Every state has that one college or university that has risen to popularity for a variety of reasons, including affordable tuition, the most undergraduate degrees offered or its location in a community that provides a variety of cultural experiences and other learning opportunities outside the classroom. Often, children and young people grow up declaring their plans to attend one of these schools because of tradition within their families, its widespread national reputation or even the popularity of the school’s sports teams.

The following are the top 20 Most Applied to Schools in Each State, according to a study by The Classroom.

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama, founded in 1831, is located on a scenic 1,200-acre campus in Tuscaloosa. UA is commonly known as the “Capstone of Higher Education” because of its equal dedication to research, teaching and service. The total enrollment for the fall 2018 semester was 38,392, with an undergraduate enrollment of 33,305. The school offers more than 70 undergraduate programs as well as 500 student organizations. Forty-one percent of the student population are from Alabama, while 56 percent come from other areas of the U.S. The tuition for the 2018-2019 school year was $24,982 for residents and $43,432 for nonresidents. The undergraduate acceptance rate is 56 percent.

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University of Alaska Anchorage

The University of Alaska Anchorage, founded in 1954, is the state’s largest institute of higher learning. Its 1,702-acre campus offers a serene, nature-rich environment for outdoor activities and access to the city of Anchorage to visit museums, take in live music and watch sporting events. The acceptance rate for the fall of 2017 was 83 percent. The 2018-2019 undergraduate enrollment was 15,090, and those students can choose from over 100 undergraduate degrees across 12 colleges. For the 2018-2019 academic year, in-state tuition and fees were $7,688, while out-of-state tuition and fees added up to $23,858. Ninety-one percent of enrolled students are Alaska residents.

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is a public research-based institution that was founded in 1899. The school’s main campus is located in Flagstaff; however, students can choose to study at a total of over 20 statewide locations as well as online. Of the undergraduate total of 26,500 students, 96 percent receive some sort of financial aid. Tuition for the 2018-2019 school year was $11,564 for Arizona residents and $25,828 for nonresidents. Many of the university’s students benefit from the First Scholars Program, which offers individual support and a $5,000 annual scholarship for each first-generation college student.

University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas was founded in 1871 in Fayetteville, where its campus overlooks the Ozarks. The undergraduate enrollment for the 2018-2019 academic year was 23,044, and the school offers 78 different undergraduate programs as well as 380 student organizations. Each of the 50 states and 120 countries are represented by the student population. The cost of attendance for the 2018-2019 school year was $7,384 for in-state students, and for those from out of state, it was $23,422. The university has recently added new and innovative minors to its offerings, including Jewish studies, soil science and nanotechnology. The acceptance rate for 2017 was around 66 percent.

University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles is ranked No. 1 on the list of top public universities in the 2019 best colleges ranking released by U.S. News & World Report. Of the 10 campuses in the University of California system, UCLA has the largest undergraduate enrollment at over 32,000, of which 57 percent are women. The school offers over 130 undergraduate majors and 90 minors. In 2017, 102,242 students applied and only 16,465 were accepted, making the acceptance rate only 16 percent. UCLA is one of the most selective big public universities in the nation. For the 2018-2019 academic year, tuition for California residents was $13,235, and for nonresidents it was $42,217.

University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder is one of 62 public research schools that belong to the distinguished Association of American Universities (AAU). The total undergraduate student population is 29,091, and 25 percent of those students identify as being people of color. Students from every state in the U.S. and from 80 countries come to study at UCB. The annual retention rate for undergraduates is 86 percent, which is higher than many other public universities. The 2018-2019 tuition for Colorado residents was $12,532 and was $37,286 for nonresidents. The acceptance rate in the fall of 2017 was 80 percent.

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut, founded in 1880, is situated on a 4,109-acre campus located in the city of Storrs. The school offers over 120 undergraduate majors across 14 schools and colleges. UConn also has four regional campuses located throughout the state: UConn School of Law, Avery Point, Stamford and Waterbury, in addition to its main Storrs campus. The 2018 total undergraduate population of 19,241 can choose to join one of 620 student clubs and organizations. The acceptance rate in 2017 was 48 percent, and the average freshman retention rate is an impressive 93 percent. The in-state tuition for 2018-2019 was $12,848 and was $35,216 for out-of-state students.

University of Delaware

The University of Delaware was founded in 1743 in Newark, Delaware. The total undergraduate enrollment for 2018 was 18,946, 57 percent of which are female. More than 30 percent of UD students study abroad in one of the 100 programs offered in 40 countries. The school gives students nearly 150 bachelor’s programs from which to choose, and almost half of all undergraduates will receive some sort of financial aid. The in-state tuition for the 2018-2019 school year was $9,130, and the out-of-state tuition was $25,168. Approximately 60 percent of those who apply to UD will be accepted.

George Washington University

George Washington University, commonly known as GW, was founded in 1821 and is located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., only a mile from the National Mall. The total undergraduate enrollment is 11,999, and these students come from all 50 states and 130 different countries. Because of its location and vast local and national connections, GW offers more than 12,000 internship opportunities. The school’s tuition, $55,230 for the 2018-2019 year, is guaranteed not to increase for five years from the time of enrollment for full-time students. The fall 2017 acceptance rate was 41 percent.

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida is a public university that was founded in 1963 in Orlando. Its more than 10 regional locations include Daytona Beach and Ocala. UCF has a total enrollment of 67,500 with an undergraduate enrollment of 56,972, making it one of the largest schools in the nation. Twenty percent of undergraduates are first-generation college students, and 45 percent of the total population identify as being a minority. The school offers 226 bachelor’s degrees that span over a dozen colleges. For the 2018-2019 academic year, Florida resident tuition was $5,954, while nonresident tuition adds up to $20,980. The acceptance rate for 2017 was right around 50 percent.

Georgia Institute of Technology – Main Campus

The Georgia Institute of Technology, located in Atlanta, was founded in 1885 and has an undergraduate enrollment of 15,573; the total student population is close to 30,000. Twenty-two percent of undergraduates are international students, while 69 percent are male and 62 percent are Georgia residents. For the fall of 2017, 31,054 freshmen applied and only 6,922 were accepted, making the acceptance rate about 22 percent. The school houses 60 student organizations dedicated to the exploration of identity in such areas as race, religion and ethnicity. In-state tuition for 2018 was $10,008, and the cost for out-of-state students was $36,604.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is a research university with a culturally diverse population of students. The school, which was founded in 1907, is located on the island of O’ahu, just outside of Honolulu. UH Manoa is the oldest and largest of the 10 campuses that make up the University of Hawaii system. The undergraduate population for the 2018-2019 school year was 12,881. The tuition for Hawaii residents was $11,088 and for nonresidents was $33,120. According to the U.S. Department of Education, as noted on the school’s website, tuition is approximately $4,000 below the national average for public universities. The acceptance rate is around 83 percent.

Boise State University

Boise State University, located along the Boise River, was founded in 1932 and has a current undergraduate enrollment of 20,767. It offers 84 undergraduate programs spanning eight colleges, 200 on-campus student clubs and study-abroad programs in 50 countries. Of the undergraduate enrollment, 57 percent are women and 74 percent are Idaho residents, and students from more than 60 countries are studying at the university. For the 2018-2019 academic year, tuition was $7,694 for residents and $23,776 for nonresidents, and the acceptance rate for undergraduate students in 2017 was 84 percent.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was founded in 1867 and is located outside of Chicago in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign. The school offers 150 undergraduate programs spanning 15 different colleges to its 2018 undergraduate enrollment of around 34,000 students. Students who are interested in studying abroad can choose from 150 programs in 45 countries. In addition, students have access to 80 research centers and labs. For the 2018-2019 school year, in-state tuition and fees were $15,998, and for out-of-state students it was $32,568. The undergraduate acceptance rate is 62 percent, and approximately 7,000 degrees are awarded every year.

Purdue University – Main Campus

Founded in 1869, Purdue University’s flagship campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana. It's the main campus in the Purdue University system, which includes four other campuses throughout the state. Its total undergraduate enrollment of 31,006 makes up 75 percent of the total student population. The fall 2018 acceptance rate was 52 percent. Purdue has over 900 on-campus organizations and clubs, and undergraduates can choose from 200 areas of study spanning 13 schools. The university is known for its engineering and science programs as well as for the English department’s online writing lab, or OWL, which was the first online writing lab in the country. The tuition was $9,992 for in-state residents and $28,794 for out-of-state students.

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa, often referred to as UI, is a public research university located in Iowa City. UI was the first public university to open its doors as a co-ed school. The 2018 undergraduate enrollment was 24,503, and 10 percent of that population is made up of international students. The school offers 200 undergraduate programs of study across 11 different colleges. In addition, the university sponsors 500 student clubs and organizations, and around 10 percent of IU students join a fraternity or sorority. The 2018-2019 out-of-state tuition rate was $31,458, while in-state students pay $9,492.

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas is a public university that was founded in 1865. The University of Kansas system is comprised of five campuses across the state. The KU campus located in the city of Lawrence is the main campus and is considered to be a premier research school. The undergraduate enrollment for 2018-2019 was 19,338, and the university offers 142 undergraduate degree programs. Among KU’s top-ranked programs are special education, speech language pathology and public administration. For the 2018-2019 school year, the tuition and fees for Kansas residents were $10,092, while nonresident tuition and fees added up to $26,301. The acceptance rate is 93 percent.

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky, founded in 1865, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 22,425. The campus is located in Lexington, a city that is considered to be the horse capital of the world. The school offers 86 majors and a total of 104 undergraduate degrees across 16 colleges. In order to keep more of its students in school, the university created the UK LEADS program, which provides financial assistance to students who are having trouble paying their tuition. The 2018-2019 in-state tuition was $12,180, and the out-of-state tuition and fees were $29,168. The acceptance rate is 96 percent.

Tulane University of Louisiana

Tulane University of Louisiana is a private school located in New Orleans and is an eclectic haven for experiencing rich cultures and appreciating the art, music and food of the city. The school was founded in 1834 and since then has blossomed into a top research university in the U.S. Tulane was the first research school to require community service as a part of the curriculum. The undergraduate enrollment in 2018 was 8,542, and students can choose from 70 majors spanning five different schools. The school’s tuition is more expensive than most private schools at $54,820 for the 2018-2019 academic year. The acceptance rate is around 21 percent.

University of Maine

The University of Maine was founded in 1865 as a land and sea grant institution. The flagship campus of the University of Maine system is located in Orono along the banks of the Stillwater River, just a short drive from the Atlantic Coast. The student population includes students from all 50 states and from 67 countries. UMaine offers 90 undergraduate majors and academic programs to its undergraduate student population of 9,279. The acceptance rate is 92 percent. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the in-state tuition and fees were $11,170, and the out-of-state tuition and fees were $30,970.

Boston University

Boston University, a private research university in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the top 40 institutions of higher learning in the U.S. It was founded in 1839 and has been historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The school’s official motto is “Learning, Virtue, Piety” and the campus size is 135 acres. People affiliated with BU have won eight Nobel Prizes, 23 Pulitzer Prizes and nine Academy Awards. The school boasts 10 Rhodes Scholars, 48 Sloan Fellows and six Marshall Scholars.

Brown University

Founded in 1764 and located in the historic town of Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University, an Ivy League school, is the seventh-oldest college in the U.S. Brown was also one of the nine colonial colleges established before the start of the American Revolution. It is one of the top universities in the country, and sits on 146 acres of land. The school was the first Ivy League institution to accept students from all different religious backgrounds.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College, which is the smallest school in the Ivy League system, was founded in 1769. Nicknamed the Big Green, Dartmouth is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the world. The school is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, and sits on 237 acres of land. Notable alumni are children’s book author Dr. Seuss, Former U.S. Senator Daniel Webster, poet Robert Frost, Fred Rogers AKA Mr. Rogers, Former Vice President of the U.S. Nelson Rockefeller, and actresses Aisha Tyler and Mindy Kaling. The school’s official motto is “Vox clamantis in deserto” or “a voice crying out in the wilderness,” and its color is Dartmouth Green.

New York University

A group of well-known New Yorkers, including former Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, founded the “University of the City of New York,” which later became New York University, in 1831. NYU, a private nonprofit research university, is one of the top 30 colleges in the U.S., and sits on 230 acres of land in New York City. The school has produced 36 Nobel Laureates, 7 Turing Award winners, more than 30 Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize winners and four Fields Medalists. Notable alumni include film directors Woody Allen, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese, musician Lady Gaga, actors Alec Baldwin and Adam Sandler, actresses Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie, co-founder and CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, singer Neil Diamond and Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani. Its motto is “Perstare et praestare” or “To persevere and to excel.”

Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Rutgers University-New Brunswick is a public research university, and one of the top 70 colleges in the U.S. It is the oldest Rutgers University campus (the two others are in Newark and Camden), and was chartered in 1766. Rutgers is also the eighth oldest institution of higher learning in the U.S., and one of nine colonial colleges that opened prior to the start of the American Revolution. The campus size is nearly 2,700 acres. Its motto is “Sol iustitiae et occidentem illustra” or “Sun of righteousness, shine also upon the West.”

The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin, one of the top 60 colleges in the nation, is a public research university. It is also the flagship location for the University of Texas school system. In 1839, the Congress of the Republic of Texas ordered that a school be established for the sake of higher education, and the campus officially opened in 1883. Today, it sits on 437 acres of land and has 17 libraries and seven museums. The school’s motto is “Disciplina praesidium civitatis” or “Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy." Faculty at the University of Texas at Austin have won Nobel prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, the Turing Award and the National Medal of Science. Notable alumni include actors Owen Wilson and Matthew McConaughey, actresses Farrah Fawcett and Renée Zellweger, filmmaker Wes Anderson, Former First Ladies of the U.S. Laura Bush and Lady Bird Johnson, and legendary broadcaster Walter Cronkite.

University of Maryland, College Park

The University of Maryland, College Park, is a public research university and one of the top 70 colleges in the U.S. It is located in College Park, Maryland. The campus size is 1,339 acres. The school boasts three Nobel Laureates, three Pulitzer recipients and numerous Fulbright scholars. Notable alumni include co-founder of Google Sergey Brin, co-creator of “Seinfeld” Larry David, newscaster Connie Chung, CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank, Creator of the Muppets Jim Henson, CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina and “The Wire” creator David Simon.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a top-ranked public research university, and one of the first public universities in the United States. It was founded in 1817 in Detroit, and moved to Ann Arbor when the town was 13 years old. Today, the campus sits on 3,207 acres. Notable alumni include Former U.S. President Gerald Ford, singer Madonna, senior advisor to Former U.S. President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett, quarterback Tom Brady and actor Darren Criss. The official motto is “artes, scientia, veritas,” which means “Arts, Knowledge, Truth.” The university’s colors are maize and blue, and its mascot is the Wolverine.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is a public research university in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota – one of the top 70 schools in the U.S. It was established in 1851 as Minnesota’s land-grant institution. Today, the campus size is 2,730 acres. The school’s motto is “Commune vinculum omnibus artibus” or “A common bond for all the arts.” Faculty, alumni and researchers associated with the university have won 29 Nobel Prizes and three Pulitzer Prizes. Notable alumni include musician Bob Dylan, professional wrestler Brock Lesnar, wrestler Ric Flair, basketball player Lindsay Whalen, ice hockey defenseman Nate Schmidt, actress Jessica lange, Former Vice President of the U.S. Hubert Humphrey and actor T. R. Knight.

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi is a public land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research university located in Oxford, Mississippi. It is one of the top 145 institutions of higher learning in the United States, and the flagship school of the University of Mississippi system. The Mississippi Legislature founded the school in 1844, and it was the state’s first public university. Today, it sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in a rural setting. Notable alumni include writer James Meredith, football player Eli Manning, author John Grisham, Former United States Senator Thad Cochran, football player Michael Oher, actress Kate Jackson, Former Miss America and actress Mary Ann Mobley, Former United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, football player Charlie Conerly and record producer Glen Ballard.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a public research university in Lincoln, Nebraska, is one of the top 125 institutions of higher learning in the United States. It is the largest college in the University of Nebraska system, as well as its flagship school, and the oldest university in the state of Nebraska. In 1869, the Nebraska state legislature passed a law to establish the university, and by 1873, the first class had graduated. Today, it sits on more than 600 acres of land in an urban setting. Its motto is “Literis Dedicata et Omnibus Artibus” or “Dedicated to Letters and All the Arts.” Notable alumni include Warren Buffett, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Major League Baseball player Alex Gordon, drummer Tommy Lee, comedian Johnny Carson, writer Willa Cather, singer Barbara Hendricks and Head Basketball Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers Tyronn Lue.

University of Nevada - Reno

The University of Nevada - Reno, a public land-grant, space-grant and flagship research university in Reno, Nevada, is one of the top 205 institutions of higher education in the United States. The Nevada State Constitution helped to start the State University of Nevada in 1874. In 1969, it was renamed University of Nevada, Reno. Today, the school sits on 290 acres of land in an urban setting. Its motto is “Omnia Pro Patria” or “All For Our Country.” Notable alumni include Provost of Stanford University John Etchemendy, actress Gina Carano, football player Colin Kaepernick, basketball player Nick Fazekas, Chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates Frank Fahrenkopf, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Susan Desmond-Hellmann and basketball player JaVale McGee.

University of New Mexico - Main Campus

The University of New Mexico - Main Campus, a public research university located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is one of the top 190 institutions of higher education in the United States. A bill from the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of New Mexico helped to established the University of New Mexico in 1889. Today, it sits on 600 acres of land in an urban setting, and there are additional campuses throughout the state in places like Los Lunas and Gallup. Its motto is “Lux Hominum Vita” or “Life, the Light of Men.” Notable alumni include Former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici, Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson, attorney Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, politician Steven Schiff, actress Penny Marshall, Former Judge Honorable Shirley M. Hufstedler, football player Don Perkins, football player Hank Baskett and author Timothy Braun.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The first public university in the U.S., the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was established in 1795. Located in downtown Chapel Hill, the school, which is one of the top 30 in the nation, sits on 729 acres. Faculty member Professor Oliver Smithies won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for genetics and Professor Aziz Sancar won for chemistry in 2015. Notable alumni include Former U.S. President James K. Polk, basketball player Michael Jordan, actor Andy Griffith, soccer player Mia Hamm, writer Thomas Wolfe, comedians Lewis Black and Wyatt Cenac and journalist Brooke Baldwin. The school’s motto is “‎Lux libertas” or “Light and liberty.

University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota, a public research university located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, is one of the top 215 institutions of higher education in the United States. The Dakota Territorial Assembly founded the school in 1883, six years before North Dakota officially became a state. It is the oldest college in North Dakota. Today, the school sits on 550 acres of land in an urban setting, and it is the flagship institution of the University of North Dakota system. Its motto is “Lux et Lex” or “Light and Law.” Notable alumni include ice hockey player T. J. Oshie, basketball player Phil Jackson, ice hockey player Jonathan Toews, mechanical engineer and astronaut Karen Nyberg, Las Vegas casino-hotel mogul Ralph Engelstad, football player Jim Kleinsasser, actor Sam Anderson and author Chuck Klosterman.

University of Oregon

The University of Oregon, a public flagship university located in Eugene, Oregon, is one of the top 105 institutions of higher learning in the United States. The university was founded by the Oregon State Legislature in 1872. Today, it is managed by the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon, and it sits on 295 acres of land. Its motto is “Mens agitat molem” or “The Mind Moves Mountains.” More than 50 percent of students are from Oregon, and 12 percent of the student population is international. Notable alumni include actress Kaitlin Olson, co-founder of Nike Inc. Phil Knight, another co-founder of Nike Inc., Bill Bowerman, writer Chuck Palahniuk, professor Douglas Hofstadter, comedian Greg Behrendt and film producer Don Simpson.

University of Vermont

The University of Vermont, whose official name is The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, is a public research university, and the only land-grant university in all of Vermont. Located in Burlington, Vermont, it is one of the top 100 institutions of higher learning in the nation. Also known as UVM, it was founded in 1791 and was one of the first established universities in the United States. It was the fifth university founded in Vermont as well. Today, UVM’s campus size is 460 acres, and its motto is “Studiis et Rebus Honestis” or “For studies and other honest pursuits.” Notable alumni include American philosopher John Dewey, political activist Jody Williams, Phish bass player Mike Gordon, lead vocalist and frontman for Phish Trey Anastasio, drummer Jon Fishman from Phish, American novelist Annie Proulx, Former Governor of Vermont Madeleine Kunin and politician Pedro Albizu Campos.

University of Wisconsin, Madison

The University of Wisconsin, Madison is a land-grant, sea-grant public university, and the flagship school of the University of Wisconsin system. It is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 colleges in the U.S. Founded in 1838 by the state territorial legislature, UW–Madison today sits on 933 acres of land in Madison, Wisconsin. Its mottos are "God, our light" and “The divine within the universe, however manifested, is my light.” Alumni, faculty and former faculty have won 20 Nobel Prizes and 38 Pulitzer Prizes. Notable alumni include American anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar, aviator Charles Lindbergh, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, writer Joyce Carol Oates, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and TV commentator Greta Van Susteren. The school’s colors are cardinal and white and its mascot is Bucky Badger.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming, a public land-grant university located in Laramie, Wyoming, is one of the top 185 institutions of higher education in the United States. The school was established in 1886, and today, it is in the small town of Laramie. There are seven different colleges including arts and sciences, health sciences, law, education, business and engineering and applied sciences. It is the flagship school of the University of Wyoming system. Notable alumni include Former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, engineer W. Edwards Deming, football player Jay Novacek, businessman Jerry Buss, actor Wayde Preston, Judge M. Margaret McKeown, student Matthew Shepard, retired four-star General Peter Schoomaker and lawyer Gerry Spence.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University was named after Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who gave a $1 million gift to establish the school in 1873. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt is an internationally renowned research university that is typically ranked one of the top 20 schools in the U.S. The school boasts six Nobel Laureates including Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore Jr., biochemistry professor Stanley Cohen and physics professor Max Delbruck. Other notable alumni are Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, author James Patterson, singers Dinah Shore and Rosanne Cash and baseball player Dansby Swanson.

Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis-based merchant Wayman Crow and his pastor, William Greenleaf Eliot Jr., founded Washington University in St. Louis in 1853. This private research university is located in St. Louis, Missouri, on a 346-acre campus. It is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the U.S., specifically for medicine, social work, business and law. Notable alumni include Indian film actress Richa Gangopadhyay, former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Andrew McCabe, celebrity plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer, playwright Tennessee Williams and Former Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. Twenty-three Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with WashU, including Arthur Compton for physics, Alfred Hershey for physiology or medicine and William E. Moerner for chemistry.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University, a public space-grant and land-grant university located in Morgantown, West Virginia, is one of the top 205 institutions of higher education in the United States. The West Virginia Legislature established the university through the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act in 1867. Originally called the Agricultural College of West Virginia, today, the school sits on more than 900 acres of land. Its motto is “To faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge.” Notable alumni include basketball player Jerry West, actor Don Knotts, basketball coach Bob Huggins, CEO of Cisco Systems John Chambers, CEO of XFL Oliver Luck, mathematician Katherine Johnson, basketball player Hot Rod Hundley and actor Chris Sarandon.

University of South Carolina – Columbia

The University of South Carolina – Columbia is the flagship campus of the USC system, which is now made up of eight campuses. USCC offers 100 undergraduate degrees across 16 schools. Columbia is a lively college town that offers a wide range of entertainment and activities for students who need to take a break. For the 2017 to 2018 academic year, the out-of-state tuition and fees were $32,362, while in-state students paid $12,262, a difference of $20,000. Another cost to consider on top of tuition is USCC’s policy that requires freshmen to live on campus, which is often more expensive than renting a place off campus.

Ohio State University - Main Campus

Ohio State University, a public university in Columbus, Ohio, is the flagship school of the OSU system. It has a 54 percent admissions rate. Fifty-two percent of students are men and 48 percent are women. The typical cost for in-state students is over $10,000 per year, while the cost for out-of-state students is nearly $30,000 per year. The top major is psychology, and the school is part of the Big Ten Conference for football, basketball and track and field.

Pennsylvania State University

Even though many people associate Pennsylvania with the Ivy League school, UPenn, not everyone has the opportunity to go there. But, if you're still interested in going to a large and well-known school with excellent academics in the state of Pennsylvania, then Pennsylvania State University, also known as Penn State, is another great choice. While it may not be as hard to get in here as it is to get into UPenn, you should still expect to compete with many other outstanding applicants. According to their Admission and University Statistics, there were 70,657 students that applied for the Class of 2022. Of those, 15,947 freshmen enrolled to start school in the fall of 2018.

University of Washington, Seattle

An annual enrollment of more than 54,000 students makes the prestigious University of Washington one of the biggest public schools in the country. This large, public college is world renowned for cutting edge research and innovative scholarship. Efforts are underway to further diversify the student body. Currently, white students make up 40 percent of the student population, followed by Asians (25 percent), international students (15 percent), Latinos (8 percent), African Americans (3 percent) and smaller percentages of other underrepresented groups. Faculty, staff and students strongly advocate for an inclusive, welcoming and respectful campus.

Montana State University

Montana State University, a public, land-grant university located in Bozeman, Montana, is one of the top 205 institutions of higher education in the United States. It was established in 1893, and its name was the Agricultural College of the State of Montana. In 1965, it was renamed Montana State University. Today, it sits on more than 1,100 acres of land in a college town. Its motto is “Mountains & Minds.” Notable alumni include microbiologist Maurice Hilleman, United States Senator Steve Daines, film director John Dahl, historian Sarah Vowell, football player Jan Stenerud, TV personality and comedian Craig Kilborn, alpine skier Doug Coombs, artist Peter Voulkos and artist Rudy Autio.

South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University, located in Brookings, South Dakota, is a public school with 8,474 students enrolled. It has a 91 percent admissions rate and the average SAT range is 890-1160. In 2016, the school had 5,173 applicants. The typical cost is $8,441 for in-state students, while out-of-state students pay $11,689 on average. For basketball and track and field, it's part of The Summit League, and for football, it's part of the Missouri Valley Conference. SDSU is a football Division 1 school as well.

University of Oklahoma - Norman Campus

The University of Oklahoma - Norman Campus, which is located in the suburban town of Norman, Oklahoma, is a public school. Fifty-one percent of students are men, and 49 percent are women. In 2016, there were 14,391 applicants, and the acceptance rate is 71 percent. The typical costs for out-of-state students is just under $27,000 per year, while in-state students pay $11,538 per year. The top major is Humanities, and the basketball and track and field teams are part of the Big Twelve Conference.

University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

The University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, a public university in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has over 12,000 students and a 51 percent acceptance rate. In 2013, there were 6,353 applicants. Sixty-two percent of the school is made up of women, and 89 percent of the study body is Hispanic. The out-of-state cost is about $5,000, while in state students pay about $2,000 per year. Biology is the top major, and the basketball and track and field teams are part of the Independent Southeast Region.

University of the Virgin Islands

University of the Virgin Islands, which is located in Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands, has about 1,400 students and a 91 percent acceptance rate. It is in a remote town, and the school had nearly 1,800 applicants in 2016. The typical out-of-state cost is $14,496, while the in-state cost is $5,235. Business management and administration is the top major, and the school's basketball team is part of the Association of Independent Institutions.

Utah State University

Utah State University, a public university in Logan, Utah, has nearly 17,000 graduates and is in a small city. Forty-nine percent of students are men and 51 percent are women. In 2016, about 15,000 students applied to the school, and there is a 90 percent acceptance rate. The top major is Communication Disorders Sciences And Services, and the school is Division 1 in football, basketball and track. All three teams are part of the Mountain West Conference.

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About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.