Top 20 Most Prestigious Public Colleges 2024 by US News & World Report

Top 20 Most Prestigious Public Colleges 2024 by US News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report has been criticized for previous ranking practices that benefited wealthy schools by giving weight to alumni donations and small class sizes. The new formula looks at graduation rates for students who received need-based Pell grants and whether graduates earned more than those who completed high school.

Many universities jumped spots higher than last year’s list for top best public universities, which the school credited to U.S. News & World Report’s change in methodology to increased weighting for schools that have more success in graduating students from different backgrounds.

KnowInsiders.com presents a comprehensive compilation of the Top 20 most esteemed public universities in the United States for the year 2024, showcasing several notable additions in comparison to the preceding year’s roster.

Public colleges and universities generally function under the oversight of state governments and receive financial support from a combination of tax revenue and state subsidies. Consequently, these institutions of higher education frequently provide reduced tuition rates to individuals who are residents of the respective states in which they are located. Public schools encompass a wide range of educational institutions, varying from small liberal arts colleges to expansive research-focused establishments.

Website: https://www.berkeley.edu/

Location: 110 Sproul Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $15,891/$48,465

Public university University of California, Berkeley was established in 1868. In the fall of 2022, it will have 32,831 undergraduate students enrolled in total, a city setting, and a 1,232-acre campus. The academic calendar is based on semesters. University of California, Berkeley is ranked 15th in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2024 edition. The cost of tuition and fees for in-state students is $15,891, while that for out-of-staters is $48,465.

The University of California, Berkeley, also known as Cal, is located with San Francisco Bay in the background. At Berkeley, at least 95% of incoming freshmen choose to live on campus. There are more than 1,000 student organizations, including everything from political organizations to a hang gliding club. Numerous fraternity and sorority chapters can be found in Berkeley, which also has a thriving Greek community. The Pac-12 Conference is home to Berkeley’s athletic teams, the California Golden Bears, who are renowned for their longstanding rivalry with Stanford University.

There are 14 schools and colleges in Berkeley, including a number of graduate and professional schools like the Graduate School of Journalism and the School of Optometry. The highly regarded Haas School of Business, Graduate School of Education, College of Engineering, and School of Law all offer additional graduate programs.

Berkeley is well known for being a hotbed of liberal student activism. In 1964, students at Berkeley staged the Free Speech Movement in response to the administration’s ban on political activity. Former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Earl Warren, Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley, and actor John Cho, best known for his work in the “Harold and Kumar” movies, are just a few notable alumni. Professor J. Robert Oppenheimer was involved in the Manhattan Project’s development of the atomic bomb as the project’s scientific director during World War II.

Website: https://www.ucla.edu/

Location: 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90095

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $46,326 (out-of-state) and $13,752 (in-state)

Public university University of California, Los Angeles was established in 1919. The campus is 419 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 32,423 (fall 2022), and is located in an urban area. It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The University of California, Los Angeles is ranked 15th in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2024 edition. Out-of-state tuition and fees are $46,326 while in-state costs $13,752.

UCLA includes the College of Letters and Sciences as well as a number of graduate schools and programs, including the highly regarded Anderson School of Management, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Law, and David Geffen School of Medicine. It is situated in the LA neighborhood of Westwood and is five miles from the Pacific Ocean. A distinguished School of Dentistry and a School of Theater, Film, and Television are both located at UCLA. One of the best hospitals in the nation is the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

The Southern California campus of UCLA is close to the coast and covers more than 400 acres. The residence halls are connected to the center of campus by the busy Bruin Walk. UCLA provides three years of housing for its students. More than 1,000 student organizations are available at the school, including media groups and more than 65 Greek chapters, which make up roughly 13% of the student body.

In the sports of basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo, UCLA fields both male and female teams. Baseball and football are two additional sports in which male athletes participate, while women can compete in beach volleyball, gymnastics, rowing, softball, swimming, and diving. The UCLA Bruins are well known for their water polo teams and are members of the NCAA Division I Pac-12 Conference.

Website: https://umich.edu/

Location: 500 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI, 48109

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $46,326 (out-of-state) $13,752 (in-state)

Public university University of Michigan—Ann Arbor was established in 1817. The campus spans 3,207 acres, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 32,695 (fall 2022), and is located in a city. It makes use of an academic calendar based on trimesters. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is ranked number 21 nationally in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. There are two tuition and fee rates: in-state is $17,786 and out-of-state is $57,273.

The university extols Ann Arbor as one of the top college towns in the country, despite being only 45 minutes from Detroit. Although housing is provided, freshmen are not required to live on campus. The school has 62 Greek chapters and more than 1,500 student organizations that students can join. At Michigan, sports are extremely important, and the football team’s fierce rivalry with Ohio State is just one example. In addition to the highly regarded School of Dentistry and Taubman College for Architecture and Urban Planning, Michigan offers a number of graduate programs that are ranked highly, including the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, College of Engineering, Law School, and Medical School. One of the best hospitals in the nation is the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers.

Website: https://www.unc.edu/

Location: 311 Henry Owl Building, CB#3350, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $39,338 (out-of-state)/$8,998 (in-state)

Public university University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was established in 1789. The campus is 729 acres in size, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 20,210 (fall 2022). The academic calendar is based on semesters. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is ranked #22 in National Universities in the Best Colleges 2024 edition. The cost of in-state tuition and fees is $8,998, while out-of-state costs are $39,338.

UNC, also known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provides a variety of student activities. The Daily Tarheel, the student newspaper at UNC, and WXYC, the student-run radio station, are two well-known student organizations. Almost 20% of students participate in Greek life. Chapel Hill, which encircles UNC and offers music, dining, and shopping, is frequently regarded as one of the best college towns in the nation. Nearly half of all undergraduates reside on campus in an apartment building or residence hall. The men’s basketball team of the North Carolina Tar Heels, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and one of the most successful programs in college basketball, has a long-standing rivalry with Duke University nearby. Michael Jordan and Vince Carter are two ex-players.

The College of Arts and Sciences for undergraduates is the largest of UNC’s many schools and colleges. The highly regarded Eshelman School of Pharmacy, School of Government, School of Education, School of Law, School of Medicine, Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Social Work, and School of Business all offer graduate programs. State law mandates that at least 82% of each freshman class must be from North Carolina. James K. Polk, the eleventh president of the United States, actor Rick Fox, a former professional basketball player, and John Edwards, a former senator from the United States, all graduated from UNC.

Website: https://www.virginia.edu/

Location: Charlottesville, VA, 22904

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $58,950 (out-of-state)/ $22,323 (in-state)

Public university University of Virginia was established in 1819. The campus is 1,682 acres in size, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 17,496 (fall 2022). The academic calendar is based on semesters. University of Virginia is ranked National Universities, in position 24, in the Best Colleges edition of 2024. Out-of-state tuition and fees are $58,950, while in-state costs $22,323.

The University of Virginia is situated in Charlottesville and was established by Thomas Jefferson. Insiders refer to it as The University or simply Mr. Jefferson’s University. Most upperclassmen live in off-campus apartments or fraternity and sorority houses because only first-year students are required to live on campus. At UVA, Greek life is very prominent, with about 35% of the student body participating. The NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference’s Cavaliers, also known as Wahoos or ‘Hoos, are well known for their consistently successful men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.

The top-ranked Darden Graduate School of Business, Curry School of Education, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Law, and School of Medicine are just a few of UVA’s graduate programs. A Dunlap Broadside, one of the 25 original Declaration of Independence copies still in existence, is kept by UVA in its Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. The campus is referred to as the “grounds,” the central quad is the “lawn,” and students are either in their first, second, third, or fourth year, according to the school’s unique slang. Edward Kennedy, a former senator from the United States, journalist Katie Couric, and Tiki Barber, a former NFL player, are all UVA graduates. Edgar Allen Poe, a famous author, was forced to leave the school after losing his tuition money gambling, but his lawn dorm is still preserved and open to the public.

Website: https://www.ucdavis.edu/

Location: 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $46,043 (out-of-state)/ $15,266 (in-state)

U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best colleges in the country shows that the University of California, Davis is rising. On the list of public universities by U.S. News & World Report, the university is ranked sixth overall and tied for 28th among all national universities for 2024. The new rankings, according to university spokeswoman Julia Ann Easley, now reflect a “greater emphasis put on student outcomes.” Overall, the public university rankings for this year were favorable for California’s UC system.

Public university University of California, Davis was established in 1905. 31,532 undergraduate students are enrolled there overall (fall 2022), and the campus is 5,300 acres in size. It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The University of California, Davis is ranked #28 in National Universities in the Best Colleges edition of 2024. Out-of-state tuition and fees are $46,043 compared to in-state tuition and fees of $15,266.

One of the ten institutions in the University of California system, the University of California, Davis, was first founded as a farm school for UC Berkeley. The campus of UC Davis is home to an airport, a fire department, and a collection of outdoor sculptures known as Eggheads. Sacramento is only 15 miles away. On campus, in addition to a sizable Greek community made up of about 65 fraternity and sorority chapters, there are more than 700 student organizations. After their first year, students typically move off campus or live in university apartments, though all freshmen are guaranteed housing. 25 NCAA Division I teams compete for the UC Davis Aggies, and students can join the Aggie Pack, the biggest student organization in the nation.

Within its undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools and colleges, UC Davis provides a broad range of academic options. The highly regarded Graduate School of Management, School of Law, School of Medicine, College of Engineering, and School of Veterinary Medicine are among the graduate programs offered by the institution. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and the School of Education are two additional noteworthy programs. The College of Letters and Science, the College of Engineering, the College of Biological Sciences, or the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences are all options for undergraduate study. The 100 acres of gardens that make up the UC Davis Arboretum, which is technically a public park, extend along a waterway.

Website: https://www.ucsd.edu/

Location: 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA, 92093

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $48,630 (out-of-state)/ $16,056 (in-state)

Founded in 1960, the University of California, San Diego is a public university. 33,096 undergraduate students are enrolled in total (fall 2022), the campus is 1,976 acres in size, and the location is urban. It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The University of California, San Diego is ranked #28 in National Universities in the Best Colleges edition of 2024. The cost of in-state tuition and fees is $16,056, while out-of-state costs are $48,630.

In the San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla, close to the Pacific Ocean, is the University of California, San Diego. More than 20 NCAA Division II sports, mostly in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, are played by the UCSD Tritons. The university is home to a thriving Greek community, and the school has hundreds of student organizations. All first-year students are eligible for two years of guaranteed on-campus housing, but they are not required to do so. The campus is home to an aquarium and the Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table, which evaluates buildings’ resilience to earthquake simulations.

UCSD has five academic divisions, five graduate and professional schools, and six undergraduate colleges. Both the Jacobs School of Engineering and the School of Medicine are highly regarded. The Sun God Festival, which debuted in the 1980s and features carnival games, student booths, vendors, and concerts by well-known musicians, is one UCSD tradition. The International House at UCSD, where about 350 students from more than 30 nations live and study together, is another highlight of the university. Some notable UCSD graduates include Guy “Bud” Tribble and Bill Atkinson, who worked on the first Apple Macintosh computer, as well as Mike Judge, an actor, writer, director, and producer who produced the movies “Office Space” and “King of the Hill.”

Website: https://www.ufl.edu/

Location: 201 Criser Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $28,658 (out-of-state)/ $6,381 (in-state)

Public university University of Florida was established in 1853. There are 34,552 undergraduate students enrolled in total (fall 2022), the campus is 2,000 acres in size, and the location is a city. The academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Florida is ranked #28 nationally in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. $6,381 is the in-state tuition and fees, and $28,658 is the out-of-state tuition and fees.

Due to the university’s more than 50,000 students, Gainesville, a college town, is only two miles from the university. The alligator mascots Albert and Alberta cheer on the Florida Gators sports teams as they compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference. Particularly infamous is the Gator football team, which plays in the venue known as “The Swamp” or Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. After freshmen Gators took part in an experiment with the new beverage in 1965, the group came to serve as the inspiration for the well-known sports drink Gatorade. Every Homecoming weekend, the Gator Growl is billed as the biggest student-run pep rally in the country. The more than 60 fraternities and sororities at the school represent about 15% of the student body. Although it is not required for freshmen to live on campus, more than 75% choose to. Every Friday, Gator Nights, which provide free late-night entertainment and midnight snacks, are open to all students.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, Warrington College of Business, Levin College of Law, and College of Medicine at this institution all offer highly regarded graduate programs. The retirement community Oak Hammock, where students can work, complete internships, and find mentors, is also integrated with the university. Bob Vila, the star of the home improvement television show, Steve Spurrier, the winner of the Heisman Trophy, and the late Sens. Bob Graham and Connie Mack are all notable University of Florida alums.

Website: https://www.utexas.edu/

Location: Austin, TX, 78705

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $41,070 (out-of-state)/$11,698 (in-state)

Public university University of Texas at Austin was established in 1883. It is located in an urban environment, has a 431-acre campus, and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 41,309 (fall 2022). The academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Texas at Austin is ranked third in National Universities in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. The cost of in-state tuition and fees is $11,698, while out-of-state costs are $41,070.

One of the biggest universities in the country is the University of Texas at Austin. There are 13 schools and colleges within it, with the College of Liberal Arts being the largest. Additionally, the McCombs School of Business, Cockrell School of Engineering, and School of Nursing are among its highly regarded graduate programs. More than 1,000 clubs and organizations as well as the extensive UT Greek system are open to students. The university is home to a number of student-run media outlets, and the Big 12 Conference’s Division I sports teams are well-known for their fierce competition. UT also provides hundreds of study abroad opportunities, with Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and China ranking as the top five most popular countries. New students are not required to live on campus.

Website: https://admission.gatech.edu/

Location: 225 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA, 30332

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $32,876 (out-of-state)/$11,764 (in-state)

Founded in 1885, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a public university. There are 18,415 undergraduate students enrolled in total (fall 2022), the campus is 400 acres in size, and the location is urban. The academic calendar is based on semesters. The Georgia Institute of Technology is ranked number 33 nationally in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. The cost of tuition and fees for in-state students is $11,764, while that for out-of-staters is $32,876.

A variety of student activities are available at Georgia Tech, which is situated in the center of Atlanta. An NCAA Division I team, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference and are bitter rivals with the University of Georgia. Since 1961, the Ramblin’ Wreck, a 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe that has undergone restoration, has led the football team onto the field before home games. There is a small but active Greek community at Georgia Tech. While housing is made available to freshmen, it is not mandatory for them to do so. Georgia Tech has campuses in France, Ireland, Costa Rica, Singapore, and China in addition to its campuses in Atlanta and Savannah.

There are six colleges at Georgia Tech. The College of Engineering and Scheller College of Business are two of its top graduate institutions. Research at Georgia Tech is very active. Government and industry research is carried out by the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and the university’s efforts are crucial to the Georgia Research Alliance, which is involved in the state’s economic development strategy. Among the notable alumni are Nomar Garciaparra, a former professional baseball player, Bobby Jones, the founder of The Masters golf tournament, and Mike Duke, the former CEO and president of Walmart. The Heisman Memorial Trophy bears John Heisman’s name because he was the first football coach at Georgia Tech to work full-time. The steam whistle in the Tech Tower, which blows periodically in time with the campus class schedule and whenever the Yellow Jackets score a touchdown, is the inspiration for the name of the school’s faculty and staff newspaper, The Whistle.

Website: https://www.uci.edu/

Location: Irvine, CA, 92697

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $47,759(out-of-state)/$15,185 (in-state)

Public university University of California, Irvine was established in 1965. The campus is 1,475 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 28,661 (fall 2022), and is located in a suburban area. It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The University of California, Irvine is ranked National Universities, #33, in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. While out-of-state tuition and fees are $47,759, in-state tuition and fees are $15,185.

Together with the highly regarded UC Irvine Medical Center, the University of California, Irvine, a research center in Orange County, focuses on fields like cancer research and neuroscience studies. Graduate programs are well-regarded at UC Irvine as well, with specializations available at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and the Paul Merage School of Business. Nearly 50 fraternities and sororities are among the more than 500 student organizations that students can join. Campus is only 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The university, a commuter school, provides on-campus housing. Although it is not required for freshmen to live on campus, more than 3/4 of them do. The university has received praise for its environmentally friendly practices, and student organizations like the Anteaters for Recycling and Conservation help to spread awareness of green initiatives.

Website: https://www.ucsb.edu/

Location: Santa Barbara, CA, 93106

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $45,658 (out-of-state)/$14,881 (in-state)

Public university University of California, Santa Barbara was established in 1909. The campus is 989 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 23,460 (fall 2022), and is located in a suburban area. It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The University of California, Santa Barbara is ranked #35 in National Universities in the Best Colleges edition of 2024. The cost of tuition and fees for in-state students is $14,881, while that for out-of-staters is $45,658.

The University of California, Santa Barbara is perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, 100 miles up the coast from Los Angeles. More than 400 clubs and organizations are available for students to join, including the Greek community, which makes up about 10% of undergraduates. Around 30% of students at UCSB have access to housing in eight residence halls and several university apartment complexes. The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are well-known for their successful men’s and women’s soccer teams and compete primarily in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. Non-varsity students can join a club team for sports like skiing and snowboarding, cycling, surfing, or rugby.

UCSB consists of five schools and colleges, the College of Letters and Science, which serves both undergraduate and graduate students, being the largest. At UCSB, the highly regarded College of Engineering offers graduate programs. Other notable graduate programs at UCSB include the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education and the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. The College of Creative Studies, which emphasizes focused studies in one of eight disciplines including art, biology, chemistry, and biochemistry, computer science, literature, mathematics, music composition, or physics, is open to undergraduate applicants. Both Michael Douglas and Jack Johnson, a musician, earned degrees from UCSB.

Website: https://illinois.edu/

Location: 601 E. John Street, Champaign, IL, 61820

In-state and out-state tuition and fees:$36,068 (out-of-state)/$17,572 (in-state)

Public university University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was established in 1867. 35,120 undergraduate students are enrolled in total (fall 2022), the campus is 1,783 acres in size, and the location is a city. The academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is ranked #35 in National Universities in the Best Colleges edition for 2024. The cost of in-state tuition and fees is $17,572, while out-of-state costs are $36,068.

Only a few hours from Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, the University of Illinois is situated in the east-central Illinois twin cities of Urbana and Champaign. The school’s Fighting Illini are a part of the Big Ten Conference and compete in more than 20 NCAA Division I varsity sports. Nearly a quarter of the student body is involved in the university’s one of the biggest Greek systems in the nation. With more than 1,600 student organizations on campus, including professional, political, and philanthropic clubs, it’s not difficult to find something to do. Living on campus is a requirement for all freshmen.

There are fifteen colleges and schools at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Its College of Engineering, Department of Psychology, and School of Information Sciences are among the best in the nation. Additionally well-regarded are the school’s colleges of business, education, and law. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education places the University of Illinois as having the highest level of research activity. Disability access to all university services, curricula, and facilities was offered for the first time at this institution. The co-founder of YouTube, Steve Chen, and Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert are notable alumni.

Website: https://www.wisc.edu/

Location: 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI, 53706

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $40,603 (out-of-state)/$11,205 (in-state)

Public university University of Wisconsin—Madison was established in 1848. The campus is 936 acres in size and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 37,230 students (fall 2022). The academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Wisconsin—Madison is ranked #35 among National Universities in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. In-state costs are $11,205, while out-of-state costs are $40,603.

In the city of Madison, the University of Wisconsin–Madison is situated along Lake Mendota’s southern shore. The Wisconsin Badgers are a member of the Big Ten Conference and compete in more than 20 NCAA Division I sports. Nearly 900 organizations are available for students to join on campus. Additionally, Wisconsin has a vibrant Greek community and social scene, which contributes to its reputation as one of the nation’s top party schools. Although it is not required for freshmen to live on campus, many do. There are a number of residential communities where students can choose to live and learn alongside other students and faculty.

The Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, the School of Education, the College of Engineering, the School of Business, the School of Medicine and Public Health, and the Law School are among the top-ranked graduate programs at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. The “Wisconsin Idea,” which holds that education should influence and improve people’s lives outside of the classroom, is the foundation of the school’s legacy of community service. Famous glass artist Dale Chihuly and author Joyce Carol Oates are both graduates of Wisconsin. Dick Cheney, a former vice president, Charles Lindbergh, John Muir, and Frank Lloyd Wright are a few other notable alumni.

Website: https://newbrunswick.rutgers.edu/

Location: 65 Davidson Road, Room 202, Piscataway, NJ, 08854

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $36,001 (out-of-state)/ $17,239 (in-state)

Founded in 1766, Rutgers University—New Brunswick is a public university. There are 36,344 undergraduate students enrolled in total (fall 2022), the campus is 2,656 acres in size, and the location is a city. The academic calendar is based on semesters. The National Universities section of the Best Colleges ranking for 2024 places Rutgers University—New Brunswick at number forty. The cost of in-state tuition and fees is $17,239, while out-of-state costs are $36,001.

University of Rutgers –The state university of New Jersey’s flagship campus, New Brunswick, is divided into five smaller campuses, each with its own setting, identity, student center, and dining options. It’s not necessary for freshmen to live on campus. More than 500 clubs and organizations for students to join are available, including more than 80 fraternities and sororities.

Rutgers University has a highly regarded Graduate School of Education among its graduate programs. The university also confers the greatest number of doctorate degrees annually among American universities. Rutgers University, a public research university, is home to distinctive organizations like the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, where students can take practical science courses and participate in volunteer work.

The Big Ten Conference of NCAA Division I is home to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference in 2014 after more than 20 years in the Big East Conference, where it competes against the University of Maryland—College Park, University of Iowa, and other schools. It offers a variety of sports programs, including wrestling, track and field, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, and golf. The men’s track team won its first Big East Outdoor Championship in 2005, and the women’s basketball team captured the WNIT title in 2014.

As a Dutch Reformed Church-affiliated, all-male college, Queen’s College was the original name of Rutgers when it was established in 1766. In 1825, it was renamed Rutgers College, and in 1864, it received its land-grant status. In 1918, admission to the university for women was permitted. In the middle of the 20th century, the institution changed its name to The State University of New Jersey.

Website: http://www.washington.edu/

Location: Box 355852, Seattle, WA, 98195

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $41,997 (out-of-state)/$12,643 (in-state)

Public university University of Washington was established in 1861. There are 36,872 undergraduate students enrolled in total (fall 2022), the campus is 634 acres in size, and the location is urban. It makes use of an academic calendar based on quarters. The University of Washington is ranked #40 in National Universities in the Best Colleges edition of 2024. Out-of-state tuition and fees are $41,997, with in-state costs totaling $12,643.

One of the first public universities on the West Coast, the University of Washington is situated north of Seattle’s city center. It is also a cutting-edge research facility that receives sizeable federal funding each year and holds an annual undergraduate research symposium where students can showcase their projects to the public. The university is home to the highly regarded Michael G. Foster School of Business, College of Engineering, and School of Medicine. The university, a commuter school, does not require freshmen to live on campus, but it does encourage those who do to recycle and conserve energy. There are over 950 student organizations on campus, including about 70 sororities and fraternities, that students can join. Following graduation, almost three-fourths of UW graduates stay in the state.

The university also has campuses in Bothell and Tacoma, Washington, in addition to its main campus in Seattle. The university was established in Seattle in 1861, with locations in Bothell and Tacoma following in 1990. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at all three UW campuses.

Consider UW’s honors program if you’re looking for one. It offers undergraduate students the chance to take part in smaller classes, work on unique projects, and interact with UW faculty members more frequently. The departmental honors track and the interdisciplinary track are available to students. The former offers the chance for in-depth study within a specific major while the former is more broadly focused. Students who are particularly driven can aim for both honors. When they apply to UW or at the conclusion of their freshman year, students can apply to the interdisciplinary honors program. After selecting a major, students apply for departmental honors.

Website: https://www.osu.edu/

Location: 281 W. Lane Ave., Columbus, OH, 43210

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $36,722 (out-of-state)/$12,485 (in-state)

A public university, The Ohio State University was established in 1870. 46,123 undergraduate students are enrolled there overall (fall 2022), and the campus is 1,714 acres in size. The academic calendar is based on semesters. The Ohio State University is ranked National Universities, 43, in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. For in-state students, the cost of tuition and fees is $12,485; for out-of-state students, it is $36,722.

More than 200 undergraduate majors are available at OSU, and there is also a program called Personalized Study that allows students to create a nontraditional curriculum. Through highly regarded colleges like the College of Education and Human Ecology, Max M. Fisher College of Business, and College of Medicine, the university also provides a range of graduate programs. More than 60 fraternities and sororities are among the more than 1,000 clubs and organizations that students can join on campus. They can also volunteer through the Pay It Forward program. The Ohio State University Buckeyes compete in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference, and sports play a significant role in campus life. Except for those who are from Central Ohio and can commute, all freshmen are required to live on campus. Additionally, OSU offers study abroad opportunities in more than 75 nations.

Website: https://www.purdue.edu/

Location: Schleman Hall, 475 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN, 47907

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $28,794 (out-of-state)/$9,992 (in-state)

Public university Purdue University—Main Campus was established in 1869. There are 37,949 undergraduate students enrolled in total (fall 2022), the campus is 2,468 acres in size, and the location is a city. The academic calendar is based on semesters. National Universities is where Purdue University—Main Campus is ranked in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. $9,992 is the in-state tuition and fees, while $28,794 is the out-of-state tuition and fees.

The main campus of the Purdue University system, which consists of four other campuses spread across the state of Indiana, is located in West Lafayette. Purdue offers a variety of activities and organizations, and about 20% of students are involved in Greek life. The “All American” Marching Band, six jazz bands, and two symphony orchestras are performance ensembles. The Division I Big Ten Conference’s Boilermakers, Purdue’s athletic teams, are well-known for having dominant men’s and women’s basketball squads. The student-run Purdue Reamer Club takes care of and maintains the railroad locomotive known as The Boilermaker Special, which serves as the university’s official mascot. A third of undergraduates live on campus, despite the fact that living in university housing is not required.

There are 13 schools and colleges at Purdue, many of which offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. The highly regarded Krannert School of Management, College of Education, College of Pharmacy, and College of Engineering all offer professional and graduate programs. The prestigious School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University has earned the moniker “Cradle of Astronauts.” One well-known university custom is that many students start and end their time at Purdue by running through one of the campus’ five fountains. The first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, and renowned college basketball coach and player John Wooden are among the notable alumni.

Website: https://www.umd.edu/

Location: College Park, MD, 20742

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $40,306 (out-of-state)/$11,505(in-state)

Public university University of Maryland, College Park was established in 1856. The campus is 1,340 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 30,353 (fall 2022), and is located in a suburban area. The academic calendar is based on semesters. The University of Maryland, College Park is ranked #46 in National Universities in the Best Colleges edition of 2024. There are two tuition and fee rates: in-state is $11,505 and out-of-state is $40,306.

The University of Maryland offers students a suburban lifestyle within easy reach of experiences in big cities thanks to its location between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. The main campus is in College Park, which is close to the nation’s capital and has its own metro stop on the D.C.-area Metro system. Over 800 clubs and organizations, including nearly 60 fraternities and sororities, can be found on campus. All other students, including freshmen, are not required to live on campus. Visit the university’s “SEE UMD” website, which stands for “Student Entertainment Events” and offers movie screenings, comedy shows, lectures, and more, if you’re looking for extracurricular activities. Sports are another year-round diversion. The Big Ten Conference, NCAA Division I, is where the Maryland Terrapins play. Testudo, the school mascot, is a Diamondback terrapin, the state reptile and turtle. Rubbing the nose of the Testudo sculpture in front of McKeldin Library, one of many on campus, is said to be lucky, especially before exams.

The renowned A. James Clark School of Engineering, the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the University of Maryland all offer highly regarded graduate programs in education. The university frequently receives recognition for its efforts in renewable and clean energy, such as its goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2050 and campus-wide efforts to compost food waste. NASA scientist Charles Bennett, broadcast journalist Connie Chung, “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show” creator Jim Henson, and other well-known alumni from Maryland come from a variety of professions.

Website: https://www.tamu.edu/

Location: College Station, TX, 77843

In-state and out-state tuition and fees: $40,607 (out-of-state)/$12,413 (in-state)

Public university Texas A&M University was established in 1876. In the fall of 2022, there will be 57,512 undergraduate students enrolled in total. The campus is located in a city and spans 5,200 acres. The academic calendar is based on semesters. Texas A&M University is ranked as the 47th-best national university in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges. Out-of-state tuition and fees are $40,607 while in-state costs $12,413 per year.

Ready to join the Aggies? At Texas A&M, an academic and athletic powerhouse in central Texas, every student adopts the nickname. Formerly known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College, or simply A&M, the university is now coed and offers a wide range of majors and extracurricular activities. Nearly 60 fraternities and sororities are among the more than 1,000 clubs and organizations available to students. 10% of students identify as Greek. About 25% more students participate in Texas A&M’s intramural sports leagues, one of the biggest in the nation. The school’s collie mascot, Reveille IX, supports the varsity sports teams as they compete in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference. The collie, known as Miss Rev, is also the head of the school’s Cadet Corps, the biggest ROTC program in the country (excluding those at service academies). The Freshmen in Service and Hosting program (FISH) makes it simple for first-year students who are interested in volunteering to do so right away. The Big Event, the largest single-day student-run volunteer effort in the nation where more than 22,000 Aggies work to better the nearby cities of College Station and Bryan, provides an opportunity for all students to give back. These areas are also home for many students because they are not required to live on campus as freshmen and many opt to do so in College Station or Bryan.

The Dwight Look College of Engineering, Mays Business School, and College of Education and Human Development at the university offer highly regarded graduate programs. The university, which is regarded as a research institution, offers distinctive courses and is home to Texas’ only veterinary medical school. There are about 500 students enrolled at the school’s campus in Qatar as well. Numerous politicians, including U.S. Reps. Joe Barton and Louie Gohmert, as well as a few beauty pageant champions, including Kandace Krueger, Miss USA, and Melissa McConnell, Miss Louisiana USA, are notable Texas A&M alumni.

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