Americas Top 50 Colleges According to Forbes (a Business Magazine That Your Parents Probably Read)

There is more than one way to give a grade. When Forbes comes up with their 50 Top American Colleges, like they have for the past seven years, you must understand that their opinion isn’t absolute.

If you pay attention you’ll see that the list starts with no scaling system to support their choices and that even in the description of the colleges, popular statistics such as Graduation Rates and Student Diversity aren’t mentioned (at least not consistatnly). Neither, as you’ll notice, are tuition rates.

Instead, Forbes does a great job of pointing out the cultural caviattes and the innovative educational successes that define these top schools—like how Swarthmore students gather to watch “The Graduate” the first day before Senior year, or how Steve Jobs went to Reed College where there is a “deemphasize on grades.”

Though their proclamations may be a little unscientific, every school on their list does offer a truly one of a kind student experience, and many of these schools actually fly under the radar when it comes to lists like these.

So here it is, in a truly opinionated but useful and interesting blog post fashion, Forbes’ list of 50 Schools That Aren’t Cheap But Do Offer an Amazing Student Experience and a Beautiful Campus.

#50. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

#49. Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts

#48. Lafayette College – Easton, Pennsylvania

#47. Whitman College – Walla Walla, Washington

#46. Reed College – Portland, Oregon

#45. University of Michigan, Anne arbor – Ann Arbor, Michigan

#44. University of California, Los Angeles – Los Angeles, California

#43. Oberlin College – Oberlin, Ohio

#42. Kenyon College – Gambier, Ohio

#41. College of William and Mary – Williamsburg, Virginia

#40. University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

#39. Colby College – Waterville, Maine #38. Colgate University – Haimlton, New York

#37. University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, California

#36. Boston College – Chestnut, Massachusetts

#35. Barnard College – New York, New York

#34. United States Air Force Academy – Colorado

#33. Washington and Lee University – Lexington, Virginia

#32. Rice University – Houston, Texas

#31. Cornell University – Ithaca, New York

#30. Middlebury College – Middlebury, Vermont

#29. Wellesley College – Wellesley, Massachusetts

#28. Georgetown University – Washington, DC

#27. United States Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland

#26. Vassar College – Poughkeepsie, New York

#25. Tufts University – Medford, Massachusetts

#24. University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

#23. Duke University – Durham, North Carolina

#22. Davidson College – Davidson, North Carolina

#21. California Institute of Technology – Pasadena, California

#20. Columbia University – New York, New York

#19. Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

#18. Dartmouth College – Hanover, New Hampshire

#17. University of Notre Dame – South Bend, Indiana

#16. Carleton College – Northfield, Minnesota

#15. Wesleyan University – Middletown, Connecticut

#14. Bowdoin College – Brunswick, Maine

#13. Brown University – Providence, Rhode Island

#12. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

#11. Haverford College – Haverford, Pennsylvania

#10. Amherst College – Amherst, Massachusetts

#9. United States Military Academy – West Point, New York

#8. Pomona College – Claremont, California

#7. Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts

#6. Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut

#5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, Massachusetts

#4. Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey

#3. Swarthmore College – Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

#2. Stanford University – Stanford, California

#1. Williams College – Williamstown, Massachusetts

College Advice College Search

Should I Join a Theatre Group in College?

Take it from a former college theatre geek, your school stage will most likely be the best and last stage you'll ever be on. 

After graduation, it’s all community theater and church ensembles, and who has the time for that? Nobody, that's who. 

Going to the farmers market is one of those things that just feels good.

They're quaint and novel, full of happy people buying hand-grown food, and sometimes, they even have a guy playing an accordian over by the pickle stand. It doesn't get better than that, my friends. 

On-Campus Farmers Markets

The lost art of growing vegitables and selling them directly to the community isn't lost yet at these awesome college, where students and professors alike are able to walk less than the length of the campus to a fresh and fantastic farmers markets.

Disc Golf is Everwhere on a College Campus

What do a statue of a university founder, a liberal arts building and an on-campus coffee shop have in common? They can all be disc golf targets.

That’s right, practically every college campus can and should be used as a disc golf course. It’s done at St. Mary’s University, where students get to throw over streams and historic graveyards. And it’s done at the University of Oregon, where students shoot through skinny, sprawling oak trees.

Why Chess is Such a Great Game

Chess may be one of the most important games in humanity.

It has taken geniuses and robots to master, has lasted through centuries of sporting, permeated across the globe and found its way onto almost every college campus in the country. Yet despite its prodigious back story, it is still one of the most democratic games, funneling down to just two individuals and their wits. 

Who is Wes Anderson?

Wes Anderson is half-average guy half-magician. His fashion, visual style, films and characters are all relatable, genuine, cool and absurdly different. He’s been making amazing cult films since the late 80’s, attracting fans of all ages and backgrounds. But at one point he was nothing more than a dude sitting in the back of a college play-write class, looking to make friends and talk movies. 

Having something you wrote with your name attached to it on a website that you didn’t create is resume gold. I'm not talking about your personal blog (which can still be very impressive), I'm talking about guest blogging. 

Guest blogging shows initiative, skill, and business cunning. And although it seems like everyone’s doing it, trust me, it’ll still make you stand out.

The best thing about SpoonUniversity is that its writers understand students. 

College students go to class. College students study in libraries. College students go on $3 hot dog runs at 2 a.m. What they don’t do—is cook. At least not as much as they could.

SpoonUniversity is fixing that.

Having trouble making friends in college?

Worry not - you're not alone! Making friends at any stage of life is a challenge, especially if you're somewhat shy, introverted, or -- we're just going to come out and say it -- "picky". 

Some think it should be easy to make friends in college since there are so many people around, but that's not true. If anything, the amount of options and directions students are pulled in can make it harder to find someone you can really get along with. 

Alright, if our calculations are correct then between move-in day and graduation day you could meet a Prince, a future American President, a surfer musician, a quarterback, or a genius.

You could also meet some other non-famous cutie hanging out around campus, but that wouldn't be as exciting. 

Competitive people can’t help being competitive just like lazy people can’t help being lazy. It’s simply in the blood. But for obvious (and unfortunate) culturally American reasons, teachers, parents and honest friends will berate you for being lazy, but wont for being overly competitive. That’s because competitive people tend to excel: top percentile grades, multiple extracurricular activities and popularized class rank are among some of the achievements of those who win at school.

Should You Listen to Your Parents College Advice?

For the most part, yes. When it comes to picking a degree or figuring out the finances then your parents can be a huge help.

But there are other things about they don't know a whole lot about, and that's because college has changed so much since they went. 

The basics are the same—find a subject you like and excel at it, enjoy your social life but don’t get carried away, try to get a degree in four years—but some of what they tell you will only get your hopes up or stress you out. Here's what's changed. 

College is Full of Surprises

There are a lot of cliches about college. Even friends, family, and former students can give you false information.

Every school (and people's perceptions of them) are different. And sometimes people just flat out embellish (you know those people). 

They say that Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but they're wrong, it’s called Google.

Everything you need to know to be able to write a good research paper, bring relatable current news to your classroom, back up your arguments and lead a rewarding life you can be found through Google.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad information out there that will clutter your search results and force you to miss the good stuff. We don't want you to miss the good stuff. 

The End of Winter Break...

The start of the second semester is a strange time to be a student. For the past several weeks, your lifestyle has been the complete antithesis to educational development—you’ve probably finished a shameful number of Netflix shows, spent some quality time with hometown friends, and haven’t been waking up before 10 or reading from a textbook.

Now, you'll soon be going back to campus where you'll be asked to do the total opposite.

If you don’t start a club in college, chances are you never will. That’s just the truth. I mean it’s the perfect place. It’s full of active, fun-seeking, mostly adventurous students—enough to flock around most obscure/unique/weird interests you may have.

If you’re down with all this and want to continue or start an epic tradition, then listen up, because there are still some things that can go way wrong.

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