You’re gonna want to get a Snap of this ranking, cause it’s lit! #blessed
Well, you’ll have to be the judge of that, but if you’re part of the millennial generation, we do have a few suggestions for you, so listen up! Millennials are defined as all you kids who were born roughly between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s and early 2000s. A lot happened during those years, and that means that your generational cohort has some unique needs.
First, you better believe millennials have a handle on technology! In fact, some of you might not even remember the pre-iPhone era, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. This big world is a lot more connected than it was before you were born, and you’ve never known any different.
Also, we know you care about where you live. That means all the best local bars and coffee shops, sure, but you also care about how well your city is doing socially, economically, and politically. It also means being able to get around town on your fixie, by public transportation, or by walking. Some of the best metropolitan areas for millennials include Boston, Massachusetts (including Cambridge), New York (including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Jersey City, New Jersey), Washington, DC (including Alexandria, VA), and San Francisco, California (including Sunnyvale and Santa Clara).
If all this describes you and you’re also beginning the college search, we’ve got you covered with our first-ever ranking of best colleges for millennials. First and foremost, if you’re in the market for the best education you can find, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to locate and get into the best school you can, period. But if that happens to be in a city that’s also one of the best places for millennials to live, that’s pretty sweet too, right?
In case you’re interested in online education instead, take a look at our ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities. With an online program, you can live pretty much wherever you want—and get the degree you’re passionate about.
What Are the Best Colleges for Millennials?
That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the top 50 colleges for millennials with your needs in mind. Here’s how we did it. First, as we said above, it’s important to identify and get into the best school you can. So we started things off by taking an objective look at the best schools in the country as measured by reputation and return on investment.
From there, we then identified which of those schools are located in metropolitan areas that rank among the best places for millennials to live. These areas are characterized by a few important things, such as percentage of residents between the ages of 25 and 34, how many millennial newcomers there are in the city, affordability, job opportunities, public transportation and walkability, and access to bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Our data for this ranking was drawn from a variety of public sources, such as U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, PayScale.com, Niche.com, and the U.S. Census. The end result, we think, is a list of schools that not only represent the best education you can get and a good return on investment but also a location that will meet your needs . . . as a super-savvy millennial!
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 100.00
Average Tuition: $78,300
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.
College Choice Score: 99.66
Average Tuition: $65,200
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.
College Choice Score: 98.77
Average Tuition: $60,800
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.
College Choice Score: 98.55
Average Tuition: $64,000
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.
College Choice Score: 98.51
Average Tuition: $51,367
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.
College Choice Score: 98.24
Average Tuition: $70,800
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.
Johns Hopkins University
College Choice Score: 97.90
Average Tuition: $50,410
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.
College Choice Score: 97.82
Average Tuition: $65,700
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.
College Choice Score: 97.71
Average Tuition: $56,700
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.
College Choice Score: 97.58
Average Tuition: $56,800
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.
College Choice Score: 97.41
Average Tuition: $57,800
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.
College Choice Score: 97.09
Average Tuition: $55,400
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.
College Choice Score: 96.98
Average Tuition: $51,800
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.
College Choice Score: 96.93
Average Tuition: $47,100
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.
New York University
College Choice Score: 96.88
Average Tuition: $55,700
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.
University of California Berkeley
College Choice Score: 96.37
Average Tuition: $60,500
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.
University of California Davis
College Choice Score: 95.70
Average Tuition: $51,800
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.
Stevens Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 95.64
Average Tuition: $65,600
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.
College Choice Score: 95.51
Average Tuition: $50,500
Fordham University is a private, independent research university in New York City, founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841. It is the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in the northeastern United States,and the third-oldest university in New York.
The university promotes the Jesuit principles of cura personalis, which fosters a faculty and administrative respect for the individual student and all of his or her gifts and abilities; magis, which encourages students to challenge themselves and strive for excellence in their lives; and homines pro aliis, which intends to inspire service, a universal charity, among members of the Fordham community.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, Fordham is considered a “more selective university,” while a 2013 Barron’s survey published in The New York Times classed the university as “highly competitive.” In its 2018 edition, admission to Fordham’s undergraduate schools received a reclassification by Barron’s to “Most Competitive”, after being “Highly Competitive+” in its 2017 edition, and reported 74% of enrolled freshmen as ranking in the top 20% of their high school class.
University of Washington
College Choice Score: 95.17
Average Tuition: $55,100
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.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 94.93
Average Tuition: $49,500
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.
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
College Choice Score: 94.36
Average Tuition: $60,600
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.
College Choice Score: 94.21
Average Tuition: $46,100
The American University (AU or American) is a private research university in Washington, D.C., United States, located in the Tenleytown neighborhood in the northwest portion of the district. In the late 18th century, George Washington had written about wanting a “national university” to be established in the nation’s capital, but it took almost a century for that dream to be established. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on February 24, 1893, as “The American University”, when the bill was approved by President Benjamin Harrison.
In 2008, 2010 and 2012, American University was named the most politically active school in the nation in The Princeton Review’s annual survey of college students. In 2006, the Fiske Guide to Colleges ranked AU as a “Best Buy” college for the quality of academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance. For two years in a row, American University has had more students chosen to receive Presidential Management Fellowships than any other college or university in the country.
The university is consistently ranked as one of the “Most Politically Active” schools in the nation. Alumni have obtained high positions in governments for both political parties along with becoming leaders in film and media. Notable alumni include Jordan Belfort, David Gregory, Gary Cohn, Jennifer Palmieri, Loretta Sanchez, Barry Levinson, Judy Sheindlin, Neil Cavuto, and Alisyn Camerota.
University of Minnesota
College Choice Score: 93.27
Average Tuition: $51,700
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.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 92.94
Average Tuition: $57,100
The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a public research university in the University Heights neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey. NJIT is New Jersey’s Science & Technology University. Centrally located in the New York metropolitan area, its campus is within walking distance of downtown Newark. New York City, 9 miles (14.5 km) and under 30 minutes away, is directly accessible from campus via rapid transit.
NJIT offers 50 undergraduate (Bachelor of Science/Arts) majors and 78 graduate (Masters and PhD) programs. Via its Honors College it also offers professional programs in collaboration with several nearby institutions including a program in medicine (BS, MD) with Rutgers Medical School, and an engineering + law program (BS, JD) with Seton Hall Law School.
The university is organized into 21 departments; three of which, Biological Sciences, History, and Theater Arts, are federated with Rutgers-Newark whose campus borders NJIT’s. With a student population that is almost 20% international, NJIT ranks among the most ethnically diverse national universities in the country. It has multiple study abroad options along with extensive co-op, internship, and service opportunities.
College Choice Score: 92.64
Average Tuition: $50,200
Rutgers has three campuses located throughout New Jersey: the New Brunswick campus in New Brunswick and adjacent Piscataway, the Newark campus and the Camden campus. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in New Jersey. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Newark Campus (or Rutgers–Newark) consists of eight undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, including: Newark College of Arts and Sciences, University College, School of Criminal Justice, Graduate School, School of Nursing, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers Business School and Rutgers School of Law – Newark. As of 2012, 7,666 undergraduates and 4,345 graduate students (total 12,011) are enrolled at the Newark campus.
As of Fall 2015, Rutgers offers a total of 11 fully online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. An integral part of the institution’s academic fabric, and a priority in the university’s strategic development initiatives, these programs constitute, collectively, “Rutgers Online.” Online degree programs at Rutgers must meet the same academic expectations, in terms of both teaching and learning outcomes, as traditional on-campus programs.
University of Wisconsin
College Choice Score: 92.55
Average Tuition: $50,800
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state.
UW is one of America’s Public Ivy universities, which refers to top public universities in the United States capable of providing a collegiate experience comparable with the Ivy League. UW–Madison is also categorized as a Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
Madison’s undergraduate program was ranked tied for 44th among national universities by U.S.News & World Report for 2017 and tied for 10th among public schools. The same magazine ranked UW’s graduate School of Business tied for 27th, and its undergraduate business program tied for 19th. Other graduate schools ranked by USNWR for 2017 include the School of Medicine and Public Health, which was tied for 25th in research and 14th in primary care, the School of Education 4th, the Law School tied for 33rd, and the La Follette School of Public Affairs tied for 13th.
University of Texas at Austin
College Choice Score: 92.49
Average Tuition: $53,400
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.
University of San Francisco
College Choice Score: 92.33
Average Tuition: $51,100
The University of San Francisco (USF) is a Jesuit Catholic university located in San Francisco, California, United States. The school’s main campus is located on a 55-acre (22 ha) setting between the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. The main campus is nicknamed “The Hilltop”, and part of the main campus is located on Lone Mountain, one of San Francisco’s major geographical features.
the university offers classes at multiple other locations. Its close historical ties with the City and County of San Francisco are reflected in the University’s traditional motto, Pro Urbe et Universitate (For the City and University). The current motto is Change the World From Here. USF’s Jesuit Catholic identity is rooted in the vision and work of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order.
USF was ranked as 107th in the National University category in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. USF was tied for 2nd in undergraduate student ethnic diversity, and tied for 11th in the percentage of international students. Washington Monthly ranked USF 173 out of 303 national universities in 2016 on a combined measure of recruiting and graduating low-income students, research, and service to the country.
Carnegie Mellon University
College Choice Score: 92.02
Average Tuition: $69,400
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.
George Mason University
College Choice Score: 91.68
Average Tuition: $52,100
Not too far from Washington D.C. is where you’ll find George Mason University. The public, co-educational university started out in Fairfax, VA with fewer than 20 students in 1957 but today enrolls more than 34,000. Approximately 6,300 students live on campus, but the majority of attendees are commuters. Mason is one of youngest schools in Virginia and also the largest. The student/faculty ratio is 16:1.
A forward-leaning education that prepares students to serve their communities and tackle the world’s biggest problems is the goal of George Mason University. Students are urged to complete an internship at places like the White House, the Justice Department, or ESPN. There are over 200 degree programs at Mason for the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. A few of the generally popular majors are Psychology, Political Science, Accounting, and Biomedical Science.
Considered as one of the top 15 innovative universities nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University also placed #71 among all public institutions, and its law school placed #41. Additionally, Mason is widely thought to be a best value by Kiplinger’s and Forbes. Upon graduation, Mason students earn the highest salaries on average of those who attended Virginian universities.
University of Denver
College Choice Score: 91.62
Average Tuition: $47,800
The University of Denver (DU) is a coeducational, four-year university in Denver, Colorado. Founded in 1864, it is the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States. DU enrolls approximately 5,600 undergraduate students and 6,100 graduate students. The 125-acre (0.51 km2) main campus is a designated arboretum and is located primarily in the University Neighborhood, about five miles (8 km) south of downtown Denver.
The heart of the campus has a number of historic buildings. The longest-standing building is University Hall, built in the Romanesque Revival style which has served DU since 1890. The cornerstone to this building is exactly one mile above sea level. Just a few blocks off campus sits the historic Chamberlin Observatory, opened in 1894. Still a fully operational observatory, it is open to the public twice a week as well as one Saturday a month.
Around 63 percent of the student body is from outside the state of Colorado. For 2011 the average accepted high school student obtained a 3.74 GPA, SAT range of 1220 to 1500 and, an ACT of 28. Roughly over 50% of the incoming freshman class for 2011 was in the top 10% of their graduating high school class. The University of Denver likes to promote inclusiveness; therefore, there are numerous programs and people available to help transfer (or international students).
University of Chicago
College Choice Score: 91.23
Average Tuition: $53,000
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.
College Choice Score: 91.05
Average Tuition: $56,800
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.
St. John's University
College Choice Score: 90.60
Average Tuition: $48,500
St. John’s University (SJU) is a private, Roman Catholic, research university located in New York City, United States. Founded by the Congregation of the Mission (C.M., the Vincentian Fathers) in 1870, the school was originally located in the neighborhood of Bedford–Stuyvesant in the borough of Brooklyn. In the 1950s, the school was relocated to its current site at Utopia Parkway in Hillcrest, Queens.
St. John’s is organized into five undergraduate schools and six graduate schools. In 2016, the university had a total of 16,440 undergraduate and 4,647 graduate students. St. John’s offers more than 100 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs as well as professional certificates.
St. John’s is a large, four-year, primarily nonresidential doctoral/research university. The full-time, four-year undergraduate program is balanced between arts and sciences and the professional fields. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and has 13 specialized accreditations.
University of Pittsburgh
College Choice Score: 90.13
Average Tuition: $53,300
The University of Pittsburgh is one of the older institutions on our list, having been founded in 1787. Its undergraduate population is just shy of 20,000, and Pitt is widely recognized for many of its programs, including the School of Medicine, School of Education and Swanson School of Engineering.
The School of Medicine, which works in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is particularly well regarded, and the institution receives one of the highest amounts of funding from the National Institutes of Health. Pitt alumni can be found in nearly every industry, and the university is well known for its environmental sustainability initiatives.
Pitt offers a bachelor’s program in just about any subject you can imagine, and its resources are wide-ranging. It offers seven major areas of study in addition to five certificate programs in the area of business, for instance. Students at Pitt participate in a number of hands-on learning opportunities, such as case studies, internships, competitions, and collaborative projects in addition to global learning opportunities. The Pittsburgh metro offers students countless additional opportunities for learning from leaders in a variety of industries.
University of St. Thomas
College Choice Score: 89.93
Average Tuition: $49,100
The University of St. Thomas (also known as St. Thomas) is a private, Catholic, liberal arts, and archdiocesan university located in St. Paul and Minneapolis, United States. St. Thomas currently enrolls more than 10,000 students, making it Minnesota’s largest private non-profit university.
In the latter half of the 20th century, St. Thomas started two of its most notable graduate programs: Education in 1950 and Business Administration in 1974. In 1990, the College of St. Thomas became the University of St. Thomas and the following year, the university opened the Minneapolis campus.
Each year the university awards almost 2,500 degrees including five different bachelor’s degrees (B.A., B.M., B.S., B.S.M.E. and B.S.E.E.). There are 88 major fields at the undergraduate level, with 59 minor fields of study and seven pre-professional programs. At the graduate and professional level, the university offers 41 master’s degrees, two education specialist, one juris doctor and five doctorates.
Seattle Pacific University
College Choice Score: 89.31
Average Tuition: $47,200
Seattle Pacific University (SPU) is a private liberal arts university in Seattle, Washington, founded in 1891 in conjunction with the Oregon and Washington Conference of the Free Methodist Church as the Seattle Seminary. It became the Seattle Seminary and College in 1913, adopting the name Seattle Pacific College in 1915, and took its present name in 1977.
Seattle Pacific is the only private university in the Pacific Northwest to make the 2017 U.S. News and World Report’s Best National Universities list. SPU joins the University of Washington and Washington State University as the only three institutions from Washington state named to the magazine’s list. The university sits on a 43-acre campus at the northern end of Queen Anne Hill, near the Fremont neighborhood and approximately four miles north of downtown Seattle.
SPU offers a four-year alternate series of general education classes for honors students called University Scholars that revolves around a Great Books reading list and the writing of a lengthy senior dissertation. Along with literature classes, the curriculum includes two Faith & Science classes and a Christianity & Scholarship class. The work load is generally very rigorous.
College Choice Score: 87.95
Average Tuition: $61,300
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 a part 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.
Ohio State University
College Choice Score: 87.32
Average Tuition: $51,600
The Ohio State University is a large, primarily residential, public university in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and ninth university in Ohio with the Morrill Act of 1862, the university was originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College (Mech). In 1878 the Ohio General Assembly passed a law changing the name to “The Ohio State University”. It has since grown into the third-largest university campus in the United States.
In 1916, Ohio State became the first university in Ohio to be extended membership into the Association of American Universities, and remains the only public university in Ohio among the organization’s 60 members. The Public Ivies: America’s Flagship Public Universities (2000) by Howard and Matthew Greene listed Ohio State as one of a select number of public universities offering the highest educational quality.
Undergraduate admissions to Ohio State are classified as “more selective” by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review and according to the data are the most selective for any public university in Ohio. 63% of incoming freshmen in autumn 2016 were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. The middle 50% range of ACT scores is 27-31, while the middle 50% SAT scores (Critical Reading and Math only) is 1210–1360. Ohio State’s freshman class has included at least 100 National Merit Scholars for nine of the last ten years.
Illinois Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 86.93
Average Tuition: $59,900
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.
College Choice Score: 86.75
Average Tuition: $47,100
Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit is a private Catholic university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded by members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Duquesne first opened its doors as the Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Holy Ghost in October 1878 with an enrollment of 40 students and a faculty of six. In 1911, the college became the first Catholic university in Pennsylvania.
Duquesne has since expanded to over 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students within a self-contained 49-acre (19.8 ha) hilltop campus in Pittsburgh’s Bluff neighborhood. The school maintains an associate campus in Rome and encompasses ten schools of study. The university hosts international students from more than 80 countries although most students — about 80% — are from Pennsylvania or the surrounding region.
Between 1988 and 2001, the University opened its first new schools in 50 years, including the Rangos School of Health Sciences, the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement. Duquesne University continues to expand with its completion of the Power Center, a mixed-use development project on Forbes Avenue, and a new residence hall, which was completed in 2012.
Loyola University Chicago
College Choice Score: 86.61
Average Tuition: $45,600
Loyola University Chicago (often referred to as Loyola or LUC) is a private American Catholic research university located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1870 by the Jesuits, today Loyola is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation and a major contributor to Chicago’s economic and cultural capital. Loyola’s professional schools have educated generations of local business and civic leaders,
Loyola offers over 80 undergraduate and 140 graduate/professional programs and enrolls approximately 16,000 students total. Loyola has six campuses located across the Chicago metropolitan area, as well as a campus in Rome and guest programs in Beijing and Ho Chi Minh City. The flagship Lake Shore Campus is located along the shores of Lake Michigan in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods of Chicago, eight miles north of the Loop.
Over 150,000 Loyola alumni include executives of major Chicago-based corporations such as McDonald’s and Baxter International, as well as dozens of local and national political leaders including the current Illinois Attorney General and Speaker of the House. Loyola alumni have won Emmy, Grammy, Peabody, and Pulitzer awards, as well as Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships.
College Choice Score: 85.78
Average Tuition: $50,200
DePaul University is a private university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th-century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul. In 1998, it became the largest Catholic university by enrollment in the United States. Following in the footsteps of its founders, DePaul places special emphasis on recruiting first-generation students and others from disadvantaged backgrounds.
DePaul’s two main campuses are located in Lincoln Park and the Loop. The Lincoln Park Campus is home to the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Science and Health, and Education. It also houses the School of Music, the Theatre School, and the John T. Richardson Library. The Loop campus houses the Colleges of Communication, Computing and Digital Media, and Law, as well as the School of Public Service and the School for New Learning.
The university enrolls around 16,000 undergraduate and about 7,600 graduate/law students, making DePaul the 13th largest private university by enrollment in the United States, and the largest private university in Illinois. According to the Division of Student Affairs website, about 90% of DePaul’s students commute or live off campus. The student body represents a wide array of religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds, including over 60 foreign countries.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 85.59
Average Tuition: $49,300
Arizona State University (commonly referred to as ASU or Arizona State) is a public metropolitan research university on five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona. The 2017 university ratings by U.S. News & World Report rank ASU No. 1 among the Most Innovative Schools in America for the second year in a row.
ASU is one of the largest public universities by enrollment in the U.S. It had approximately 72,000 students enrolled in fall 2016, including nearly 59,000 undergraduate and more than 13,000 graduate students. ASU’s charter, approved by the board of regents in 2014, is based on the “New American University” model created by ASU President Crow.
ASU is classified as a research university with “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” designation by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Since 2005, ASU has been ranked among the top research universities in the U.S., public and private, based on research output, innovation, development, research expenditures, number of awarded patents and awarded research grant proposals.
North Carolina State University
College Choice Score: 84.55
Average Tuition: $52,400
The North Carolina General Assembly founded the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now NC State, on March 7, 1887, as a land-grant college. Today, NC State has an enrollment of more than 34,000 students, making it the largest university in the Carolinas. NC State has historical strengths in engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles and design and now offers 106 bachelor’s degrees.
The Board of Trustees administers NC State’s eleven academic colleges. Each college grants its own degrees with the exception of the First Year College which provides incoming freshmen the opportunity to experience several disciplines before selecting a major. Each college is composed of numerous departments that focus on a particular discipline or degree program, for example English, Computer Science, Genetics or Accounting. There are a total of 66 departments administered by all eleven NC State colleges.
Considered a more selective university, NC State accepts about half of those who apply for undergraduate admission. For the class of 2019, 21,104 applied and 10,584, or 50%, were accepted, of whom 4,210 enrolled. Members of the class of 2019 had average SAT verbal, math and writing scores of 610, 640 and 587, respectively, for a two-part total (verbal and math) of 1250 (1600-point scale) or a three-part total of 1836 (2400-point scale).
University of Illinois Chicago
College Choice Score: 84.33
Average Tuition: $51,500
The University of Illinois at Chicago or UIC is a state-funded public research-intensive university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, adjacent to the Chicago Loop. The second campus established under the University of Illinois system, UIC is also the largest university in the Chicago area, having approximately 29,000 students enrolled in 15 colleges.
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers 83 bachelor’s degrees, 93 master’s degrees, and 64 doctoral degrees through its 15 colleges, in addition to the university’s specialized Honors College (for undergraduates) and the omnibus Graduate College (for graduate students). UIC offers eleven inter-college programs, some of which are organized as centers. It is also home to the largest medical school in the country.
Students admitted to the Honors College must complete an additional application to the college, after being admitted a degree-granting college. In order to be admitted and remain in the Honors College, students must maintain a GPA of 3.4 or above and participate in an Honors College activity each semester, separate from their regular classes.
College Choice Score: 83.74
Average Tuition: $52,200
Marquette is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and currently has a student body of about 12,000. Marquette is one of the largest Jesuit universities in the United States, and the largest private university in Wisconsin.
Marquette is organized into 11 schools and colleges at its main Milwaukee campus, offering programs in the liberal arts, business, communications, education, engineering, law and various health sciences disciplines. The university also administers classes in suburbs around the Milwaukee area and in Washington, DC. While most students are pursuing undergraduate degrees, the university has over 50 doctoral and master’s degree programs and 37 graduate certificate programs.
The university includes 11 schools and colleges: Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Health Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Professional Studies, Graduate School, Marquette University School of Dentistry, and Marquette University Law School. Marquette’s largest college by enrollment is the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences.
University of New Mexico
College Choice Score: 79.02
Average Tuition: $40,700
The University of New Mexico (also referred to as UNM) is a public research university in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is New Mexico’s flagship research institution, the largest post-secondary institution in the state in total enrollment across all campuses as of 2012, and one of the state’s largest employers. Founded in 1889, UNM offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degree programs in a wide variety of fields.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UNM at 201–300 out of world universities and 72-98 out of U.S. universities in 2016, while The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranked UNM 181st on its world university rankings list and 78th in the United States in 2015, which is up from 185th and 82nd respectively in 2014. High Impact Universities Research Performance Index (RPI) ranked UNM 112th in 2011 in their Top 500 Universities worldwide.
Admission to UNM is rated as “selective” by U.S. News & World Report. For Fall 2014, UNM received 12,574 freshmen applications; 5,706 were admitted (45.4%). The average GPA of the enrolled freshmen was 3.40, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores were 480-620 for critical reading and 485-620 for math. The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 20-25.
Old Dominion University
College Choice Score: 78.76
Average Tuition: $45,200
Old Dominion University, also known as ODU, is a public, co-educational research university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, with two satellite campuses in the Hampton Roads area. It was established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary and is now one of the largest universities in Virginia with an enrollment of 24,670 students for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Old Dominion University is classified as a Carnegie Doctoral, Higher Research Activity University. Old Dominion University provides nearly $2 billion annually to the regional economy. The university offers 168 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to over 24,000 students and is one of the nation’s largest providers of online distance learning courses. Old Dominion University has approximately 124,000 alumni in all 50 states and 67 countries.
Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC) to award baccalaureate, masters, education specialist, and doctoral degrees. The Batten College of Engineering and Technology is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The Strome College of Business is AACSB accredited. The Darden College of Education, the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Sciences are accredited by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.