Gettysburg College is a liberal arts school with about 2,200 students. Its 225-acre campus is near Gettysburg National Military Park, which marks the site of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. Perhaps not surprisingly, one of Gettysburg College's signature programs is Civil War era studies, offered as a minor to undergraduates with courses like "Mark Twain’s Civil War" and "Gettysburg to Charlottesville: Race in the American Imagination."

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But the college, which was founded in 1832 — well before the war — has its own rich traditions and a broad set of academic choices. Most classes are small, which allows ample opportunity for one-on-one attention from professors. The most popular programs include economics, political science and business. Students’ early-career salaries come in at nearly $73,000.

Alumni include politician Ron Paul, author Jerry Spinelli and TV star Carson Kressley. Students say the campus is beautiful and that much of the social culture revolves around the Greek system. There are other traditions, too: Every Thanksgiving, students pile into Servo dining hall and feast on turkey, potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, stuffing and pie.