to incorporate service learning, research, and global experiences into their education. Northeastern is also known for its co-operative education program, which places about 5,000 students with employers in and around the Boston area each year.

Northeastern is known for having a robust student life; the school currently sponsors over 19 varsity teams and over 30 intramural teams, 200 student organizations, Greek Life, and student-run media organizations, all of which students are welcome to take part in. Volunteer and community service programs are also available.

81

Bucknell University

College Choice Score: 67.91

Average Net Price: $33,127

School Website

Bucknell University

Bucknell University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that was founded in 1846. It is a primarily undergraduate school with a focus on management and engineering. This school is located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

This university confers undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 50 different areas of studies; 60 minors are also available to supplement a student’s education. In addition to the main programs that Bucknell provides at the school, study abroad is also strongly encouraged; 45 percent of all graduates have studied abroad at some point during their college career.

Bucknell is in a rural area, meaning that students don’t have the advantage of living in a big city; however, the school is located in the heart of the friendly community of Lewisburg. Students have the opportunity to join over 130 student organizations, take a trip to the downtown movie theatre, participate in Bucknell traditions, or grab some food from the school’s on-campus cafe and food truck.

82

Stony Brook University

College Choice Score: 67.28

Average Net Price: $13,352

School Website

Stony Brook University

The State University of New York at Stony Brook, better known as Stony Brook University, is a public, sea-grant, space-grant research university. It is a member institution of the State University of New York system, the Association of American Universities, and the Universities Research Association. This school, which is located in Stony Brook, New York, is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

This school confers more than 50 degrees at the undergraduate level and over 40 degrees at the graduate and postgraduate level across 13 different schools and colleges. Students who are interested in a dual-degree program will find that Stony Brook allows for students to pair a professional degree with an interdisciplinary degree with a lot of freedom concerning the programs. Like many of the top universities on this list, Stony Brook offers online courses and degrees as well.

Stony Brook is known for their research efforts; it was awarded the National Science Foundation award in 1998 for their efforts in combining both education and research. It is the home to at least two Nobel Prize winners who teach at the school. The school is also one just two public schools in the state to have both a medical and a dental school on its premises.

83

San Diego State University

College Choice Score: 67.20

Average Net Price: $10,085

School Website

San_Diego_State_University

San Diego State University is a public, space-grant research university and is a member of the California State University system. This school holds a classification of a “high research university” by the Carnegie Foundation and is the largest and oldest university in San Diego County. It is located in San Diego, California, and is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

SDSU currently offers more than 250 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Students will also find a variety of preprofessional programs, impact majors, dual degree programs, and certification and endorsement schedules available at this school. SDSU is also one of the top online universities for students who need a flexible degree; they offer over 25 degrees at all levels of education 100 percent online.

Student life at SDSU is remarkable, especially for LGBT students. This school has consistently been recognized for supporting its LGBT students and even won a ranking by the Campus Pride Index for it. The school is even home to a gay social fraternity, known as Delta Lambda Phi, and offers the chance for students to major in LGBT studies.

84

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

College Choice Score: 67.04

Average Net Price: $16,249

School Website

University of Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or UIUC as it’s known to students and faculty, is a public, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant research university that serves as the flagship institution of the University of Illinois system. The school is also a founding member of the Big Ten Conference and a ranked member of the Association of American Universities. It is located in Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, and holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

There are over 250 programs available at this school at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. It is also one of the top online colleges in the country. This school has a variety of scholars and honors programs for its most ambitious students, allowing them to set on a path of individualized study that gives them an edge in the professional world. It is also possible for students to earn dual degrees at UIUC as well.

UIUC is known best for its research efforts. This school has a classification of “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and currently houses the world-renown Research Park, a compound of 13 buildings that offer services to over 90 different companies from a variety of fields. These companies, in turn, hire student interns from select programs to help with research efforts.

85

Occidental College

College Choice Score: 66.57

Average Net Price: $32,746

School Website

Occidental College

Occidental College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college with Presbyterian roots, though it is now secular and unaffiliated with any church. It is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges on the West Coast and is consistently ranked among the top 25 best liberal arts colleges in the country. This school, which is located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

This college offers 32 major areas of study at the undergraduate level. This includes pre-professional studies in architecture, law, and medicine. An interesting feature of the programs that this school offers is the focus on global affairs and languages; there are at least five languages offered as a major area of study as well as a major in Diplomacy and World Affairs.

Oxy is unlike many other top colleges on this list as it requires a Core Program that is made up of three parts. This is to ensure that students understand the basis of a liberal arts education and can understand a global viewpoint. It is important to note that all students will be required to complete this program prior to graduating.

86

Wesleyan University

College Choice Score: 66.56

Average Net Price: $24,156

School Website

Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that focuses on providing students with STEM degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This school is located in Middletown, Connecticut, and was founded in 1831, making it one of the oldest schools in the state. It holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

Wesleyan confers more than 50 degrees at the undergraduate level and offers over 15 programs at the graduate and postgraduate levels. This also includes the school’s 3-2 dual-degree programs that are in partnership with the California Institute of Technology and Columbia University’s School of Engineering. Class sizes are small, with a student to teacher ratio of 8:1, and undergraduate classes rarely include more than 15 students.

There are over 270 student groups available on campus for students, including the Wesleyan Student Assembly, the Debate Society, Greek life, and a variety of other sports teams and political groups. The school also has a robust religious life as well as traditions, like the annual Cannon Scrap, that ensure that students feel as though they are part of the Wesleyan family.

87

Stevens Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 66.53

Average Net Price: $31,492

School Website

Stevens Institute of Technology

Steven Institute of Technology, which is known as SIT to students, is a private, not-for-profit research university. It has the distinction of being one of the oldest technologically focused schools in the country and to be the first institution dedicated to mechanical engineering. This school is located in Hoboken, New Jersey, and holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

SIT is home to one of the best online colleges in America, but it is best known for its on-campus programs. This school is hailed as one of the best colleges for students interested in engineering programs; there are over a dozen concentrations in that field alone at the undergraduate level. There are also over 20 programs available and the graduate and postgraduate levels.

The school also has a reputation for its research centers. The National Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce, the National Systems Engineering Research Center, and the Atlantic Center for Innovative Design and Control of Small Ships have all been recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence. Students will note that these centers revolve around maritime issues, making this one of the top colleges for students interested in this specific field.

88

Bates College

College Choice Score: 66.33

Average Net Price: $22,062

School Website

Bates Colleges is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college that is located in Lewiston, Maine. It is one of the only institutions of higher education to admit African-American students prior to the issuance of the 13th Amendment within the U.S. Constitution and holds the mantle of being the oldest coeducational university in the New England region. This school holds regional accreditation by the NEASC.

This school offers majors in more than 35 areas of study in three different undergraduate degrees, including the Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Most students choose a science or engineering-related field as the focus of their studies. Students are also expected to take part in the 4-4-1 academic term, taking at least two short terms to complete their degree.

A feature of attending Bates is the school’s First-Year Seminar, a program that offers students the chance to work closely with both classmates and faculty on a specific topic. Students are also expected to turn in research papers and other teamwork assignments during this program. This is mandatory for all freshmen and must be completed before declaring a major.

89

University of California-Riverside

College Choice Score: 66.08

Average Net Price: $13,110

School Website

University_of_California__Riverside

The University of California at Riverside is a public, land-grant research university that is one of the members of the University of California system. It is the home to some of the world’s most important research bodies of work on citrus diverse and entomology. This school, which is located in Riverside, California, holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

UC Riverside is known for its focus on STEM programs, specifically programs in chemistry and biology. These programs are just some of the few that the school provides; students will find over 100 programs available to them at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Certifications and endorsements for certain professions are also available.

This school is consistently nationally ranked as one of the most diverse universities in the nation. It has been names as such by the Washington Monthly and U.S. News and World Report. The school also has a reputation for being a school for social mobility and community service, making it a great choice for students who are willing and able to become community leaders.

90

Illinois Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 65.97

Average Net Price: $22,449

School Website

Illinois Institute of Technology

The Illinois Institute of Technology is a private, space-grant research university that has a stated focus in STEM, business, and law programs. It has been in continuous operation since 1890. The school, which is located in Chicago, Illinois, is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.

This school confers over 80 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and specialist levels. The most popular programs revolve around the Armour College of Engineering and Science. The Chicago-Kent College of Law, which has been around since 1886, is also extremely popular and has been ranked a tier-one law school for five years in a row by U.S. News and World Report.

Illinois Tech has a vibrant and well-established student life, including over 50 student organizations, clubs, religious groups, sports teams, and more. Students can also feel free to head over to “The Bog,” the school’s resident pub and bowling alley, after a hard day hitting the books.

91

Babson College

College Choice Score: 65.94

Average Net Price: $27,437

School Website

babson-college-copy

Babson College is a private, not-for-profit business school that was established in 1919. It has a stated focus on entrepreneurship and business education and is currently the most prestigious and sought after school of its kind in the United States. It is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and is regionally accredited by the NEASC.

The school confers one degree, the Bachelor of Science, in over 25 different concentrations. There are five different graduate degree programs with a variety of specializations within them as well. Courses at the graduate level are taught through the F.W. Olin Graduate School and are among the most valued at the school.

Babson College offers students the chance to study abroad as part of their education. This program is called “BRIC: The Cornerstone of the New Global Economy” and is available to both juniors and well as seniors at the undergraduate level. The countries in the program include China, India, and Russia.

92

Whitman College

College Choice Score: 65.75

Average Net Price: $33,788

School Website

Whitman College is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college. It is the first school in the Pacific Northwest Region to have a Phi Beta Kappa Kappa chapter as well as the first to require terminal exams for graduation. This school, which is located in Walla Walla, Washington, is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

Whitman confers 46 major areas of study at the undergraduate level; students will find that no graduate programs are available at this school. Courses are tended to by dedicated teachers, many of whom hold terminal degrees in their field of interest. Students also are buoyed by small student:teacher ratios which rarely exceed 12:1.

Whitman has a great way to begin its education of all students; first-years all take the Encounters program, a first-year suite of classes where everyone takes the same courses and discusses them in small groups. There is also the Whitman Undergraduate Conference, an annual celebration of the undergraduates and their work throughout the year. It showcases various research projects and creative endeavors that have been taken on by students with help from the faculty.

93

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

College Choice Score: 65.52

Average Net Price: $8,151

School Website

Baruch College

The Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New York, best known as Baruch College, is member of the CUNY system. It is best known for being a college dedicated to business, public administration, and international affairs programs. It is located in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, New York. It holds regional accreditation by the MSCHE.

Baruch College offers over 80 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Most of these programs lie in business and public affairs; however, the school also has made a concerted effort to expand their STEM programs in recent years. Graduate and postgraduate programs can be found through the CUNY Graduate Center. Joint degrees are also available in partnership with the Graduate Center.

This school has the distinction of being named first in the nation as “Most Ethically Diverse College” by U.S. News and World Report. It has also been named as one of the best graduate schools in its nation by Forbes, Entrepreneur, and the Princeton Review.

94

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

College Choice Score: 65.48

Average Net Price: $15,589

School Website

University_of_Minnesota_Twin_Cities

The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities is a public, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant research institution that serves as the flagship for the University of Minnesota system. It is one of the largest campuses in the country, enrolling more than 50,000 students annually. This school is located in the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, and holds regional accreditation by the NCACS THLC.

This school confers over 140 degrees at the undergraduate level and an incredible 200 degrees at the graduate, postgraduate, and specialist levels. The school is also home to three branches of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, or ROTC, and is known for being one of the nation’s top research facilities.

The school houses the Minnesota Student Association, which is the undergraduate student government at the school. It works closely with the school to ensure that students have an abundant amount of activities and personal interest groups to participate in while they are at the campus. This include student-run media, sports intramural teams, and more.

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University of California-Santa Cruz

College Choice Score: 65.39

Average Net Price: $14,759

School Website

University of California Santa Cruz

The University of California at Santa Cruz, known as UC Santa Cruz, is a public, land-grant, space-grant research university. It is a member of the University of California system. This school is located in Santa Cruz, California, and is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.

This school confers over 90 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The most popular programs include STEM subjects and business. Students can also take on a joint program that allows them to finish the requirements for both an undergraduate and graduate degree in law in six years instead of seven.

There are a few unique things about UCSC that deserve mentioning, including the fact that the school now houses the grateful Dead archive at the McHenry Library. The school also has over 20 student-run media organizations, including tv stations, literary journals, radio stations, and even a film production community. Greek Life and other student organizations are also plentiful on this campus.

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SUNY at Binghamton

College Choice Score: 65.36

Average Net Price: $15,572

School Website

Binghamton University

The State University of New York at Binghamton, known as Binghamton to students, is a public, space-grant, research university with three separate campuses in New York. It is a liberal arts college that is a member of the State University of New York System. This school is located in Vestal, New York, and is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.

This school confers over 225 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and specialist levels of education. Certificates and endorsements for certain professions are also available. Degrees are conferred through eight schools and colleges, including professional schools in pharmacy and nursing.

Student life at Binghamton is run by the Student Association. This organization houses all of the student groups, including the Harpur’s Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service, which offers emergency care for all Binghamton students; the Explorchestra, the university’s composers’ orchestra; and the prestigious debate team. Sports teams, choral groups, and Greek life are also available online.

97

Brigham Young University-Provo

College Choice Score: 65.31

Average Net Price: $12,335

School Website

Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University is a private, not-for-profit, space grant research university that holds religious affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is the largest religious university and the third-largest private university in the country. This school is located in Provo, Utah, and holds regional accreditation by the NWCCU.

This school confers an outstanding 150 degrees at all levels of education, including postgraduate and specialist degrees in a variety of professions. These include degrees for law, pharmacy, and psychology. Students will find that this school is especially well known for its business school; BYU has been nationally ranked in the top 10 for its undergraduate business program and was regionally ranked first the Wall Street Journal for its MBA program by BusinessWeek.

Like many LDS schools, BYU requires that students enter into an Honor Code agreement. This agreement, which is signed by both staff and students, includes a laundry list of activities that students must abstain from, including alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, tea, coffee, pre-marital sex and more. In addition, all students are required to attend church services weekly.

98

University of Connecticut

College Choice Score: 65.09

Average Net Price: $19,049

School Website

University_of_Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is a public, land-grant, sea-grant, sun-grant research university that is located in Storrs, Connecticut. It is a founding member of the New England Knowledge Corridor and is a member institution of Universitas 21, a consortium of 24 universities worldwide with a focus on global education. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC.

There are over 150 degree programs available at UConn, including over 100 majors at the undergraduate level alone. There are also graduate, postgraduate, and specialist degrees available. These are conferred through 15 schools and colleges, including a medical school, law school, and a school of pharmacy.

Student life at UConn is brought to life by both student organizations and activities on campus, but also something else much more interesting: the Storrs Downtown Center. This is a growing establishment of shops, restaurants, housing, and more, and is located directly across the street from the main campus.

99

Santa Clara University

College Choice Score: 65.03

Average Net Price: $36,645

School Website

Santa_Clara_University

Santa Clara University is a private, not-for-profit, Jesuit, research university that is affiliated with the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the oldest continuously operating university in the state of California and has been in the same location since its inception in 1851. This school is located in Santa Clara, California and surrounds the historic home of the Mission Santa Clara de Asis. This school holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

Santa Clara University confers over 45 majors at the undergraduate level and over 15 degrees at the graduate level of education. The school has a reputation for being selective with an acceptance rate of 49.3 percent. The school also holds top-tier rankings from Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, and Washington Monthly.

One of the most interesting aspects of the school is the Ignatian Center of Jesuit Education. It was created in 2005 from a merger between the school’s Bannan Center for Jesuit Education and the Pedro Arrupe Center for Community-Based Learning. Both programs are still available at this center and have expanded to provide students with the possibility of taking immersion trips to developing countries as part of a missionary experience.

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Pitzer College

College Choice Score: 65.02

Average Net Price: $26,082

School Website

Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a private, liberal arts college that is a member of the Claremont Colleges. It is located in Claremont, California and considered to be one of the West Coast Ivies. The school has the exceptionally low acceptance rate of 12.9 percent and is one of the most selective liberal arts colleges in the country. This school holds regional accreditation by the WASC SCUC.

Pitzer is known for being a top pick among high school counselors and veterans and was recently nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top-tier national liberal arts college and as a selective private liberal arts college. The school was also ranked by College Raptor and Newsweek for its food, being a home of activists, and for having a reputation for happy and free-spirited students.

What makes Pitzer unique from other schools is that as a member of the Claremont College Consortium, students have access to all the facilities at all the other member institutions, including courses and off-campus majors. This means that if a student cannot find the correct courses available to them at Pitzer, they can go to another college within the consortium to complete that course and get college credit at the school.

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