2017 Colleges with the Best Student Life in America

The 2017 Colleges with the Best Student Life ranking is based on student reviews and statistics from the U.S. Department of Education. Top-ranked colleges have a positive, fun, and friendly student culture and a vibrant campus community.
See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    University of Southern California

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 3,302 reviews
    College Sophomore:It feels extremely personal. There are opportunities everywhere and especially as an engineer we're encouraged to mix and match the parts of USC that matter to us. For me, I work on campus doing research, I'm head of a club, I'm a student ambassador, I'm in a design club and that's my life within the school. But someone else in my major is on the varsity hocket team, in totally different clubs etc. So life here feels extremely personalized and I like that. The school also has a ridiculous amount of resources for its students, at least within engineering. There is so much energy put into the well-being of the students that it always feels like you have a strong support network.

    Fight on!
    More about University of Southern California
  2. 2

    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    • Ann Arbor, MI
    • 3,751 reviews
    College Sophomore:Well I'm currently studying at the University of Michigan, which is known for its business and engineering programs. But I'm currently triple-majoring in Linguistics, Spanish, and Japanese. And I am constantly impressed by just how amazing our faculty is here. In almost every department, there is at least one professor that is a leading contributor in his/her field. I've taken several classes where the textbook that we use to structure the class was written by the professor him/herself.

    I personally have never attended another school, but I assume that this is very atypical for colleges. And it's something that I take pride in as a Wolverine. One of our slogans here is "the leaders and the best". Now I will admit that I can see the pride, and perhaps the arrogance as well, in this statement, but I find it to be quite fitting. I came to Michigan because it's a university taught by the best, for the best.
    More about University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  3. 3

    University of Georgia

    • Athens, GA
    • 4,748 reviews
    College Junior:UGA is a really nice school and the city of the Athens is the best. There are so many people your age around you, so it's really fun and since it's a big school, there's literally something for everyone. There's even a furry's club and a medieval sword fighting club. That's how diverse the school is!
    More about University of Georgia
  4. 4

    University of Texas - Austin

    • Austin, TX
    • 5,339 reviews
    College Sophomore:This university has it all. There are over 1000 clubs you can join so there is something for everyone if they want to get involved. There are such a wide range of majors that it's easy to find something that fits what you want to do. The professors are always so passionate about what they teach and you can tell they genuinely care about their students. They always make sure to explain things clearly and offer more than enough opportunities to reach them outside of class hours. The advisors on campus are life savers, I wouldn't have been able to navigate this far without their amazing help. This university really makes me feel like my needs are important instead of feeling like just another student out of 50,000. The people are friendly, the culture is fantastic, and the school is stellar. I couldn't see myself attending anywhere else.
    More about University of Texas - Austin
  5. 5

    University of Wisconsin

    • Madison, WI
    • 2,811 reviews
    College Sophomore:This was my dream school and I know by the atmosphere it's where I belong. There are so many interesting courses to take and areas to explore. Overall, it is a fantastic school.
    More about University of Wisconsin
  6. 6

    University of California - Los Angeles

    • Los Angeles, CA
    • 4,386 reviews
    College Sophomore:UCLA's historical reputation for research contributes to an extremely positive aura around the school. The job opportunities are many; and so is the alumni network.
    More about University of California - Los Angeles
  7. 7

    University of Virginia

    • Charlottesville, VA
    • 2,002 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely adore my school. There is not a day that goes by that I don't walk to class, finding new reasons to be grateful for choosing it. The combination of history, academics, athletics, social scene and opportunities is one that cannot be compared.
    More about University of Virginia
  8. 8

    Rice University

    • Houston, TX
    • 960 reviews
    College Sophomore:I'm incredibly happy with my decision to come to Rice. It's a small campus, so you'll have pretty small class sizes (max 150 for intro STEM classes, once you get past those its usually 15-40 people in a class) and personal relationships with your professors. It's pretty easy to make friends since you see a lot of familiar faces everywhere and you'll see a lot of the same people at events you're interested in (i.e. make sports friends at athletic events, party friends when you go out, school friends in classes- and a lot of these overlap). Rice academics very heavily favors the natural sciences, then social sciences, then humanities. That being said, there are still humanities majors at Rice, they just aren't as dominant as engineers or pre-meds. Students here really (really) care about doing well, so sometimes you'll get caught up in the "Rice bubble" where there's a lot of pressure to do everything (i.e. be involved in a ton of clubs, hold leadership positions, and get great grades), but as long as you learn to balance and keep thing in perspective you'll be fine. Professors aren't trying to fail you, students help each other, and it's a lot of fun. I would very highly recommend Rice, it's an amazing experience and I've learned so much.
    More about Rice University
  9. 9

    Stanford University

    • Stanford, CA
    • 1,083 reviews
    College Sophomore:Stanford is truly the most amazing place in the world. Before my freshman year I never felt like a really had a home, but I have finally found one at the Farm. The academics are amazing and the people are even better. While I wish that the financial aid was better I still stand by my decision to attend because the experience I am having is priceless.
    More about Stanford University
  10. 10

    Virginia Tech

    • Blacksburg, VA
    • 3,379 reviews
    College Sophomore:Virginia Tech may be one of the best decisions I've made in my life. The people I've met, the experiences I've had, and the environment in general is one that can't be beat. I gladly call Tech my home away from home, and when I'm not there I want to be there, when I am there, I don't want to leave. Tech has great academic programs, it's an easy place to make a ton of friends and have fun, a great place to live, and best of all it's been rated one of the most fit campuses in the states. Next to the fittest campus we're also rated number one for campus dining. In my opinion, it would be hard to find any other school that would make me as happy as Tech has.
    More about Virginia Tech
  11. 11

    University of Florida

    • Gainesville, FL
    • 6,629 reviews
    College Sophomore:The school offers plenty of chances for research, jobs, and diverse activities. The all around experience of UF generally great, and the name UF on you degree gives a person an edge up in the work field.
    More about University of Florida
  12. 12

    Michigan State University

    • East Lansing, MI
    • 4,856 reviews
    College Sophomore:Moving into my second semester as a sophomore, I couldn't be happier with the choice I made to come here. I have met so many amazing people, and the endless opportunities to thrive make me feel like I am cared about here. The faculty and staff treat students as equals and work hard to ensure they understand the material in order to be successful. This summer I have been given the opportunity to study abroad in Europe, and I couldn't be more excited. Michigan State is an all-around fabulous school; I would highly recommend taking a tour and learning more about this university if you have an interest in attending.
    More about Michigan State University
  13. 13
    College Junior:Everyone around me is passionate about some topic. It's inspiring to see what my classmates are up to, whether it's research or startups or personal projects. The atmosphere can be stressful, but the community is incredibly supportive if you reach out for help.
    More about Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  14. 14

    Penn State

    • University Park, PA
    • 6,133 reviews
    College Junior:Since I transferred from the University of Findlay, I have never been happier in my life. The atmosphere and curriculum is perfect for a college student.
    More about Penn State
  15. 15

    Ohio State University

    • Columbus, OH
    • 4,682 reviews
    College Sophomore:I cannot say enough good things about The Ohio State University. Everyone is so passionate about what they do, and I could not ask for a better place to complete my undergrad.
    More about Ohio State University
  16. 16
    College Sophomore:Chapel Hill is a great college town- it is especially fun during basketball season because the whole town is excited. While sports are always fun to go watch, there are plenty opportunities to get involved on campus in clubs and other things such as intermural sports.
    More about University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  17. 17

    Vanderbilt University

    • Nashville, TN
    • 1,154 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love Vandy even though it's super hard and my first year was really tough. The classes are really challenging but the social life and the people you meet here make up for it.
    More about Vanderbilt University
  18. 18
    College Junior:I personally enjoy my studies at the University of Illinois. I'm enjoying being independent and living on my own, and I also like the flexibility of choosing when my classes are.
    More about University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  19. 19

    University of Pennsylvania

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • 1,104 reviews
    College Junior:Very diverse undergraduate class socioeconomically and culturally. Penn's resources spanning across all 12 graduate schools are available to undergraduates, truly enhancing the learning experience. Great and friendly atmosphere. Great professors who challenge and engage with students.
    More about University of Pennsylvania
  20. 20

    Indiana University - Bloomington

    • Bloomington, IN
    • 4,027 reviews
    College Sophomore:As I said before, Indiana University to me seem to be the best fit for any college kid who are looking for a great opportunities in a future careers. I love the professors we have becuase they are welling to work with us outside of class. A lot of people say "At big schools the professors do not know your name", while I feel like that is a myth. The professor I have had in the past all know my last name. They care about us as much as they care about themselves. I enjoy the nice clean rooms we have class at which motivates me to want to improve myself. I was always told in sports that if you look good you will play good. Same with learning. If it look clean and nice in the rooms, you will become clean and nice ready to learn something new.
    More about Indiana University - Bloomington
  21. 21

    Washington University in St. Louis

    • Saint Louis, MO
    • 1,319 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love everything about Wash U. The location is amazing, STL has so much to offer. Everyone around is so driven, smart, and kind. The campus, dorms, and food are great. The classes are awesome with exceptional teachers. It can get stressful, but it is so worth it.
    More about Washington University in St. Louis
  22. 22

    Yale University

    • New Haven, CT
    • 911 reviews
    College Junior:I absolutely love attending Yale University. I feel that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am entering my third year in the fall and couldn't imagine being anywhere else. What drew me to Yale was the close knit community and the welcoming and inclusive social space. I have friends from all walks of life and love to interact with people form all different backgrounds. I truly feel that I have grown as an individual as I have become equipped with the vocabulary to express eloquently just who I am and where I stand on certain issues to my peers.
    More about Yale University
  23. 23

    Tulane University

    • New Orleans, LA
    • 1,420 reviews
    College Sophomore:I have loved going to school at Tulane University. It has allowed me to become a part of many different cultures due to the range of different types of students that attend. I have learned how to love people despite their differences. Most of the people that I go to school with are different than me, so I have learned about others. By being around people that are different from myself, I have also learned about myself.
    More about Tulane University
  24. 24

    University of California - Santa Barbara

    • Santa Barbara, CA
    • 4,044 reviews
    College Sophomore:I absolutely love UCSB. I know I'm a little biased but I think the atmosphere is amazing and the people there are incredibly easy-going. The beach is ridiculously close and I met my boyfriend here :)
    More about University of California - Santa Barbara
  25. 25

    University of Miami

    • Coral Gables, FL
    • 2,583 reviews
    College Sophomore:Beautiful weather, awesome academics, gorgeous and diverse student body, always something fun to do (whether you party or not). Who wouldn't love to live in Miami?
    More about University of Miami