The country's oldest Jesuit university, Georgetown is one of the more expensive schools in Money's rankings. But one reason for that — its location in Washington, D.C. — is also one of its biggest draws, especially for students interested in politics or international relations.

With a beautiful red brick campus overlooking the Potomac, Georgetown frequently welcomes Washington's elite to lecture or teach. Recent guests have included former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Attorney General Eric Holder and former President Bill Clinton, who graduated from Georgetown. Other distinguished alumni include actor Bradley Cooper, comedian John Mulaney and Today show host Savannah Guthrie.

Roughly 4 in 10 students receive some form of grants or scholarships to help defray their costs. Georgetown's graduation rate is roughly 95%, and students post median earnings of roughly $102,000 a decade after they enrolled. Sports are a big part of campus life: The school touts that 1 in 10 undergraduates is a varsity athlete. Its revered basketball team has made it to the NCAA Final Four five times and clinched the championship once, in 1984.

In one of its more head-turning traditions, students can attend screenings of The Exorcist each Halloween — and then walk to sites on campus where the movie was filmed, including the "Exorcist stairs," where the movie's climax takes place.