20 Best Universities in USA Not in the Ivy League

 When you think about the country's top colleges, most people may think of Ivy League schools. However, the best schools aren't limited to the eight elusive Ivies. There are many top non-Ivy League universities to consider. This guide will provide some excellent options to diversify your college list and add some of the best non-Ivy League schools to your roster. Read on to learn more about the best non-Ivy schools by ranking, region, and area of study.

Number 20, Stanford University. Holding the no sick spot on US News and World Report's list of national universities, Stanford actually ranks ahead of several of the Ivies. So

It's no surprise that this institution is unofficially referred to as the Ivy of the West. Along with exceptional academic programs, the school offers small class sizes. Almost 70% of classes have fewer than 20 students, and the opportunity to work closely with faculty. Students are encouraged to participate in professors' research efforts and seek out mentorship opportunities while earning their degrees. Number 19, MIT.

MIT ties with Columbia for the No three spot on the list of national universities, ranking just behind Princeton and Harvard. Along with world-class research facilities featuring the latest technologies, MIT students enjoy access to the Independent Activities Program, a month-long January term featuring special courses and projects. While the university's engineering school is its largest in terms of enrollment, MIT

such as political science and economics. Number 18, Caltech. Students who are passionate about a career in science would be remiss not to consider Caltech. Home to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the country's leading center for robotic space exploration, the university provides students with plenty of opportunities to take part in research during school year and the summer. While Caltech is known for its academics,

The school also offers plenty of extracurricular programs and student clubs, including archery, karate, and ultimate frisbee. Number 17. University of Chicago. Chicago is perhaps best known among students for having the quirkiest supplemental essays, such as a hot dog might be a sandwich and cereal might be a soup, but is underscore underscore of underscore underscore.

Research is a major feature of life at the University of Chicago, where students are encouraged to embark on opportunities at the Argonne National Laboratory, Marine Biological Laboratory, and the Giant Magellan Telescope. However, the school isn't just known for its exceptional programs in science and technology. In fact, the University of Chicago offers over 50 different majors, including a nationally recognized program in economics.

And with 400 student clubs, you won't have to worry about finding your niche at this fine institution. Number 16. Northwestern University. Another university in Illinois, Northwestern holds the No. 9 spot on the list of best national universities. While the school offers students a choice of 112 different undergraduate degrees, Northwestern earns particular acclaim for its journalism program.

which boasts well-known alumni, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Lisa Gartner and author George R.R. Martin. As a bonus, Northwestern students have plenty of opportunities to take courses overseas. In fact, 50% of undergraduates participate in study abroad.

Number 15. Duke University. With 53 majors and 52 minors, Duke students have plenty of options when it comes to crafting and education. In fact, the school offers something called Program U, whereby students with interdisciplinary interests can design their own degree programs. Additionally, the school provides 18 lucky students a year with the opportunity to participate in the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program.

The winners receive a four-year scholarship along with special access to academic and extracurricular opportunities. Number 14. Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins has a reputation as a top medical school. However, the university also offers highly rated programs in the humanities and social sciences with popular majors including public health and international studies.

undergraduates praise the school's financial aid offering. According to US news data, the mean aid package totals $47,492, and the college's alumni earn an average starting salary of $62,700. Number 13, Williams College. If you haven't heard of Williams College, then you aren't alone. Although lesser known as a liberal arts college,

Williams is one of the best non-IV colleges in the nation, with majors ranging from economics to political science, government, and history. Additionally, Williams offers 60 to 70 courses in the style of the tutorial system employed by Oxford and Cambridge. Consisting of a professor and two or three students, these tutorials allow undergraduates to learn in an intimate, personalized atmosphere. Number 12.

Another liberal arts college located in the Bay State, Amherst holds the no, two spot on the list of best national liberal arts colleges. Considered one of the hidden ivies, along with Northwestern and Stanford, Amherst is one of the few open curriculum schools, meaning that there are no general education requirements. Additionally, Amherst is part of the Five Colleges Consortium, so students can take courses and participate in clubs at local schools like Smith,

and the University of Massachusetts. Amherst is known for its generous need-blind, no-loan financial aid, and the school promises to meet 100% of each student's demonstrated need. Number 11, UC Berkeley. A public university, UC Berkeley has a tuition rate of around $14,000 a year for California residents, a fact that makes it one of the more affordable schools on this list. However, that doesn't take away from Berkeley's prestige.

In fact, the school lists over 90 faculty members and graduates who are Nobel Prize winners. While UC Berkeley is known for attracting pre-med students, undergrads can choose from more than 150 majors, including less common choices like Peace and Conflict Studies, Atmospheric Science, and Tibetan Studies. Number 10. Brandeis University Brandeis, a non-sectarian research university focused on undergraduates.

Justice, openness, and inclusion are in its DNA. Not surprising given that it was founded in 1948 by the American Jewish community at a time when Jews and other racial and ethnic minorities, as well as women, faced discrimination in higher education. More than 70 years later, the school is driven by the values of inclusion, reverence for learning, critical thinking, and self-criticism. Number 9.

A close-knit community located in rural Minnesota animated by intellectual curiosity. That's a summary of the Carleton Experience. The school has a liberal arts focus and encourages deep, broad, and dynamic learning to make sense of the interesting messiness of life. Fun to note, a former long-term employee who regularly invited students to her home for chocolate chip cookies donated her house to the college where students gathered to hang out.

and even bake her beloved chocolate chip cookies and make bran, beer, or carrot muffins using ingredients from the fully stocked refrigerator. Number eight, Colgate University. Colgate has a picturesque campus in the heart of upstate New York for students to develop as wise, thoughtful, critical thinkers and perceptive leaders and to enjoy direct access to faculty. The school is neither a giant research university nor a tiny liberal arts college.

To deliver on its mission, Colgate requires all students complete a course by the end of their sophomore year in each of five areas of its core curriculum. Number 7. College of William & Mary The College of William & Mary is a premier public research university located in historic and picturesque Williamsburg, Virginia. It offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts and business.

issued by King William Iwy and Queen Mary II. It is the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Harvard is the oldest. William and Mary is among the select top public schools considered public ivies. Number six, Connecticut College. Conn College is the quintessential college on Hill overlooking Long Island Sound, across the street from the Coast Guard Academy. It has 750 acres of arboretum.

and is two hours from Boston, one hour from Providence, and three hours from New York City. Connections is the name of the school's new approach to a liberal arts education, designed to encourage students to integrate their interests into a meaningful interdisciplinary curriculum or educational pathway along with study abroad and slash or a college-funded internship, preparing students for a fulfilling, effective career. Number five, Grannell College.

Grinnell students design their own academic journey in conjunction with a faculty advisor. The school labels their approach an individually advised curriculum. There is only one required class, called a First Year Tutorial, which is a small, writing-intensive, discussion-based class with topics such as Kendrick Lamar, coping with climate change, exploring the magical world of Calvin and Hobbes, and no general education requirements.

The school prides itself on attracting students who have the curiosity and intellect to ask hard questions and question easy answers. Number 4. Kenyon College. The oldest private college in Ohio, Kenyon is also the first in the U.S. to implement the model of faculty members serving as academic advisors. With a long-standing literary tradition and home of the Kenyon Review, an esteemed literary

It's not surprising that 100% of recent alumni say they learned to write better at Kenyon. Perhaps you'll find it surprising that the school ranks eighth in the country, ahead of every Ivy, for the proportion of STEM grads to earn a doctorate in the field. Number three, Macalester College. With students from all 50 states and 98 countries, a philosophy of global citizenship and a collaborative learning approach,

Macalester prepares students to have an outsized impact on the world. Civic engagement is central to the ethos of the school, bolstered by Macalester's Civic Engagement Center and the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship. Number 2. Oberlin College. With both a top-rate college of arts and sciences and a conservatory of music, Oberlin is a school that inspires profound connections between intellectual and artistic discovery.

Moral idealism, social engagement, and creativity are also valued at Oberlin. It was the first college to adopt a policy to admit black students and to grant undergraduate degrees to women in a co-ed program.

Number 1. Occidental College. Los Angeles' first and only liberal arts college, Occidental is nestled in the beautiful hills of Lay's Eagle Rock Community, founded in 1887, before LA even had its first paved street. OXIE students have the resources of a vibrant, global city, as well as a high-quality interdisciplinary and multicultural education, to prepare them for leadership in a complex, independent, and pluralistic world.