America’s 50 Most Underrated Colleges: These Incredible Colleges Are Often Overlooked On National Ranking Lists

underrated universities

What makes a college worth attending? There are many things, and each student is looking for something different in their college experience. One of the problems with lists that rank colleges as a whole and not on their individual areas of excellence is that some colleges are always underrepresented. This list aims to correct that. None of the colleges on this list are Ivy League institutions, but they all are able to say that they’re outperforming Ivy League colleges in some areas.

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Of course, some college statistics prove that various colleges are leading in some ways. Graduate employment rates, graduation rates, credentials of the professors and financial aid opportunities are always strong indicators of an amazing college. Therefore, this list selects colleges that have all of those things but which usually miss out on the top rankings due to the name recognition of colleges like Harvard or Stanford.

The truth about college in the present day is that there are more variety and opportunity than ever before. It’s just that with traditional college rankings, those diverse colleges that are more suitable to a certain kind of student struggle to stand out. But not on this list. Instead, the colleges that usually get overlooked are shown as the fantastic places they truly are.

Every single college on this list has managed to achieve something remarkable. Each college has its own unique offering that means that some students, who aren’t suitable for the most oversubscribed colleges, will find them to be perfect. But it could be that none of the colleges on this list is the right choice for you. Luckily, this list can still be a vital resource in your college search. Each entry has a detailed summary that explains why the college is underrated. These have been included so that you can find similarities with your own college options.


The first step in researching this article was to find several popular lists of the best colleges in America. Then we disqualified any college that appears in the top 50 of any of those lists.

After this, we started researching other colleges that have strong graduation rates, generous financial aid opportunities, incredible professors and wide-ranging graduate prospects. Lastly, we looked for the things that make them stand out that could feasibly make them more desirable for potential students than any of the top colleges on the popular top college lists.

The colleges that made it into the final ranking came from lists that rank colleges just by one statistic, such as graduation rates, graduate employability, professor quality, and financial aid.

Our full list of sources is as follows:

College selection lists:

Lists where the top 50 entries were disqualified:

The final rankings are judged by the following criteria: innovative practices at the college, graduation rates, professor quality, graduate employment rates, and financial aid rates.

Our list, from 50 to one, is as follows:

50. University of Massachusetts, Boston

Boston, Massachusetts


The Boston metropolitan area is filled with incredible colleges to attend. University of Massachusetts, Boston often gets overlooked, but it has many advantages for the right student. The college is home to over 50 interdisciplinary research institutes and centers that allow students to conduct research with faculty on a wide range of topics. In fact, in the 2019 fiscal year, these institutes and centers were able to gain $50.3 million in funding. Times Higher Education states that University of Massachusetts, Boston is one of the 250 best colleges in the world for graduate employment. However, the graduation rate needs improvement. The college’s six year graduation rate is 48%, according to College Navigator.

49. University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona


Perhaps the best indicator of University of Arizona’s respect in the world is the fact that NASA has been a long time partner with the college. In fact, the college has been heavily involved with every single planetary mission that NASA has been involved in. This incredible association is part of the reason why Niche names University of Arizona as having the 67th best college professors in America. The only downside to University of Arizona is that its graduation rates need improvement. At present, College Navigator notes that its six year graduation rate is 64%.

48. Stetson University

Deland Campus, Florida


The alumni of Stetson University have gone on to have long and successful careers. Some roles they have taken on are commissioner for Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, the presidential envoy for hostage affairs in the US government, CEO and president of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, senior advisor for science and technology policy at The Center for Study of Presidency and Congress and much more. Niche names Stetson University as having the 86th best professors of any US college. The four year graduation rate at the college is 54%, and the six year graduation rate is 61% according to College Navigator.

47. University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming


Thanks to the low costs and generous financial aid opportunities of University of Wyoming, over 55% of the college’s students graduate with absolutely no debt whatsoever. Wyoming residents really benefit from the college’s scholarship opportunities. In fact, any Wyoming student who graduates from high school with a GPA of 3.40, an ACT of 31 or an SAT score of 1390 or more gets a scholarship of $6,500. Wyoming students with lower scores are still eligible for smaller scholarships. The college’s affordability does not mean that the quality is anything other than first class. In fact, Niche notes that University of Wyoming has the 62nd best professors of any US college. The college’s six year graduation rate is 57% according to College Navigator.

46. Washington State University

Pullman, Washington


The key to Washington State University’s success lies in its professors. The faculty members at this college are among the finest in America, ranking as the 36th best on Niche’s best professors list. Thanks to their teaching and work in their fields, the college was able to gain $360.5 million dollars in research funding in the 2018 financial year. The college also provides a similar figure when it comes to supporting students who need financial assistance. In fact, it delivered $380 million in financial aid and scholarships in 2017. The college’s six year graduation rate is 59% according to College Navigator.

45. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, Michigan


The leadership team at Michigan Technological University is proud of many things. But perhaps the most impressive achievement is that their education leads to their graduates having the ninth highest early career salaries in the country, with a median of $66,400 per year. This strong starting salary is due to a number of reasons, but perhaps the most prominent is the quality of Michigan Technological University’s professors, which Niche considers to be the 59th best of any American college. The only downside to the college is the fact that the six year graduation rate is a little low compared to many colleges on this list, at 68% according to College Navigator. 

44. University of California, San Francisco

San Francisco, California


Anyone who wants to study the health sciences would benefit from studying at University of California, San Francisco. The college’s education is dedicated entirely to this field, and it attracts some of the best health experts because of this. In fact, five Nobel Laureates are faculty members of the college. The college is also responsible for some of the world’s most important medical discoveries, such as identifying the AIDS virus and ways in which to treat and prevent it. Times Higher Education considers University of California, San Francisco one of the world’s 200 best colleges for graduate employability.

43. Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, Illinois


In October 2019, Illinois Institute of Technology received a major endorsement from Chicago leaders in the form of a financial donation. They gave the college $150 million so that the institution could continue driving Chicago’s tech industry. The faculty members and alumni of the college have been associated with many important inventions and innovations, such as the cell phone, magnetic recording, tall building architecture and the barcode. Niche also notes that the current professors at Illinois Institute of Technology are the 96th best in America. College Navigator notes that the college’s six year graduation rate is 72%.

42. University of Oregon

Eugene, Oregon


The faculty members at University of Oregon have been attracted to the college because it encourages them to spend as much time learning as teaching. Thanks to this approach, students are able to learn from some of the very best professors who are in the right mindset to teach truly groundbreaking concepts. Faculty members at the college include a Nobel Prize winner, a MacArthur fellow, two National Medal of Science recipients, three Pulitzer Prize winners and many more distinguished people. Niche states that the professors at University of Oregon are the 72nd best in America. College Navigator notes that the college’s four year graduation rate needs improvement, standing at 53%. But the six year graduation rate is strong, at 73%.

41. Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York


The faculty members of Stony Brook University have collectively invented more than 2,300 different things. They also hold over 700 US patents. New York State residents are able to access this incredible faculty for just $7,070 in tuition per year. Out-of-state students pay $25,552 dollars in tuition per year. Times Higher Education states that Stony Brook University graduates are some of the most employable on the planet. College Navigator notes that the college’s four year graduation rate is 55%. Yet the six year graduation rate of 74% is great.

40. The University of Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma


94% of the students who attend The University of Tulsa receive financial assistance. And every student, no matter their background, is able to become heavily involved in important research and learning opportunities in their field of study. In fact, the college involves its “youngest students in advanced research and faculty mentorship.” And students can be sure that these faculty mentors are some of the best teachers in the country, as Niche names the college’s professors the 78th best in America. The college’s four year graduation rate could use improvement, as it currently sits at 54% according to College Navigator. Luckily, the six year graduation rate is much better at 74%.

39. Reed College

Portland, Oregon


The average financial aid given to Reed College students is $45,050 per year, which goes a long way towards paying for its $52,150 of tuition, according to Student Loan Hero. The four year graduation rate at this college is a strong 68%, according to College Navigator. Another reason why Reed College is so underrated is that it offers students incredibly small student to faculty ratios. There are 10 students to every faculty member, meaning that many of the classes are small, which allows professors to really engage with students on an individual level. Niche names its professors as being the 52nd best in the entirety of the USA.

38. The College of Wooster

Wooster, Ohio


The primary innovation of the education at The College of Wooster is that every single student works one on one with a faculty member on either one or two research projects. This ensures that the students have work experience that is valuable to employers. And this research is sure to be useful to the students, as the professors at The College of Wooster are the 98th best in the country according to Niche. The graduation rates of students are strong, at 72% for students four years after enrollment and 75% for students six years after enrollment according to College Navigator.

37. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts


At present, University of Massachusetts, Amherst ranks at 59th on QS/Top Universities’s top colleges list and much lower on the other lists. But the college has invested heavily in its infrastructure in the last 10 years, building 2.6 million square feet of new facilities. As the college utilizes this new space to its fullest extent, it’s likely that the methodology lists will rank the college higher in the future. Additionally, Niche names University of Massachusetts, Amherst’s professors as being the 97th best in America. College Navigator notes that the college’s four year graduation rate is 71% and the six year graduation rate is 80%.

36. Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, Missouri


In the fiscal year of 2017, $185.8 million of financial aid was offered to students at Saint Louis University. And the vast majority of students who attended the college were able to access this money. In fact, 97% of freshmen received financial aid. If this weren’t good enough, the college has a faculty to student ratio of nine to one. Niche considers the college to have the 95th best professors in America. College Navigator notes that Saint Louis University has a 69% four year graduation rate and a 77% six year graduation rate.

35. Indiana University, Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana


Students who attend Indiana University, Bloomington are able to “Study and work with faculty across disciplines.” And the faculty members that students interact with are sure to inspire and challenge them, as Niche names the college’s professors the 69th best in America. College Navigator also notes that while the four year graduation rate of the entire Indiana University system is good at 64%, the six year graduation rate is great at 78%. And the leaders at the college have extensively planned how to improve all aspects of the institution. In fact, their strategic plan covers the next 100 years.

34. Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, Florida


The general best college lists are quick to write Florida Institute of Technology off. Forbes names it America’s 372 best college. But Times Higher Education reveals that it produces some of the world’s most employable graduates. College Navigator, however, notes that its four year graduation rate is low, at 50%. However, the six year graduation rate is better, at 60%. Also, Florida Institute of Technology’s reputation is improving. In fact, in 2019, the college officially became one of Colleges of Distinction’s top American colleges for the first time ever.

33. Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania


100% of the students who enroll into Messiah College are eligible for financial aid. The average aid package for first year students is $23,683. This aid gives students further opportunities to enhance their learning experiences. For instance, 90% of students are able to study or serve abroad as part of their education. But perhaps the best sign of the college going out of its way to help students succeed is the fact that 100% of students are either employed or in further education six to nine months after graduating. College Navigator also notes that 74% of students graduate within four years of enrollment.

32. Emerson College

Boston, Massachusetts


The graduates of Emerson College are to be found in “theaters, newsrooms, movie sets, comedy clubs, and digital media platforms worldwide.” The college has three campuses, one in Boston, one in Los Angeles and another in The Netherlands. All of these campuses teach students about the communications industries in their own unique way. The primary campus is based in Boston, but students have the opportunity to spend a semester in the other campuses in Hollywood and/or Kasteel Well. 75% of students graduate from Emerson College within four years of study, according to College Navigator.

31. Sarah Lawrence College

Bronxville, New York


The award winning faculty members of Sarah Lawrence College spend more one-on-one time with students than any other faculty in the USA. And these faculty members have some incredible achievements to their names. For instance, Afaa Weaver won the 2019 Art and Literature Medal from the Chinese Writers’ and Artists’ Association; Joan Silber’s book, Improvement, was one of The New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of 2018, and it also won the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Alumni include the director and screenwriter J.J. Abrams, fashion designer Vera Wang and congressman Rahm Emanuel. 63% of students graduate from Sarah Lawrence College within four years of study, according to College Navigator.

30. Rutgers University

New Brunswick, New Jersey


According to Times Higher Education, Rutgers University is the 125th best college for finding a job after graduation in the entire world. College Navigator notes that while the college’s four year graduation rate is 61%, the six year graduation rate is 80%. Rutgers University’s faculty members are also some of the best in the entire world, with MacArthur “genius” fellows, Pulitzer Prize winners, and Guggenheim fellows currently teaching students. If that weren’t good enough, then tuition at the college is some of the most affordable in the United States. On average, an in-state student pays $11,886 per year, and an out-of-state student pays $28,194 per year.

29. University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California


The professors at University of San Francisco help students with their study “every step of the way.” They do this in many ways, such as by allowing students to assist with their research, asking challenging questions and teaching in small classes as opposed to large lecture halls filled with hundreds of students. Additional support comes from the college’s alumni mentor program, which helps current students launch their careers with the help of former students. 66% of University of San Francisco students graduate four years after enrollment, according to College Navigator.

28. Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland


52% of the faculty members at Loyola University Maryland are female, and 21% of the faculty members are of color. This faculty make up is similar to the undergraduate demographics of the college, which are 58% female and 23% of color. Almost all of the students who enroll into Loyola University Maryland go on to have exceptional careers. In fact, alumni salaries are 30% higher than predicted at a mid career point. College Navigator notes that 76% of students enrolled in the college graduate within four years.

27. Wofford College

Spartanburg, South Carolina


Thanks to Wofford College’s membership with the American Talent Initiative, the institution helps many prospective students from low and moderate income backgrounds pursue higher education. Partly due to this initiative, 94.5% of the student population accesses some of the $67 million in financial aid that the college allocates. And once the students are enrolled, then there’s a strong chance that they will stay in study until graduation. College Navigator notes that 77% of students who enter Wofford College graduate within four years.

26. Stonehill College

Easton, Massachusetts


84% of the graduates of Stonehill College are employed in an occupation that is related to their career goals, and 82% state that they are satisfied with these careers. Additionally, 98% of the enrolled students are able to access some of the $74 million in financial aid that the college gives out every single year. And on top of this, Stonehill College’s graduation rates are very strong, with 75% of students graduating within four years of enrollment, according to College Navigator.

25. Elon University

Elon, North Carolina


Students who want to participate in international study while being based in an American college have no better choice than Elon University. For 15 years in a row, the Institute for International Education has named the college the number one doctoral educational institution in the USA for studying abroad. 78% of students at the college study abroad during their years at the college. What’s really impressive about Elon University’s study abroad programs is that the college has made them a seamless part of its education, meaning that students do not usually have to take extra years to graduate. 78% of students graduate within four years of enrollment according to College Navigator.

24. Gustavus Adolphus College

Saint Peter, Minnesota


Over 70% of the students enrolled into Gustavus Adolphus College are able to access more than $50 million of grant and scholarship money. And this financial assistance is invested wisely, as the college’s students enjoy a 76% four year graduation rate according to College Navigator. On top of this, Gustavus Adolphus College students are able to gain strong careers soon after graduating. Graduates of the class of 2019 have already managed to gain jobs such as being a registered associate at Morgan Stanley and being an associate software developer at Protolabs.

23. Rhodes College

Memphis, Tennessee


The average class size at Rhodes College is just 14 students. This allows the faculty members to teach students on a personal level. In fact, the student to faculty ratio is just 10 to one. Because of this, 82% of students are able to graduate from the college in just four years, according to College Navigator. Alumni from the college have a strong track record of finding employment, no matter their industry. For instance, Olivia Gacka graduated in 2017 and was recently the assistant director for a theatrical production of Mamma Mia! Karen Dobyns graduated in 2005 and is an occupational therapist and children’s author. And Christy Weir Krueger graduated in 1985 and is the chief financial officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

22. Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut


The alumni of Fairfield University have gone on to great things. For instance, Danielle Tullo only graduated in 2015, and she is already the senior lifestyle editor for House Beautiful. Other alumni have gone on to become the global vice chair of talent at Ernst & Young, a television chef/personality, the executive vice president of the New York Life Insurance Company, the Executive Vice President at Harvard University, the CEO of L.L Bean and much more. 78% of Fairfield University students go on to graduate within four years of enrollment, according to College Navigator.

21. Trinity University

San Antonio, Texas


Since Trinity University’s foundation, its guiding principle has been to turn challenge into opportunity. It does this by giving students plenty of time to engage with faculty members. In fact, the college has an incredibly low student to faculty ratio of nine to one. And 97% of the college’s faculty members have PhDs. In fact, Niche considers Trinity University’s professors to be 91st best in the country. And College Navigator reports that graduation rates are strong, standing at 65% a four years after enrollment and 76% at six years after enrollment.

20. Clark University

Worcester, Massachusetts


College Navigator reports that Clark University has incredibly strong graduation rates. The four year rate is 71%, and the six year graduation rate is 77%. On top of this, Niche notes that the professors at the college are the 90th best in America. Clark University allows its faculty members to pursue their intellectual curiosity “wherever it leads.” This approach has allowed faculty to win the Nobel Prize, The MacArthur Fellowship, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellowship and much more.

19. Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia


The main campus of Virginia Tech is incredibly impressive, with 213 buildings spread across 2,600 acres. It even has its own airport! And the college has many impressive sites off of its main campus, such as a 1,800 acre agriculture research farm and a Switzerland based study abroad location. But as well as world leading facilities, the college’s professors are some of the nation’s brightest, with Niche naming them the 64th best in America. The four year graduation rate of Virginia Tech is also strong, at 63%. But impressively, the six year graduation rate is over 20 points higher at 84%, according to College Navigator.

18. Southern Methodist University

Dallas, Texas


Not only are the professors at Southern Methodist University some of the smartest in America, ranking as the 42nd best on Niche’s top professors list, but students also have ample opportunities to interact with them. The student to faculty ratio at the college is low at 11 to one. Because of this close level of interaction with an amazing faculty, Southern Methodist University’s four year graduation rate is strong at 68%, according to College Navigator. The six year graduation rate is 78%.

17. George Washington University

Washington, DC


College Navigator states that 74% of students who enroll into George Washington University manage to graduate within four years of enrollment. This rises to 82% by six years of enrollment. It’s also Times Higher Education’s 136th best college in the world for graduate employment. There are many reasons why George Washington University is an amazing college to attend, but perhaps the best reason is that Washington DC is the college’s “classroom, and our students emerge not just with a diploma but with experiences that could only happen at GW.”

16. Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah


None of the national ranking lists consulted in this article place Brigham Young University in the top 50 colleges in America. Its highest ranking is 77th on US News’s list. But on a global scale, Times Higher Education states that the college’s graduates are the 54th most employable. But what makes this strong employment ranking even more impressive is the fact Brigham Young University has an incredibly large student body to teach. In fact, it has the “largest undergraduate enrollment of any private university in the US” at 33,633 individuals. Students who thrive in large communities may find that Brigham Young University is their best possible choice. The college’s six year graduation rate is 86% according to College Navigator.

15. Providence College

Providence, Rhode Island


The Global Studies Program at Providence College, which teaches students about internationalization, was the primary reason why Providence College won the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award. It won this award because its education proactively encourages students to create positive changes in the world, no matter what career paths they eventually choose. Additionally, 98% of the graduating students of 2017 were able to find employment or enroll into further education. College Navigator states that 83% of students who enroll into Providence College graduate within four years, and 86% graduate by six years.

14. Juniata College

Huntingdon, Pennsylvania


The support on hand at Juniata College is second to none. In fact, every single student who attends the college works closely with two academic advisers. Thanks to this approach, in just the last five years, students and graduates of Juniata have won 12 Fulbright fellowships, five Goldwater awards, two Amgen scholarships and eight Benjamin Gilman scholarships. Additionally, 90% of students find employment or enroll in graduate school within six months of graduation. Juniata College also enjoys a 74% four year graduation rate and an 79% six year graduation rate, according to College Navigator.

13. Wheaton College

Wheaton, Illinois


91% of Wheaton College’s class of 2017 was working or in further education within six months of graduation. And the graduates had landed good positions in some of the top companies in the world, such as Amazon, Bloomberg, USA Today, and Google. The college attributes its success to its Christian centered education. All aspects of the college’s academics are tied into this Christian approach. The college’s four year graduation rate is an impressive 77%. The six year graduation rate is an amazing 87%, according to College Navigator.

12. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massachusetts


Students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are encouraged to think as differently as possible. The college even states that “Even if an idea seems crazy, we’d love to hear it!” Many of the students who attend this college are trendsetters, and they are able to access all they could want to nurture their visions, such as skill-based workshops, solvathons, guidance, mentorship, competitions and more. And the college doesn’t confine these activities to its home town. In fact, it has over 50 global project centers located across six continents. The four year and six year graduation rates at the college are 82% and 87% respectively, according to College Navigator.

11. St. Lawrence University

Canton, New York


Graduates of St. Lawrence University’s class of 2019 have gone on to find employment at places like The Bank of America, IBM, Tory Burch and other leading organizations. Those who have gone on to further study have enrolled into colleges such as Cornell University, Georgetown University and University of Michigan. And many of the students who enroll into St. Lawrence University manage to complete their degree in as little time as possible, with the four year graduation rate being 76%, according to College Navigator.

10. Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo, Michigan


The New York Times education editor and Colleges That Change Lives publisher Loren Pope claimed that “At no Ivy institution are the students so deeply engaged, so broadly prepared, or so heavily invested in a sense of community as at Kalamazoo. In short, no Ivy school is likely to have as much impact on a youth’s development.” A large part of this community feel is based upon experiential education. In fact, 71% of students used the colleges’ Center for Career and Professional Development, and 70% of students participate in international and intercultural experiences during study. The four year graduation rate at Kalamazoo College is 72% according to College Navigator, although that rate fell to 69% in 2019.

9. Babson College

Babson Park, Massachusetts


US News doesn’t name Babson College as one of its top 50 colleges in America, but it does consider the college to be the best place to study entrepreneurship. It’s also a fantastic institution for graduate career building. In fact, from 2013 to 2018, over 500 employers engaged in on campus recruiting events at the college. Over this same space of time, the college gave out more than $195 million in grants and scholarships to its students. College Navigator also notes that Babson College has a four year graduation rate of 89% and a six year graduation rate of 91%.

8. Bentley University

Waltham, Massachusetts


Bentley University is primarily known as a business school. However, its education incorporates “technology and the arts and sciences,” which means that students can thrive in a variety of career settings. While Bentley doesn’t top any national university rankings, The Princeton Review does say that it excels in one area: internship placements. Thanks to this approach, 99% of the college graduates are in work or in further education within six months of graduation. The four year graduation rate at Bentley College is 82%, and the six year graduation rate is 89% according to College Navigator.

7. Webb Institute

Glen Cove, New York


Every student who enrolls into Webb Institute gets 100% of their tuition covered by a scholarship. It also has a number of scholarships that students can apply for to help pay for their room, board and living expenses. It only offers education in engineering, but the free education should mean that it appeals to anyone interested in this subject matter! It also manages to graduate 73% of its students within six years, according to College Navigator. Webb Institute is also located on an amazing campus. It sprawls over 26 acres and even has its own private beach. And if this weren’t good enough, then it’s just 25 miles east of Manhattan.

6. Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pennsylvania


Thanks to a strong alumni network, Muhlenberg College offers “four years of college, a lifetime of opportunities.” This network includes a career center that helps students find meaningful employment as early as a student’s first year, a mentor network of thousands of alumni who provide career coaching to current students, multiple pathways to internships and much more. And students who attend Muhlenberg College are almost certain to get to the point where they can use these career resources upon completion of their degree, as it has an 82% six year graduation rate according to College Navigator.

5. St. Olaf College

Northfield, Minnesota


Few colleges in America are as dedicated as St. Olaf College in getting students to learn outside of the classroom. For instance, students enrolled into the college’s Media and the Environment degree spend a whole semester producing videos for non-profits. This highly practical approach to education is really paying off for St. Olaf College Students. College Navigator notes that 86% of students graduate within six years. And the college’s practical emphasis has really helped these students with their education. In fact, 88% of alumni agree that out of classroom interactions with faculty “contributed to their personal growth, values and attitudes.”

4. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California


The education and feel of Santa Clara University are unique. That’s because it “blends high tech innovation with a social consciousness.” It does this by being based in the heart of Silicon Valley while teaching from a Jesuit perspective. Therefore, anyone who is both interested in technology and making the world a better place is perfectly suited to this institution! The college is also gaining in prominence, in US News’s rankings. In the most recent list, it placed at 54th, its highest ever ranking, making it just about eligible to be on this list. College Navigator also notes that Santa Clara University’s six year graduation rate is 91%.

3. Yeshiva University

New York City, New York


Almost all of the students who enroll into Yeshiva University go on to graduate. College Navigator notes that the college’s six year graduation rate is 83%. Niche also states that the college’s professors are the 46th best of any American college. The students and faculty are able to learn and teach in some of the finest facilities in New York City, such as the 223,000 square foot Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine/Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion.

2. Ithaca College

Ithaca, New York


Ithaca College shares the same home town as the much more famous Cornell University. However, while Ithaca College does not have the same prestige as Cornell University, it does have an amazing six year graduation rate, at 79%, according to College Navigator. Many of the college’s alumni have gone on to achieve incredible things. For instance, Christopher H. Toone graduated in 2013 and has since become an athletic trainer for the US Ski Team and the CEO of a nonprofit that is working to eradicate poverty.

1. University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, Virginia


Though University of Mary Washington doesn’t make the top 50 of any of the general best college lists, it has many things that make it an amazing place to study. For instance, the faculty at the college are some of the brightest in the country. In fact, eight University of Mary Washington faculty members have even won Fulbright Awards, and 86% of faculty members have a doctorate or an equivalent level of degree. One-third of students also take part in study abroad opportunities thanks to the college approving 147 programs in 51 countries. And if that weren’t good enough, then the college also gives out $41 million in financial assistance every year. College Navigator states that the college’s graduation rate is 66%.

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