Travel

The 27 Most Underrated Colleges In America

These schools offer way more than ramen and parties.

Jenny Chang / Via BuzzFeed

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the most underrated colleges in America. Here’s what they had to say (in no particular order):

1. Rhodes College, Memphis

Flickr: David Siu / Creative Commons

Flickr: dwysiu

Flickr: David Siu / Creative Commons

Flickr: dwysiu

 

“We have one of the most beautiful campuses in the country and an average class size of 14. We also have an honor code that means you can leave your laptop or phone unattended and professors leave the room during exams.” —Submitted by Maddie Carwile, Facebook

2. Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota

“It is a small campus with people as beautiful as the surroundings. There is the Mississippi River, lakes, and bluffs! Its absolutely beautiful in the fall!” —Submitted by brookem4e5e3d5de

3. James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Flickr: Taber Andrew Bain / Creative Commons

Flickr: andrewbain

Flickr: America’s Power / Creative Commons

Flickr: americaspower

 

“We have school spirit, traditions, beautiful campus, secret tunnels and legends, and our parties are free! Also, it’s named after James Madison, who was an integral participant in forming our government! AND we have Duke Dog, who could beat your mascot up.” —Submitted by Nichole Maria, Facebook

4. University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana

Flickr: Paul Stainthorp / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: pstainthorp

“They have the No. 1 study abroad program in the nation. You get to spend a semester at the Harlaxton Manor in England. Basically you get to live and study in a castle!!! How does it get any cooler than that?” —Submitted by Ashton Thompson

5. Elon University, Elon, North Carolina

 

“Elon’s campus is truly perfection. Not only is it beautiful, but it is the type of campus where you step out of your dorm and immediately run into five people you know. But at the same time, you meet new people all the time.” —Submitted by Samhita Tankala, Facebook

6. Texas State University, San Marcos

“It sits atop a beautiful hill, some buildings are historical landmarks, the library is HUGE, and THERE IS A RIVER RUNNING THROUGH CAMPUS. Not to mention there is awesome nightlife in the town at the square, and it’s only 25 minutes from Austin. LOVED going there.” —Submitted by Courtney Elizabeth Bayne, Facebook

7. Plymouth State University, Plymouth, New Hampshire

“Beautiful, small, cozy campus. Easy to run to class less than half a mile away from anywhere else on campus. Beautiful quintessential New England town. No doubt PSU knows how to party too :)” —Submitted by Tess Cullen, Facebook

8. Georgia State University, Atlanta

Flickr: sylvar / Creative Commons

Flickr: sylvar

 

“Come to Atlanta and see for yourself. It has one of the largest enrollments in the state and soon will have the largest campus in the state as well. Downtown Atlanta is the campus! We also boast one of the most diverse student bodies in the country, and our academics are nothing to shy away from either.” —Submitted by denadar

9. Tulane University, New Orleans

“Solely based on: ‘First we outthink you, then we outdrink you.’ Seriously, stellar academics and an absolutely amazing city filled with incredible people. Roll Wave.” —Submitted by Isaac Thomas, Facebook

10. California State University, Channel Islands, Camarillo

 

“Small class sizes, opportunities to be really involved on campus, a new library, and it’s in a beautiful area. The history of the location is interesting too, being a former state hospital.” —Submitted by Onnie Busse, Facebook

11. Drexel University, Philadelphia

“There are a lot of pluses for Drexel like being in such a great city, having a DRAGON as our mascot, a founder (AJ Drexel) with such an interesting history, and really an overall great academic base. Most important to me, though, is having one of the best engineering programs.” —Submitted by Sasha Vigelis, Facebook

12. Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina

 

“The faculty get to know and support students. They know them by name at reunions decades later. And you actually get to know your classmates and have a connection with them. The traditions are incredible as well. Converse is growing and is an incredible place for an education.” —Submitted by Trevor Pittman, Facebook

13. Hamilton College, Clinton, New York

 

“With no common core and a wide offering of classes in the arts, humanities, and sciences, there’s no better place to go to undergrad [school]. And they are committed to transgressive and subversive performance art. The campus and the students are gorgeous.” —Submitted by Ashley Vanicek, Facebook

14. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

“It’s the only U.S. university with a Tibetan monk on faculty. Additionally, I’ve taken classes like Astrobiology in Pop Culture and Bandits and Social Rebels. Also in one of the coolest college towns in the country.” —Submitted by Brittany Race, Facebook

15. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine

Flickr: Julia D / Creative Commons

Flickr: juleyah

 

“The professors are some of the most dedicated and accommodating people that I’ve met. The dorms are beautiful, spacious buildings, and there’s a huge wealth of affordable off-campus housing as well. The food is amazing and organic — smoothies, quinoa, and personal pesto pizzas, yum!” —Submitted by Rachel Coro, Facebook

16. The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

“The engineering program at the University of Akron has an amazing co-op program where you alternate being a full-time student and working a paid full-time co-op. Graduating with more than a year of relevant experience AND making enough money to pay for school? That’s a win in my book!” —Submitted by Cady Dannemiller, Facebook

17. St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Annapolis, Maryland

 

“St. John’s produces the kinds of creative and capable minds that are willing and able to continue to learn for the rest of their lives — adapting to and thriving in any situation.” —Submitted by madelinelola

18. Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Flickr: NCinDC / Creative Commons

Flickr: ncindc

Flickr: Ted Eytan / Creative Commons

Flickr: taedc

 

“Class sizes are great, in the heart of D.C. Beautiful during the wintertime. Students know how to have fun while remaining studious. A lot of people don’t know/care about it since it’s an HBCU. Wish it had more recognition.” —Submitted by anon

19. Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

 

“Every tree that is native to Michigan is located on campus. Also one of the first colleges in the U.S. to offer an undergraduate degree in sustainable business.” —Submitted by jnnfrlnnklchk

20. Missouri State University, West Plains

 

“Hands down, without a doubt the best English department ever. I learned the mechanics of writing a really good essay, I learned how to cite sources and make structured arguments, and I reaffirmed my love of the English language.” —Submitted by Chris Roll, Facebook

21. University of Oregon, Eugene

“The guy who started Nike invented his first pair of shoes there. Plus, they have a Quidditch team. Oh, and the movie The Party Animal was filmed there.” —Submitted by katherinep406fdf725

22. University of Iowa, Iowa City

“Located in one of 10 worldwide UNESCO Cities of Literature (and the only one in the United States), Iowa City is an beautiful college town. And we’re ranked the No. 2 party school in the nation, if you’re into that kind of thing.” —Submitted by melaniem4a8088074

23. Loyola University Chicago

 

“It’s nestled by Lake Michigan and the view is just beautiful. The administration and professors are very dedicated and truly care about the success of their students. We also have access to a lot of Chicago’s best events/food/art/music and we get to take advantage of the various opportunities the city offers.” —Submitted by elizaaaa

24. Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia

 

“The small class sizes, middle-of-effing-nowhere location, and beautiful campus throw students into an environment I haven’t seen replicated anywhere else. Bethany friendships last forever because of the high-quality time spent in that place. They’re like your childhood friendships but as adults.” —Submitted by flynnp

25. Montana State University, Bozeman

 

“It has a quaint little campus and an amazing engineering program — aside from being a beautiful little college town has great local restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. Sure, it snows (A LOT), but when you’re only an hour away from some of the best skiing in the nation, who can complain?” —Submitted by 4oh6cw

26. University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Flickr: Ellen Forsyth / Creative Commons

Flickr: ellf

 

“One of the most amazing libraries, and we’re about 30 minutes away from several of the best ski mountains in the country and surrounded by national parks. Crazy school spirit and a surprisingly fun party scene!” —Submitted by brittanyberrett

27. University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Flickr: John Walker / Creative Commons

Flickr: whatcouldgowrong

Flickr: David Keyzer / Creative Commons

Flickr: keyzer

 

“It’s big enough to have pretty much any major you want, but it is also very affordable. Of course, there is also our football team, the Huskers, and Memorial Stadium. The best thing, though, is the fact that there is a club dedicated to improving the treatment of the squirrels on campus! :-)” —Submitted by danakleinjan

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

 
  Your Reaction?
  REACT WITH GIF
 

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.

    Contributions

    Now Buzzing