• 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.


    Harvard College

    Cambridge, MA
    • $40,418 Tuition
    • 1500 Avg SAT
    • 6,694 Enrolled

    Bully to those who get the chance to be a part of the “dynamic universe” that is Harvard College, who find themselves in an “amazing irresistible hell” that pushes them to the extremes of their intellect and ability. Unsurprisingly, the legendarily ...

    Cornell University

    Ithaca, NY
    • 1420 Avg SAT
    • 14,453 Enrolled

    The westernmost of the Ivies, Cornell University provides its students with a prestigious education, paired with “an unwavering commitment to leave a positive impact on the world.” The school is “more than a bunch of books and exams—it’s an ...

    Brown University

    Providence, RI
    • $46,408 Tuition
    • 1440 Avg SAT
    • 6,548 Enrolled

    Known for its somewhat unconventional (but still highly regarded) approaches to life and learning, Brown University remains the slightly odd man out of the Ivy League, and the school wouldn’t have it any other way. The school’s willingness to employ ...

    Boston University

    Boston, MA
    • $45,686 Tuition
    • 1300 Avg SAT
    • 18,017 Enrolled

    From the School: Is Boston University the right place for you? At BU, you'll be taught by Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel Laureates, Fulbright Scholars, and MacArthur Fellows. With an average class size of 28 students and a faculty-to-student ...

    New York University

    New York, NY
    • $43,746 Tuition
    • 1340 Avg SAT
    • 24,985 Enrolled

    From the School: NYU is the largest private research university in America, yet retains a close-knit community that combines the intellectual atmosphere of a smallto medium-sized college with the myriad cultural offerings and research ...

    Princeton University

    Princeton, NJ
    • $40,170 Tuition
    • 1500 Avg SAT
    • 5,391 Enrolled

    From the School: Princeton combines the strengths of a major research university with the qualities of an outstanding liberal arts college. The University prepares its 5,100 undergraduates for lives of leadership and service. ...

    Boston College

    Chestnut Hill, MA
    • $46,670 Tuition
    • 1360 Avg SAT
    • 9,154 Enrolled

    Boston College, a small Jesuit school on the outskirts of Boston, “is all about educating the person as a whole.” Its strong core curriculum ensures all students receive a “well-rounded” liberal arts education regardless of their chosen major. ...

    Yale University

    New Haven, CT
    • $44,000 Tuition
    • 1500 Avg SAT
    • 5,438 Enrolled

    Listening to Yale students wax rhapsodic about their school, one can be forgiven for wondering whether they aren’t actually describing the platonic form of the university. By their own account, students here benefit not only from “amazing academics ...

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse, NY
    • $40,380 Tuition
    • 1160 Avg SAT
    • 15,224 Enrolled

    The school spirit is definitely palpable the minute you set foot onto Syracuse's campus. Indeed, it's highly evident that "everyone here bleeds orange." Frankly; it's no surprise that 'Cuse undergrads truly love their school. The ...

    Northeastern University

    Boston, MA
    • $40,780 Tuition
    • 1390 Avg SAT
    • 17,107 Enrolled

    From the School: Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in worldwide experiential learning, urban engagement, and interdisciplinary research that ...

    Georgetown University

    Washington, DC
    • 1420 Avg SAT
    • 7,595 Enrolled

    This moderately sized elite academic establishment stays true to its Jesuit foundations by educating its students with the idea of “cura personalis,” or “care for the whole person.” The “well-informed” student body perpetuates upon itself, creating ...

    Pennsylvania State University--University Park

    University Park, PA
    • $29,522 Tuition
    • 1180 Avg SAT
    • 40,085 Enrolled

    Immense “pride and a sense of community” pervade every aspect of life at Penn State. Students love the remarkable “school spirit” and “strong family feel” on this vibrant campus, and they are equally proud of the “quality education” they receive. An ...

    Columbia University

    New York, NY
    • $46,846 Tuition
    • 1480 Avg SAT
    • 6,084 Enrolled

    At Columbia, you are in a “fantastic city” where “everyone loves learning.” “Columbia should be considered by students who are willing to develop a breadth of knowledge before specializing, as it actively encourages intellectualism and academic ...

    American University

    Washington, DC
    • $41,316 Tuition
    • 1260 Avg SAT
    • 7,341 Enrolled

    From the School: Founded in 1893, American University's 84-acre campus is located in the residential "Embassy Row" neighborhood in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. Nestled among embassies and ambassadorial residences, AU's campus ...

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia, PA
    • $40,594 Tuition
    • 1440 Avg SAT
    • 9,682 Enrolled

    At the University of Pennsylvania, students share an intellectual curiosity and top-notch resources but don’t “buy into the stigma of being an Ivy League school.” Students here are “very passionate about what they do outside the classroom” and the ...

    The George Washington University

    Washington, DC
    • $46,645 Tuition
    • 1300 Avg SAT
    • 10,406 Enrolled

    Get ready for “hands-on learning in an environment unlike any other” at George Washington University, where a location “four blocks away from the White House, down the street from the State Department, and near nearly all world headquarters” means ...

    Dartmouth College

    Hanover, NH
    • $46,764 Tuition
    • 1460 Avg SAT
    • 4,193 Enrolled

    Tucked away in bucolic New Hampshire, Dartmouth College manages to strike a nice “balance between the intimacy of a college [and] the opportunity of a university.” Students feel fortunate that the administration places an “emphasis on pursuing ...

    Tufts University

    Medford, MA
    • $47,596 Tuition
    • 1440 Avg SAT
    • 5,225 Enrolled

    The campus culture at Tufts University in Massachusetts is “thriving and alive,” and as such it really encourages students to merge their academic and social interests and “pursue both in a passionate way.” This is a place where, through ...

    Villanova University

    Villanova, PA
    • $45,376 Tuition
    • 1310 Avg SAT
    • 7,118 Enrolled

    Known for being a basketball powerhouse, Villanova University (located in Pennsylvania) has developed an equally impressive reputation for academics. The school’s admissions standards have continued to rise, and there is a “great support system” in ...

    Colgate University

    Hamilton, NY
    • $47,855 Tuition
    • 1360 Avg SAT
    • 2,890 Enrolled

    Colgate University is known for its “very rigorous academic curriculum” and “invaluable” professors who “are the glue that hold the university together.” Many students say they chose Colgate because they wanted “a small liberal arts school that had ...


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