Students at Bradley University are quick to call out the merits of the institution and their satisfaction with its size and student body. Located in Peoria, Illinois, the school has eight colleges and schools serving about 4,300 undergrads. Students can choose from more than 185 undergraduate programs, including majors in ceramics, construction, game design, music business, painting, sports communication and more. Minors, meanwhile, range from applied ergonomics to legal studies.

A degree from Bradley costs just slightly above the median of schools Money rated this year, with the estimated net price about $135,000 for the typical student before state and federal aid are included.

The campus is relatively compact, so you are likely to run into fellow students and professors on a daily basis. The majority of students live on campus, and most take part in Bradley's 240-some organizations. About a third of students join Greek life, and a third of the first-year students are students of color.

Bradley is home to the Renaissance Coliseum, a multi-purpose athletic facility where Weezer, Macklemore and Taking Back Sunday, among others, have performed. Looking for more action? The university is a mile from downtown Peoria, and Chicago is just a three-hour drive away.