Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Most well-rounded colleges in America

  • f11photo // Shutterstock
    1/ f11photo // Shutterstock

    Most well-rounded colleges in America

    There’s a great deal to consider when choosing the right college to attend: Prospective students generally evaluate a university's academics, athletics and extracurriculars, tuition price, and the vibrancy of the student community before making this life-altering decision. 

    In an ideal world, dream schools would have the perfect combination of every single factor. While each student will look for something different, colleges with enough appeal to please all kinds of people do exist. Stacker set out to rank the 50 most well-rounded colleges in America using six different data sets from Niche. Stacker took the average of each school ranking on Niche’s lists of colleges with the best student life, best value, best academics, most diversity, best athletics, and best campus. The schools with the lowest average—in other words, schools that were ranked closer to the top of each list, on average—are considered the most well-rounded. Only colleges that ranked in the top 200 of at least four of these six lists were eligible for consideration.

    Read through the slideshow to find out which schools ranked higher than Harvard University, learn how a small liberal arts school beat out many larger institutions, and see where your alma mater falls on the list.

    ALSO: Best college in every state

  • Kevin Dooly // Flickr
    2/ Kevin Dooly // Flickr

    #50. Arizona State University

    Average rank: 158.5

    Student life rank: #69 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #377 (Grade: A-)

    Academics rank: #230 (Grade: A-)

    Diversity rank: #92 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #47 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #136 (Grade: A)

    This public university in Tempe, Arizona, has a reputation for being a party school, but that distinction appears to be fading over time. ASU still boasts a highly engaged student body—and a large one, at 103,410 students in 2017—but it’s less focused on the parties and more on the school’s athletic programs.  

  • Bgervais // Wikimedia Commons
    3/ Bgervais // Wikimedia Commons

    #49. University of Maryland - College Park

    Average rank: 152.5

    Student life rank: #79 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #101 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #106 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #129 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #13 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #487 (Grade: B)

    Alumni of the University of Maryland might be some of the most loyal fans out there, rooting for their beloved Diamondback terrapins every chance they get. The school is known for its football team, which often ranks among the best in the Big Ten, and its prestigious academics.

  • Matthew Rice // Wikimedia Commons
    4/ Matthew Rice // Wikimedia Commons

    #48. University of Notre Dame

    Average rank: 142.8

    Student life rank: #25 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #7 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #21 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #763 (Grade: A-)

    Athletics rank: #22 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #19 (Grade: A+)

    This Catholic research university located near South Bend, Indiana, is also a big football school. Every Saturday during football season, students and alumni turn out in droves to support the Fighting Irish. A massive mural of Jesus on the south side of a library tower even came to be called Touchdown Jesus, since you can see Jesus peeking over the side of the football stadium.

  • John Kees // Wikimedia Commons
    5/ John Kees // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. University of Wisconsin

    Average rank: 142.5

    Student life rank: #2 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #84 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #94 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #622 (Grade: A-)

    Athletics rank: #28 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #25 (Grade: A+)

    More than 43,000 students attend the University of Wisconsin every year, and they quickly pick up on the university’s quirky traditions. Wisconsin’s marching band is famous for its Fifth Quarter, a raucous celebration that occurs after every football game, while students who call themselves 'Hoofers' often ski across campus during the frigid winters.

  • Andrew Vargas // Wikimedia Commons
    6/ Andrew Vargas // Wikimedia Commons

    #46. University of California - Davis

    Average rank: 139.8

    Student life rank: #122 (Grade: A)

    Value rank: #121 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #134 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #144 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #204 (Grade: A-)

    Campus rank: #114 (Grade: A)

    UC Davis gets its free spirited bent from the town of Davis itself: This Bohemian community famously built “toad tunnels” decorated with tiny houses and bars so amphibians could cross a nearby overpass. UC Davis students can choose unusual majors like sustainable agriculture and food systems, viticulture and enology, and wildlife, fish and conservation biology.

  • IT Communications Officer // Wikimedia Commons
    7/ IT Communications Officer // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Indiana University - Bloomington

    Average rank: 139.7

    Student life rank: #22 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #200 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #180 (Grade: A-)

    Diversity rank: #378 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #34 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #24 (Grade: A+)

    A whopping 114,000 students were enrolled in Indiana University as of fall 2015, 72% of which were Indiana residents. Located in the college town of Bloomington, or B-town, IU is known for both its thriving cultural scene and athletic prowess.

  • MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons
    8/ MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

    #44. University of Oklahoma

    Average rank: 138.7

    Student life rank: #56 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #313 (Grade: A-)

    Academics rank: #177 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #213 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #6 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #67 (Grade: A)

    University of Oklahoma cracked the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of the top 50 public colleges for the first time ever in 2018, but it has always been well-known locally. The family atmosphere on campus and affordable price tag make it quite popular.  

  • Fletcher6 // Wikimedia Commons
    9/ Fletcher6 // Wikimedia Commons

    #43. Boston University

    Average rank: 136.3

    Student life rank: #70 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #154 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #74 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #40 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #150 (Grade: A-)

    Campus rank: #330 (Grade: B+)

    This private university is located smack dab in the middle of Boston, so it doesn’t have as large of a campus as many of the other universities on this list. Still, BU is one of the largest independent universities in the country, with an undergraduate enrollment of around 18,000 students.

  • KMSatoh202 // Wikimedia Commons
    10/ KMSatoh202 // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. University of Iowa

    Average rank: 135.7

    Student life rank: #27 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #172 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #204 (Grade: A-)

    Diversity rank: #283 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #37 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #91 (Grade: A)

    Though the Midwest might not seem like a hub of the arts, the University of Iowa actually boasts the top-rated creative writing program in the country. The surrounding college town of Iowa City also makes it a lovely place to live for a few years. Fun fact: It’s one of only two UNESCO Cities of Literature in the United States.

  • Kane5187 // Wikimedia Commons
    11/ Kane5187 // Wikimedia Commons

    #41. Dartmouth College

    Average rank: 131.5

    Student life rank: #112 (Grade: A)

    Value rank: #26 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #14 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #155 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #171 (Grade: A-)

    Campus rank: #311 (Grade: B+)

    Founded in 1769, this Ivy League institution is renowned for its liberal arts programs. Just 4,400 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students attend this selective university every year.

  • Huw Williams // Wikimedia Commons
    12/ Huw Williams // Wikimedia Commons

    #40. Purdue University

    Average rank: 130.8

    Student life rank: #80 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #74 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #109 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #266 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #69 (Grade: A)

    Campus rank: #187 (Grade: A-)

    Named after the local businessman who donated land and money to establish the school, Purdue University routinely ranks in the top 100 colleges nationwide. It’s also home to three of the world’s top supercomputers and the alma mater of 23 NASA astronauts.   

  • UC Santa Barbara Library // Flickr
    13/ UC Santa Barbara Library // Flickr

    #39. University of California - Santa Barbara

    Average rank: 129

    Student life rank: #21 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #133 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #110 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #168 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #301 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #41 (Grade: A)

    This California public school has a rather unusual mascot: Olé the gaucho, a masked man who often stomps around campus sports games. UCSB also has a reputation as a party school—the annual Halloween celebrations are particularly infamous.

  • Tintazul // Wikimedia Commons
    14/ Tintazul // Wikimedia Commons

    #38. Georgia Institute of Technology

    Average rank: 127.7

    Student life rank: #67 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #12 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #57 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #122 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #66 (Grade: A)

    Campus rank: #442 (Grade: B+)

    Some 25,000 students attend Georgia Tech for its world-class education in technology and the sciences. Tucked in the heart of Atlanta, the campus is a good fit for students who want a bustling urban experience.

  • CBGator87 // Wikimedia Commons
    15/ CBGator87 // Wikimedia Commons

    #37. Virginia Tech

    Average rank: 126.3

    Student life rank: #8 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #49 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #127 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #531 (Grade: A-)

    Athletics rank: #40 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #3 (Grade: A+)

    This rural Blacksburg, Virginia, university dates back to 1872. With more than 100 undergraduate degree programs, a thriving Greek system, and 600 student organizations, there is plenty for Hokies to do on campus.

  • David Fulmer // Flickr
    16/ David Fulmer // Flickr

    #36. Penn State

    Average rank: 126.2

    Student life rank: #10 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #208 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #122 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #355 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #23 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #39 (Grade: A)

    Best known for its football program, Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, boasts a massive population of about 46,000 undergraduates. The Nittany Lions have plenty of unique traditions, such as camping out in the tent city called Nittanyville for first pick of student section football tickets and whiting out the stadium for big home games.  

  • Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble // Flickr
    17/ Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble // Flickr

    #35. Bowdoin College

    Average rank: 125.7

    Student life rank: #30 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #53 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #20 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #201 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #445 (Grade: B)

    Campus rank: #5 (Grade: A+)

    What this private university in Brunswick, Maine, lacks in athletics, it makes up for in academics and other student activities. Alumni of this prestigious liberal arts school include poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who penned "Paul Revere's Ride," and Reed Hastings—the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Netflix.

  • funuk // Wikimedia Commons
    18/ funuk // Wikimedia Commons

    #34. Middlebury College

    Average rank: 123.5

    Student life rank: #136 (Grade: A)

    Value rank: #70 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #26 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #173 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #257 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #79 (Grade: A)

    This private institution in rural Vermont boasts some unusual student activities, such as a muggle Quidditch team and the oldest winter carnival in the country. Middlebury also hosts the annual Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, which is one of the oldest and best known.  

  • Alexius Horatius // Wikimedia Commons
    19/ Alexius Horatius // Wikimedia Commons

    #33. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

    Average rank: 117.5

    Student life rank: #34 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #142 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #96 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #290 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #46 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #97 (Grade: A)

    The University of Minnesota technically sits across two cities: Minneapolis and St. Paul. Freshman can choose between on-campus dorms and “living learning communities” with themes like La Casa de Espanol and the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives house.

  • sach1tb // Wikimedia Commons
    20/ sach1tb // Wikimedia Commons

    #32. Cornell University

    Average rank: 115.5

    Student life rank: #111 (Grade: A)

    Value rank: #20 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #19 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #47 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #336 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #160 (Grade: A-)

    Though Cornell University is one of the most prestigious in the country—it ranked #16 in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual list—the location in rural Ithaca, New York, is a bit of a challenge for many students. Still, the school’s thriving Greek system and more than 1,000 student organizations provide plenty of options for underclassmen.

  • Caroline Culler // Wikimedia Commons
    21/ Caroline Culler // Wikimedia Commons

    #31. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Average rank: 113.5

    Student life rank: #18 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #80 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #52 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #450 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #3 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #78 (Grade: A)

    The college town of Chapel Hill can be credited for UNC’s top ranking: It’s often rated one of the best in the country for its restaurants, shops, and culture. Students love to cheer on the Tarheels men’s basketball team, which has a storied history and fierce rivalry with Duke University.

  • Talbot0893 // Wikimedia Commons
    22/ Talbot0893 // Wikimedia Commons

    #30. University of Richmond

    Average rank: 111.7

    Student life rank: #114 (Grade: A)

    Value rank: #59 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #62 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #224 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #96 (Grade: A)

    Campus rank: #115 (Grade: A)

    Located in the Virginia state capital, the University of Richmond is a private institution with an enrollment of just over 3,000 students. About one-third of those students are involved in Greek life.

  • Dan Keck // Flickr
    23/ Dan Keck // Flickr

    #29. The Ohio State University

    Average rank: 109.5

    Student life rank: #14 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #248 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #107 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #252 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #7 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #29 (Grade: A+)

    Best known for its top-tier football team, Ohio State University is a big sports school. In addition to cheering on the Buckeyes, students can choose between 1,000 on-campus activities including 65 fraternities and sororities.

  • Benjamion KRAFT // Flickr
    24/ Benjamion KRAFT // Flickr

    #28. New York University

    Average rank: 107.6

    Student life rank: #74 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #175 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #54 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #11 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #null (Grade: C+)

    Campus rank: #224 (Grade: A-)

    Located right in the middle of downtown Manhattan, New York University doesn’t exactly boast a traditional campus. Instead, students have the whole of New York City in their backyards. NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, which offers programs of study in acting, dance, dramatic writing, film, and more, is perhaps its most prestigious school.

  • chensiyuan // Wikimedia Commons
    25/ chensiyuan // Wikimedia Commons

    #27. Brown University

    Average rank: 107.3

    Student life rank: #35 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #27 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #9 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #29 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #370 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #174 (Grade: A-)

    Students must live on campus for their first six semesters at this Ivy League school in picturesque Providence, Rhode Island. Brown has a few fascinating traditions, including the ceremonial opening of the Van Wickle Gates just twice a year for convocation and commencement.  

  • Spohpatuf // Wikimedia Commons
    26/ Spohpatuf // Wikimedia Commons

    #26. University of Florida

    Average rank: 104.2

    Student life rank: #13 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #99 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #83 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #306 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #1 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #123 (Grade: A)

    More than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend the University of Florida every year, filling the college town of Gainesville with plenty of activity. The school’s mascots are Albert and Alberta the alligators, and the stadium where the Gator football team competes is often referred to as the Swamp.

  • Jeffness // Wikimedia Commons
    27/ Jeffness // Wikimedia Commons

    #25. Michigan State University

    Average rank: 103.2

    Student life rank: #23 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #161 (Grade: A)

    Academics rank: #144 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #250 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #10 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #31 (Grade: A+)

    Located in suburban East Lansing, Michigan State University offers plenty of activities for students, from a solar car racing team to 60 fraternities and sororities to a student-run organic farm.

  • Pennalumni // Wikimedia Commons
    28/ Pennalumni // Wikimedia Commons

    #24. University of Pennsylvania

    Average rank: 99.7

    Student life rank: #24 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #9 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #10 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #65 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #362 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #128 (Grade: A)

    Benjamin Franklin himself founded this Ivy League university in Philadelphia in 1740. The university has 12 schools, seven of which only offer graduate studies. The Wharton School of Business and Law School are among the most exclusive.

  • Bestbudbrian // Wikimedia Commons
    29/ Bestbudbrian // Wikimedia Commons

    #23. University of Virginia

    Average rank: 98.5

    Student life rank: #11 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #41 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #46 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #370 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #38 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #85 (Grade: A)

    Another founding father (Thomas Jefferson) created this public university in Charlottesville, Virginia. Though the official mascot of University of Virginia is the Cavaliers, many students and alumni call them the Wahoos or the Hoos.

  • Matt Kitces // Wikimedia Commons
    30/ Matt Kitces // Wikimedia Commons

    #22. Washington University in St. Louis

    Average rank: 94.5

    Student life rank: #9 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #42 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #18 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #237 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #260 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #1 (Grade: A+)

    Just under 8,000 undergraduates attend Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, every year. Wash U also boasts well-known graduate programs like the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Olin Business School, and Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, in addition to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, which holds one of the most impressive university art collections in the world.

  • Daderot // Wikimedia Commons
    31/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #21. Amherst College

    Average rank: 89.3

    Student life rank: #85 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #67 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #23 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #4 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #115 (Grade: A)

    Campus rank: #242 (Grade: A-)

    Amherst College hosts one of the smallest student bodies on this list with an annual enrollment of just 1,836. This rural school has a rigorous academic program and is a member of the Five Colleges consortium.

  • Piotrus // Wikimedia Commons
    32/ Piotrus // Wikimedia Commons

    #20. Northeastern University

    Average rank: 88.5

    Student life rank: #40 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #102 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #63 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #37 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #201 (Grade: A-)

    Campus rank: #88 (Grade: A)

    Instead of the traditional lecture hall learning environment, Northeastern University emphasizes work experience. More than 90% of Northeastern students complete one or more professional “co-ops,” where they gain work experience through internships at companies like ESPN, Credit Suisse, and Procter & Gamble.

  • K.Oliver // Flickr
    33/ K.Oliver // Flickr

    #19. University of California - Berkeley

    Average rank: 87.7

    Student life rank: #44 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #57 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #37 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #52 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #55 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #281 (Grade: B+)

    Also known as Cal, this California state university in Berkeley, California, has impressive academics, athletics, and student organizations. The Daily Californian student newspaper is one of the best on the West Coast while the campus itself is a well-known hub for aspiring activists.

  • Luiz Gadelha Jr  // Flickr
    34/ Luiz Gadelha Jr // Flickr

    #18. University of Chicago

    Average rank: 87

    Student life rank: #113 (Grade: A)

    Value rank: #47 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #5 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #26 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #null (Grade: B-)

    Campus rank: #244 (Grade: A-)

    Like many colleges, the University of Chicago requires freshmen to live on campus. However, this university in Hyde Park, Illinois, puts a unique twist on the living situation by placing students within communities called houses to offer further academic and social support.

  • InSapphoWeTrust // Flickr
    35/ InSapphoWeTrust // Flickr

    #17. Columbia University

    Average rank: 85.7

    Student life rank: #28 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #33 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #8 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #9 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #384 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #52 (Grade: A)

    While Columbia University only has three undergraduate schools, its graduate offerings are much more robust. The Business School, Teachers College, Graduate School of Journalism, and Law School are all well regarded.

  • Andrew Gnias // Wikimedia Commons
    36/ Andrew Gnias // Wikimedia Commons

    #16. Princeton University

    Average rank: 83.2

    Student life rank: #94 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #10 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #6 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #28 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #180 (Grade: A-)

    Campus rank: #181 (Grade: A-)

    This small private school in New Jersey often takes first place in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings. Princeton has enviable academics and athletics, a host of famous alumni, and a gorgeous suburban campus.   

  • Killivalavan Solaio // Wikimedia Commons
    37/ Killivalavan Solaio // Wikimedia Commons

    #15. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Average rank: 82.7

    Student life rank: #17 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #72 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #93 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #117 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #75 (Grade: A)

    Campus rank: #122 (Grade: A)

    Almost a quarter of the student body at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign go Greek, making the university’s Greek system one of the largest in the country. With 15 schools of study and a high level of research, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign would also be an excellent choice for graduate students.

  • Daderot // Wikimedia Commons
    38/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #14. University of Texas - Austin

    Average rank: 70.7

    Student life rank: #5 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #86 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #78 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #177 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #12 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #66 (Grade: A)

    With an undergraduate enrollment of more than 40,000 students, UT Austin is one of the largest universities in the nation. The Longhorns are fierce competitors in the Big 12 conference.

  • Daniel Mayar // Wikimedia Commons
    39/ Daniel Mayar // Wikimedia Commons

    #13. Emory University

    Average rank: 64.6

    Student life rank: #101 (Grade: A)

    Value rank: #91 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #30 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #14 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #null (Grade: B-)

    Campus rank: #87 (Grade: A)

    Set in downtown Atlanta, this private university has a total of nine schools and colleges for both graduates and undergraduates. Only first- and second-year students are required to live on campus, but most students still choose to stay on campus for the duration of their studies.

  • Rdsmith4 // Wikimedia Commons
    40/ Rdsmith4 // Wikimedia Commons

    #12. Northwestern University

    Average rank: 63.5

    Student life rank: #45 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #37 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #12 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #97 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #70 (Grade: A)

    Campus rank: #120 (Grade: A)

    This private university in Chicago is perhaps best known for its graduate studies at the Medill School of Journalism and the Kellogg School of Management, but it also has a thriving undergraduate population of 8,278 students. Hundreds of on-campus organizations offer plenty for students to do outside of the classroom.  

  • Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons
    41/ Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

    #11. University of Washington

    Average rank: 60

    Student life rank: #50 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #105 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #98 (Grade: A)

    Diversity rank: #13 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #39 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #55 (Grade: A)

    Founded in 1861, the University of Washington in Seattle is one of the oldest colleges on the West Coast. This top-tier research institution hosts an annual undergraduate research symposium where members of the 31,000-strong student body can present their work to their peers.

  • Muns // Wikimedia Commons
    42/ Muns // Wikimedia Commons

    #10. Harvard University

    Average rank: 57.5

    Student life rank: #16 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #3 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #3 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #46 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #219 (Grade: B+)

    Campus rank: #58 (Grade: A)

    Nestled in quaint Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, this private university is one of the most prestigious in the country, if not the world. Most programs of study at Harvard are highly regarded, and the university’s extensive library system is both the oldest collection in the U.S. and the largest private collection in the world.

  • Jbaker08 // Wikimedia Commons
    43/ Jbaker08 // Wikimedia Commons

    #9. Vanderbilt University

    Average rank: 53.7

    Student life rank: #38 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #36 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #15 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #124 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #58 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #51 (Grade: A)

    Vanderbilt’s location in Nashville makes it attractive to prospective students: Music City holds every kind of food, music, art, and culture that one could want. Fraternities and sororities are a big part of the social life at Vanderbilt, with about 40% of the student body involved in Greek life.

  • Ilyse Whitney // Flickr
    44/ Ilyse Whitney // Flickr

    #8. Duke University

    Average rank: 52.8

    Student life rank: #51 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #4 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #11 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #166 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #8 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #77 (Grade: A)

    Although Duke University is one of the top 10 most prestigious colleges in the country, athletics almost overshadow academics in campus life. Duke’s Blue Devils are best known for their men’s basketball program, but the university also competes in 17 additional sports.

  • Jha4ceb // Wikimedia Commons
    45/ Jha4ceb // Wikimedia Commons

    #7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    Average rank: 48.2

    Student life rank: #1 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #52 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #34 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #169 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #24 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #9 (Grade: A+)

    University of Michigan’s setting in adorable Ann Arbor makes it attractive to both prospective students and their parents. Competitive athletic programs, top-notch schools, and a bustling student body make Michigan a perennially popular choice.  

  • Prayitno // Flickr
    46/ Prayitno // Flickr

    #6. University of California - Los Angeles

    Average rank: 38.7

    Student life rank: #4 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #98 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #49 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #54 (Grade: A)

    Athletics rank: #25 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #2 (Grade: A+)

    Known for its excellent academic programs for both undergraduates and graduate students, UCLA is especially popular with those studying science, math, technology, and business. Its location in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles is almost like a college town, too.

  • Adam Jones // Flickr
    47/ Adam Jones // Flickr

    #5. Yale University

    Average rank: 38

    Student life rank: #15 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #5 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #4 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #20 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #156 (Grade: A-)

    Campus rank: #28 (Grade: A+)

    As the most well-rounded Ivy League college on this list, Yale University has plenty to brag about. Students who gain admission into this selective university are assigned to live in one of 14 residential colleges and have the option in participating in famous organizations like the Whiffenpoofs a cappella group and the Yale Dramatic Association.

  • Daderot // Wikimedia Commons
    48/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #4. Rice University

    Average rank: 37.5

    Student life rank: #39 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #11 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #16 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #30 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #108 (Grade: A)

    Campus rank: #21 (Grade: A+)

    Just 4,000 students attend this university in Houston, Texas, every year. In addition to all the dining options in the nation’s fourth-largest city, Rice University itself has student-run establishments like the Rice Coffeehouse and Valhalla Pub. Students also receive free tickets to all varsity sporting events.

  • Nostalgicwisdom // Wikimedia Commons
    49/ Nostalgicwisdom // Wikimedia Commons

    #3. Pomona College

    Average rank: 28.6

    Student life rank: #52 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #63 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #13 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #1 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #null (Grade: B-)

    Campus rank: #14 (Grade: A+)

    This tiny Southern California school offers a nontraditional college experience. More than 97% of students live in on-campus housing for all four years, and students have a stronger-than-usual connection to faculty thanks to the 8 to 1 student to faculty ratio. Popular activities include the secret society called Mulfi and Ski-Beach Day, where students ski a nearby mountain in the morning and spend the afternoon at a local beach.

  • Padsquad19 // Wikimedia Commons
    50/ Padsquad19 // Wikimedia Commons

    #2. University of Southern California

    Average rank: 23.7

    Student life rank: #7 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #62 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #25 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #24 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #11 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #13 (Grade: A+)

    A legendary football program, incredible academic variety, and highly engaged student body make the University of Southern California a top choice for many students. USC’s gorgeous red brick campus has also been the setting of dozens of movies, from “Legally Blonde” to “Forrest Gump.”

  • King of Hearts // Wikimedia Commons
    51/ King of Hearts // Wikimedia Commons

    #1. Stanford University

    Average rank: 11.2

    Student life rank: #12 (Grade: A+)

    Value rank: #2 (Grade: A+)

    Academics rank: #2 (Grade: A+)

    Diversity rank: #10 (Grade: A+)

    Athletics rank: #29 (Grade: A+)

    Campus rank: #12 (Grade: A+)

    Its beautiful campus, world renowned academic programs, and competitive athletics win Stanford University the top spot on this list of the most well-rounded colleges in America. The school only admits about 5% of applicants, however, so it’s extremely difficult to win a spot on campus.  


     

2018 All rights reserved.