Emory University draws driven, competitive students who also know the value of enjoying college life. This mid-sized private Christian university hosts just over 7,000 undergraduate students, and its academic landscape is dominated by pre-professional majors, particularly those interested in health sciences.

Emory is very selective, with an acceptance rate of just 13%, so no matter which field you're in, you'll be surrounded by people fighting for top grades and logging the study hours to show for it. Set in a suburban area of Atlanta, there's always a game, cultural event or show going on in the neighboring communities, which include Buckhead, Decatur, Midtown and Little Five Points. The campus is gorgeously green, and there's a thriving Greek scene that provides a built-in network of friends to those who rush.

There are 19 varsity athletic teams, including a newly added women's golf team. As for the student body, the school's above-average price tag attracts some more affluent students, though ultimately about 60% receive grant or scholarship aid. And once their time in college is up, they often find their Emory education was a good foundation: The school says 90% of students have solid plans within three months of graduation.