2017 Best College Campuses in America

The 2017 Best College Campuses ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges offer outstanding campus resources across classrooms, labs, performance venues, housing, food, and recreational facilities.
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  • National
  • By State
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Washington University in St. Louis

    • Saint Louis, MO
    • 1,323 reviews
    Freshman:WUSTL is a fantastic university! I first came here because of the prestigious pre-med program, comfy dorms, yummy food, beautiful campus, and great FA. I found all of those here to be true. My experience truly has been an excellent one. Although the academics are undoubtedly challenging, it is equally rewarding.
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  2. 2

    Virginia Tech

    • Blacksburg, VA
    • 3,397 reviews
    Junior:When it comes to Virginia Tech, I've got a simple, 3 word phrase that speaks for itself: "This is Home." I never imagine while being away for college I would ever truly feel as if I was at my 'home away from home' but Tech has proved me wrong. Although we have a large student body, everyone seems to find 'their people' which makes this place so personal. The only thing I could think to change is the diversity level; although it seems we are a very diverse campus, when you look at the numbers, it is clear that we are not. Diversity should be incorporated more into our own little culture here at Virginia Tech!
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  3. 3

    Liberty University

    • Lynchburg, VA
    • 6,087 reviews
    Junior:Liberty is a great Christian university for those who are religious and non-religious alike. While the rules can feel a little overbearing at times, the main focus of the school is to cultivate well-rounded students with an acceptable education, critical thinking skills, and communication skills. Many activities available to students including a vast array of high level sports teams, concerts, recreation centers, a fitness center with the best equipment, all at a relatively affordable price. All individuals getting ready to earn a degree should seriously consider this university!
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  4. 4

    Bowdoin College

    • Brunswick, ME
    • 640 reviews
    Freshman:Whether its the Outing Club, the Literary Magazine, the Film Society, or an a Capella group, there is always something for every kind of person to get involved in. Also, people here are incredibly friendly and willing to go out of their way to help you. Bowdoin's size, with 1700 students, really enables this sense of community. If I could change one thing about Bowdoin, I would offer class credit for laboratory time. Also , this is just my wish , but I think Bowdoin should advertise more to the outside world. I grew up overseas, so most of my other friends had not heard of Bowdoin, or Brunswick for that matter. I can understand that I was surprised that not many people in United States knew about this school either. The social scene is great on the weekends, but for the most part exists only on the weekends as people work very hard during the week. As for food, you can guess exactly how delicious it is from just taking a peek at the NYtimes article and the college rankings.
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  5. 5

    University of California - Los Angeles

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 4,409 reviews
    Freshman:The first thing that comes to mind is the housing here at UCLA. I was lucky enough to receive one of the better, newer buildings, so my experience here has been great. The study and social lounges are equipped with new, comfortable furniture and lights that turn on and off depending on the amount of activity in the room it reads. The food is great. We have restaurants similar to Panda Express and Chipotle, and they are right below my building so it's not much of a walk at all!
    Additionally, there are resources all around campus that are noticeably accessible to me, such as math tutoring from fraternities/sororities, counseling programs, clubs and activities that offer social circles, essay reviewers, and so on.
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  6. 6

    California Baptist University

    • Riverside, CA
    • 2,215 reviews
    Sophomore:I love it! I've been impressed with how much the professors genuinely care about the student's lives. Sure, there's always that one teacher or person, but for the most part, it's pretty unlikely.
    The events are great. The International Center celebrates holidays of all sorts from the Middle Eastern Holi festival to Hispanic Heritage month. Always a lot of great food and giveaways too.

    Food on campus is FANTASTIC. There's a Chik-Fil-A as well as our own version of Chipotle, sandwiches, Chinese take-out, burgers, a classy buffet, burritos, and a Subway and Bakers within short walking distance. There's also a grab-and-go shop campus for packaged lunches, snacks, gift baskets, medicine, toothbrushes, etc. as well as a CVS across the street for quick access to groceries and essential items. The campus is a good size, not too big, but not small. Having a bike or skateboard helps I feel very safe on campus, and there are always jobs available as well as plenty of leadership opportunities.
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  7. 7

    University of Georgia

    • Athens, GA
    • 4,781 reviews
    Freshman:Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at the University of Georgia. As an undergraduate student majoring in Management Information Systems, the Terry College of Business provided multiple avenues and events to get connected to professionals in my field. In addition, the majority of my professors were very approachable and took an active interest in their students, not only in their classroom achievements, but also in their post-graduation success as well. The campus has tons of student organizations to get involved in for whatever your interests may be. There are also ample opportunities to work on campus whether it be in the dining halls, as a resident assistant, serving as a tour guide for UGA, or even as a bus driver. You read that right, students can drive the campus transit buses! For those who are big sports fans, watching the Dawgs play football on Saturday afternoons in Sanford Stadium is hard to beat. Go DAWGS!
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  8. 8

    Grand Canyon University

    • Phoenix, AZ
    • 7,749 reviews
    Freshman:Grand Canyon University is an exceptional school that provides a positive atmosphere and institutional effectiveness which further en chances the students overall college experience! The school offers a wide variety of opritunities for students and allows for exclusive mentorships and networking events that distinguish the school. Overall, Grand Canyon University offers an environment that is exclusive to them. The leadership, dedication, and efficiency is imbedded into every aspect of their institution. Only at this university one is guarenteed to discover their purpose!
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  9. 9

    Stanford University

    • Stanford, CA
    • 1,088 reviews
    Sophomore:I've really enjoyed Stanford so far.
    Academics are certainly challenging, but rewarding, and students usually aren't excessively stressed about grades.
    Professors are, for the most part, incredibly knowledgeable and care about students, but there are some (particularly those teaching intro classes) who could use some improvement.
    The local area can be a bit expensive and far away (especially without a car).
    Currently, the administration is facing a lot of criticism about the school's handling of sexual assault. It's not the best situation, but a lot of the criticism also comes from Stanford's own professors and students, so I do still feel relatively safe and supported on campus.
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  10. 10

    Yale University

    • New Haven, CT
    • 914 reviews
    Freshman:Yale managed to exceed my expectations. I originally chose Yale because of how genuine every student I met was and that perception continues to persist. I have met the most interesting and talented people while at Yale and have made some of the closest friends. One moment we'll be discussing a bio problem set, the next discussing the real solution to economic disparity, the next talking about our upbringings. While it's easy to think of Yale as a competitive college, I think that's far from the truth. I have never collaborated as much as I have at Yale. Everyone wants the best for each other and grades are not a focus. The social scene at Yale is also great. Frat parties are open to anyone for the most part and it's very easy to get integrated with Greek life members even if you aren't in it yourself. Just based off of the year I've been here, I can already say that Yale has changed me to be a more well-rounded person.
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  11. 11

    James Madison University

    • Harrisonburg, VA
    • 2,602 reviews
    Sophomore:James Madison University is often called "the happiest place on Earth," right next to Disney World, of course! It's nestled in a valley, so you have a gorgeous view of the mountains from campus, and the sunsets are phenomenal. Everyone is so friendly and warm, and the school is ranked nationally for the great food. JMU even has a Starbucks truck that goes around campus! Professors want to see you succeed and there' a Student Success Center that offers tutoring, counseling, and many other services devoted to helping students. JMU is Divison I for most sports, except football, in which the Dukes are Divison II. All home football games are preceded by tailgates. Dukes work hard and play hard, so there is a party scene, but there's plenty to do in Downtown Harrisonburg on the weekends as well. Usually only freshmen live in the dorms on campus, however they are available to all students and there are on-campus apartment options. James Madison is an outstanding and well-rounded school.
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  12. 12

    Brigham Young University

    • Provo, UT
    • 6,838 reviews
    College Junior:This has been a great college experience - it has offered me an insane amount of options compared to other universities, as far as major selection, teacher-student ratio and involvement, clubs, fine arts, community events, service and volunteer opportunities, and research and work experience. Regular on-campus events include weekly speeches from renowned leaders from all religions, institutions, causes, fields, and industries. This is THE place to be for anyone who wants an academically rigorous, culturally diverse experience (in spite of it being attended mostly by white kids) and the local and international connections that a large university has to offer, with the close-knit feeling of a small campus. It will prepare you well for the outside world if you take advantage of all of the resources it has to offer!
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  13. 13

    University of Wisconsin

    • Madison, WI
    • 2,823 reviews
    Freshman:There is something for everyone! The University of Wisconsin-Madison boasts a lot of offerings, not only in academics but in all sorts of opportunities from amazing athletic programs to a myriad of clubs to get into. To the sports enthusiast, UW-Madison has athletic programs in football, ice hockey, and basketball which are renowned regionally, if not also nationally. To the grade-A active student, UW-Madison is also a mecca of infinite opportunities, it is even somewhat of a challenge for any student to navigate the "Org Fair" which displays the many student organizations that are available on campus. Organizations are available for students who are the soon-to-be titans of energy and even for the ones who are almost certainly going to be the consulting executives of the future. No matter what you want to get yourself into, there is always something for you in the land of the Badgers.
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  14. 14

    Ohio State University

    • Columbus, OH
    • 4,706 reviews
    Sophomore:Why go to Ohio State? How do I even begin?? Not only are the academics incredible, but campus feels like home. Throughout my senior year, a plethora of people would ask "but aren't you afraid you'll feel like a number?", but the answer is no, and I probably never will feel that way. As buckeyes we are all linked together. We all dislike Michigan, we all love the great state of Ohio (even if you're not from here you'll grow to love it to), and we all worked hard to get where we are. Campus is home. Beyond these facets of campus culture, nothing can describe the amazing feeling of the shoe on game day, or campus as a whole a week before the Michigan game. With all of that said, classes will push you hard and academics aren't easy. But, the professors genuinely care about your well-being. All in all, OSU has something to offer for everyone!
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  15. 15

    Rice University

    • Houston, TX
    • 969 reviews
    Sophomore:Rice is incredible. The people are so friendly and collaborative, and the residential college system gives you an automatic support system and built-in friends/family. While people are smart, the atmosphere is close-knit and not cutthroat, which I've come to realize is hugely important when I hear my friends at other top universities talk about the pressure and competition they suffer through. The academics aren't easy- especially the STEM programs, which are structured to be some of the most rigorous in the country, but that's why we have such a good reputation and ease with post-graduation placements. Compared to other colleges, there's a lot of freedom with social life/partying and distribution requirements. Overall, the campus is beautiful and quality of life (dorms/food/area) very high. I love Rice and wouldn't go anywhere else!
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  16. 16

    Michigan State University

    • East Lansing, MI
    • 4,892 reviews
    Junior:Michigan State is actually everything it's cracked up to be. Amazing school, outstanding faculty and so many opportunities to do what you love. There is never a time where you are not offered chanced to occupy your time, whether it be joining a club, or campus group, taking classes, or meeting new faces at campus events. The cafeterias are gourmet and filled with many options including gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options. The off campus life is also always filled with fun activities from going to see a concert, or broadway show at the Wharton Theater, to going to a local bar and getting drinks with friends. You will have an excellent experience here, no matter what your interests may be!
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  17. 17

    Rollins College

    • Winter Park, FL
    • 909 reviews
    College Sophomore:At Rollins College, the professors are very approachable and willing to help all students. The small classes sizes at Rollins are extremely helpful and made the transition from high school to college very smooth. One of my favorite experiences at Rollins was the Summer Serve program. This program invites students, faculty, alumni, and members of the community to donate their time to help local schools, churches, and homeless shelters by cleaning and revitalize the buildings. One of the organizations that we served was Grand Avenue Elementary School which is a title 1 school in Orlando, Florida. This experience allowed me to give back to my community by cleaning and painting classrooms, planting flowers, and providing a helping hand to surrounding communities. I have benefited greatly from this experience and fully intend to continue my relationship with the Summer Serve program during my time at Rollins and, after getting my education , in my community to keep it thriving and strong.
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  18. 18

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    • Ann Arbor, MI
    • 3,782 reviews
    Senior:The education that you receive here is definitely unbeatable. The campus is also a generally fun place to be. It is really competitive so that permeates the culture quite a bit, which I could do without. The university's commitment to diversity and inclusion is lacking, but they are making steps to change that going forward so I hope that there will be more positive steps in that area. You don't really get a sense of the local area because the campus is so large it really dominates the city of Ann Arbor. So, even when you venture out in the city a bit, it still feels like you're on campus. It's just very much a college town, so if you're into that, you'll love it!
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  19. 19

    Penn State

    • University Park, PA
    • 6,174 reviews
    Junior:Penn State is a great place to learn at. Typically, students can choose to go the 2+2 route which allows them to start at another campus for two years and then transfer up to University Park campus for graduation. Penn state is well known as a research school and provides students with endless resources to further their education. The professors are all professional and are passionate about what they teach. Campus life is amazing as long as you put in the effort to get involved. There are plenty of resources to get you in the zone and allow you to socialize with others, and most importantly future employers. They offer many career fairs throughout the year that is great for getting interview experience, or even internships and employment after graduation. Great place to be! We are PENN STATE!
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  20. 20

    University of Alabama

    • Tuscaloosa, AL
    • 3,956 reviews
    Freshman:I've been attending the University of Alabama for about two months now, and I absolutely love it! The campus is so beautiful, especially around fall. The quad is amazing during football games. You can see the sense of community during the school days and on the weekend during games. On school days you can see how hundreds of students from different backgrounds come together to study or socialize. On the weekends you can see how much all the students love our school by their support for the football team. You can also see the support through alumni who continue to come back to campus. Another thing i've started to realize is how blessed we are with some of the greatest teachers. The teachers I've met so far have been not only welcoming but seem to know exactly what they're talking about. They actually seem as if they enjoy teaching and enjoy their students. I've greatly enjoyed school here so far due to the beautiful campus, friendly people, and brilliant teachers.
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  21. 21

    University of St. Thomas - Minnesota

    • Saint Paul, MN
    • 1,037 reviews
    College Freshman:My experience at UST has been amazing! I just finished my first-year and I had three mentors, all which were wonderful and very helpful. Having three mentors was my favorite experience of UST because I built a relationship with different individuals with different backgrounds, knowledge and experience. This way I learned more and became involved with various and different opportunities and club/activities at school.
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  22. 22

    Texas A&M University

    • College Station, TX
    • 6,071 reviews
    Junior:What I like about Texas A&M is that everybody here shares school spirit no matter what your background is. This spirit helps you feel like you are a part of something from the moment you receive your acceptance letter, to the moment you begin your education at the school itself. It is a great school to attend with countless people to help you over any and every obstacle you may face. I can't really think of anything to change, but definitely be prepared to change your wardrobe from various colors, to Maroon and White!
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  23. 23

    University of Central Florida

    • Orlando, FL
    • 20,041 reviews
    Junior:I just transferred to the University this semester and have adjusted quite easily! I have been to the rock climbing facilities, which are free to UCF students, and all the staff have been very friendly and helpful. There is also a mobile app to help keep students updated on academic and social information. Education at this school is very rigorous, and I have been encouraged to keep up with my schoolwork. I would strongly encourage others to pursue a bright future with UCF, and strive to perform to their highest abilities. There are many maps around campus and the landscape is designed for functionality and fluidity. Many classroom buildings are made for specific majors, which allows upper level students to be surrounded by like-minded students.
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  24. 24

    High Point University

    • High Point, NC
    • 1,307 reviews
    Niche User:One year ago, attending the Presidential Scholarship weekend changed our family for the better. HPU became part of our life. My son #2 knew that weekend that HPU was on his short list. After being accepted to more prestigious schools, he decided, despite a lot of pressure from family and friends, to take a leap of faith and go to HPU. He entered in the Fall of 2016 into the honors program. The opportunities he's had thus far have been amazing. HPU delivers on everything and more. In addition, my son #1 decided to transfer to HPU in the Fall of 2016 as well. Two brothers, same school, very different experiences and both having an extraordinary education and experience.
    I read everything on the internet about HPU, much good, some not so good. I was so nervous about whether or not we had made a good decision. I couldn't be more pleased with HPU and proud that my boys are part of such a warm, loving college community. So...HPU, plan on seeing son #3 in the Fall of 2018!
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  25. 25

    University of Southern California

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 3,320 reviews
    Sophomore:I love attending the University of Southern California! The school has high caliber academics, a competitive yet fun environment for students of all majors, and a gorgeous campus. USC is a bit expensive however, hardworking students can come in with large scholarships to defray this cost. I definitely think that this experience is worth the cost of living and expenses out here and will truly pay off in the end. I have definitely met life long friends and have made unforgettable memories throughout my time here!
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