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2023 Best College Campuses

Best College Campuses

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When it comes to selecting the best college campuses, there are many factors to consider. Some of the most important factors include the location, cost, student population, overall college ranking, and acceptance rate. But what we're more focused on with this ranking, is what differentiates one physical campus from the next to make some more desirable than others.

What Makes College Campuses Unique?

Surrounding Environment

There are a number of factors that contribute to the quality of a college campus. There's the natural attributes like the landscape, surrounding city (or lack thereof), and even the climate - don't let anyone tell you that weather doesn't have a profound impact on the quality of a college campus - and ultimately the entire college experience.

Current Influences

In addition to natural environmental attributes, there's the campus architecture, some may be modern, others may be historic - but each can be unique in its own right. There's also the campus layout itself and how accessible the campus is, both of which should be considered.

Culture & Activities

Culture activities can also have a significant impact on student life and the enjoyment of the campus as a whole. Having convenient and inviting outdoor spaces is also another underrated feature of great campuses - something you don't realize is lacking until you finally see a campus that seems to invite you to sit and read, stare into the fountain, or admire a piece of oversized, creative artwork on display in the middle of the quad.

Facilities & Amenities

Of course, who can forget the dorms? Some colleges completely overlook this, others realize how critical the Freshman experience is to many people's lives, and have gone out of their way to create a phenomenal first year experience for their future donating alumni (wink, wink). Academic buildings and student services also have a huge impact on campus quality. And not only are dorms critical, but so is the off-campus housing. In addition, are there sufficient recreational areas to enjoy - and are those easily accessible?

Safety & Security

The presence and quality of emergency services are becoming increasingly important with the turbulent world we're seeing. Campus safety and proper measures to ensure the security and wellbeing of all students and faculty are also critical to creating an exceptional college campus.

What Colleges Have the Best Campuses?

We've reviewed all of the above factors and generated a comprehensive ranking of the best college campuses (see below). Here's a closer look at the top five ranked college campuses based on these criteria.

Harvard University

Leading the way is Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With an impressive 41,987 students, a #3 overall college ranking, and an acceptance rate of 5%, Harvard is the cream of the crop when it comes to college campuses. Not to mention the hefty price tag of $47,730 per year. The campus is situated in the heart of Cambridge and gives students easy access to all the amenities of the city. Harvard's campus is also home to some of the world's most famous and historic architecture. It's also known for its impressive student services and safety measures.

New York University

New York University in New York City comes in second place. With 58,091 students, an overall college ranking of #25, and an acceptance rate of 16%, NYU provides students with a unique urban experience. It's also the most expensive of the top five college campuses listed with a hefty price tag of $50,684. NYU is known for its diverse student body and its cutting-edge academic buildings and facilities. It also has a great campus layout that makes it easy to get around.

Northeastern University

Boston's Northeastern University takes third place. With 58,091 students, an overall college ranking of #36, and an acceptance rate of 18%, Northeastern provides students with a great college experience. It's also one of the most affordable of the top five college campuses with a cost of $52,420. Northeastern's campus is also home to some of the city's most iconic architecture and offers a great range of student services. The safety and security measures are also top-notch.

Stanford University

Stanford University in Stanford, California takes fourth place. With 20,993 students, an overall college ranking of #2, and an acceptance rate of 4%, Stanford offers students a unique experience. It's also the second most expensive of the top five college campuses listed with a price tag of $52,857. Stanford's campus is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in the state and is just a short drive from Silicon Valley. It also has some of the best academic buildings and student services.

Rutgers University

Rounding out the top five college campuses is Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. With 57,162 students, an overall college ranking of #144, and an acceptance rate of 61%, Rutgers is the most affordable college campus on our top 5 at $29,012 per year. Rutgers' campus is home to some of the most historic architecture in the state and is situated close to the city of New York. It also has a great range of student services and safety measures.

How Should I Decide Where to Attend College?

Although there are clearly numerous other factors to consider, the quality of a college campus can certainly have a large impact on the college experience of up and coming students. The lack of a quality environment can sometimes demotivate the once motivated, and vice-versa, a bustling ambience can sometimes ignite passion inside a once passive young student. That being said, price should certainly factor into this decision, rather than simply chasing the best environment. Similarly, college campus quality is a deeply personal matter, and students should be sure to visit each campus and experience for themselves how the campus makes them feel. Ultimately, each offers a unique experience that can be tailored to the student's individual needs.

Best College Campuses

Best College Campuses

A+

Rating

#1 2023 Best College Campuses

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA | www.harvard.edu/

5%

Acceptance

41,024

Students

#3

Ranking

$54K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#2 2023 Best College Campuses

New York University

New York, NY | www.nyu.edu/

21%

Acceptance

58,361

Students

#23

Ranking

$55K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#3 2023 Best College Campuses

Northeastern University

Boston, MA | www.northeastern.edu/

20%

Acceptance

30,003

Students

#45

Ranking

$55K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#4 2023 Best College Campuses

Stanford University

Stanford, CA | www.stanford.edu/

5%

Acceptance

20,961

Students

#2

Ranking

$56K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#5 2023 Best College Campuses

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, NJ | https://newbrunswick.rutgers.edu/

67%

Acceptance

56,178

Students

#152

Ranking

$32K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#6 2023 Best College Campuses

University of California-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA | www.ucla.edu/

14%

Acceptance

46,947

Students

#50

Ranking

$43K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#7 2023 Best College Campuses

Boston University

Boston, MA | www.bu.edu/

20%

Acceptance

42,047

Students

#35

Ranking

$58K

Tuition

A

Rating

#8 2023 Best College Campuses

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI | https://www.msu.edu/

76%

Acceptance

55,406

Students

#178

Ranking

$40K

Tuition

A

Rating

#9 2023 Best College Campuses

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MA | www.umass.edu/

65%

Acceptance

35,781

Students

#218

Ranking

$36K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#10 2023 Best College Campuses

Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY | www.columbia.edu/

7%

Acceptance

33,882

Students

#10

Ranking

$62K

Tuition

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