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  • Select a region below to learn more about the schools we've chosen.

    Western Midwestern Southeastern Northeastern

    The Regions

    For our "2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region" website feature, we salute 648 colleges in four regions of the country—Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West—that we consider academically outstanding and well worth consideration in your college search.

    Several of our college choices are nationally known. Some have strong regional reputations. Others may be less familiar to you. Collectively, these fine schools represent an outstanding cross section of colleges. Though they differ in size, campus culture and other aspects, all offer excellent undergraduate programs. Many are also great buys.

    The Selection Process

    The colleges we choose each year have to meet two criteria. First, they must pass our reviews for academic excellence. We make those assessments based on data we collect in our administrator surveys and the opinions of our staff and of counselor advisors whose opinions we invite. Second, we have to be able to independently survey students attending the schools through our secure online survey. We greatly value what students report to us about their experiences at their colleges, just as you would take into account comments you learn from students on a campus visit. Only schools that permit us to survey their students are eligible for consideration for our regional "best" designations.

    Most importantly, we work to present a mix of colleges in our "Region by Region" lists: large and small, public and private, men's and women's colleges, historically black colleges and universities, science and technology-focused institutions and nontraditional colleges. Some are highly selective colleges while others have open-door admissions.

    So if location is important to you, we hope you'll find our "Region by Region" college picks helpful. But consider our information on these colleges as you should weigh information from any source: as a resource to help you form your own opinion. Think about our lists as a starting point to get a sense of your options at various schools. Then do your own research. Refer to other sources, visit the campuses and winnow your list of best colleges for you. Only then will this feature be the useful tool that we intended it to be.

    Note: we do not our rank the schools on our "Best Colleges: Region by Region" feature in any category (as we do for our annual Best Colleges guidebook, in which many of the colleges on our regional best lists also appear).

    All rankings, ratings and listings are intellectual property of TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC. No rankings, ratings or listings, or other proprietary information in this book may be repurposed, abridged, excerpted, combined with other data or altered for reproduction in any way without the express permission of TPR Education IP Holdings, LLC.