2023 Ultimate Alternative College Guide

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Choosing the right college is a hugely important choice, not just for the next few years of your life as you enter young adulthood, but potentially for the rest of your life.

While academic factors are undoubtedly a massive factor when it comes to choosing which college to enroll with, it's not the only thing to take into account.

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Whether it’s the social and sporting side of things, safety on campus, or knowing that your new home for the next few years is run in an ethical and sustainable way, there are lots of other factors that prospective students may consider when choosing where to study, so we’ve created the 2023 Ultimate Alternative College Guide, analyzing 50 of the country’s biggest universities on six alternative factors.

Top Three Colleges

1. University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Taking the top spot was the University of Michigan, which scored highest for two out of six factors, both the number of students who were part of a sports team (3.26%) and the number of student organizations per 10,000 students (516). Michigan has also been home to 26 Nobel Prize winners, over 250 Olympic athletes and coaches, and eight heads of state or government, including former President Gerald Ford.

2. Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, better known as Virginia Tech, was third in our ranking. The university had an impressive ‘green score’ of 97 out of 99 and has been recognized nationally for their work on campus sustainability, while also scoring highly for quality of life on their Blacksburg campus, with a score of 91out of 99.

3. New York University

New York City, NY

New York University is the countries largest private university and took second place in our ranking, in no small part due to its location right in the heart of New York, in Greenwich Village. For those looking to enjoy an active social life alongside their studies, NYU was home to more bars and places to grab a drink with a mile of campus than any of the other colleges on our list. It also scored highly when it came to sustainability and safety too, which is impressive considering its location in the center of one of the world’s busiest cities.

2023 Ultimate Alternative College Guide