15 best college campuses in America

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Washington University in St. Louis won top billing — see whether your school made the cut.
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juggernautco/Flickr

As the summer comes to an end, a new crop of college freshmen are starting to move to a campus that will become their home away from home for the next four years.

For those wondering how their new college residence stacks up against the competition, Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools, publishes a ranking of the best college campuses in America.

Niche compiled its list using a mix of quantitative and qualitative factors including student campus surveys, meal-plan costs, on-campus housing and availability, and access to amenities.

Scroll through to find out its picks for the 15 best college campuses in America.


15. Rice University

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Tendenci Software/flickr

Houston

Survey on campus housing: 4.4 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $4,310

Student retention rate: 96%


14. Ohio State University

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Facebook/osu

Columbus, Ohio

Survey on campus housing:3.8 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: N/A

Student retention rate: 94%


13. University of Wisconsin

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Flickr/Richard Hurd

Madison, Wisconsin

Survey on campus housing:3.7 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $3,032

Student retention rate: 95%


12. Brigham Young University

source
Facebook/BYU

Provo, Utah

Survey on campus housing:4.0 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: N/A

Student retention rate: 87%


11. James Madison University

source
taberandrew via http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewbain/535171926/in/photolist-PhTYb-2bmrwh-2DGV2m-2Jswc3-36nJCn-3Wsbzw-3Y6PJW-48YFKZ-4g1n84-4HZFfy-4KH5Si-4MpGor-4U4K6U-4VQ9L9-52a86E-5infaN-5zm1Pu-5Ak9C8-5MjggP-5RNNVT-624iae-67aTsX-6ndQYp-6ndUpM-6ne4Mv-6pgWz8-6JT7uX-6UmjrP-6UqmKu-72ETR3-75tsaF-bBbpTB-auAmYf-8dcyPZ-aahSNy-aaf4uB-aahS3w-aaf4wR-9qTy99-7Tipq6-8SUpiM-cjuCiw-ckTokC-cjuLqG-cjuKEs-cjuLL3-cjuE75-cjuL1N-cjuEUu-cjuEvu-cjuDAb/ creative commons

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Survey on campus housing:3.9 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $4,748

Student retention rate: 92%


10. Yale University

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Michael Marsland / Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Survey on campus housing:4.4 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $6,400

Student retention rate: 98%


9. Stanford University

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Justin Sullivan/Getty

Stanford, California

Survey on campus housing:4.3 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $5,761

Student retention rate: 98%


8. Grand Canyon University

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Wikimedia Commons

Phoenix

Survey on campus housing:4.4 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $4,000

Student retention rate: 62%


7. University of Georgia

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University of Georgia/Facebook

Athens, Georgia

Survey on campus housing:3.7 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $3,956

Student retention rate: 94%


6. California Baptist University

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Aaron Lemen California Baptist University / Wikimedia Commons

Riverside, California

Survey on campus housing:4.2 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $4,760

Student retention rate: 83%


5. University of California at Los Angeles

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Los Angeles

Survey on campus housing:3.9 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: N/A

Student retention rate: 97%


4. Bowdoin College

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Bowdoin College/Facebook

Brunswick, Maine

Survey on campus housing:4.6 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $7,000

Student retention rate: 98%


3. Liberty University

source
Liberty University Facebook

Lynchburg, Virginia

Survey on campus housing:4.2 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $3,300

Student retention rate: 69%


2. Virginia Tech

source
Virginia Tech Facebook

Blacksburg, Virginia

Survey on campus housing:3.8 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $3,730

Student retention rate: 93%


1. Washington University in St. Louis

source
Facebook/Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis

Survey on campus housing:4.5 out of 5

Average meal-plan cost: $4,794

Student retention rate: 97%