With alumni who include famed crime novelist James Patterson and Raymond Kelly, the longest-serving New York City police commissioner in the city's history, Manhattan College is a quintessentially New York school.

Despite the name, the campus is located just north of Manhattan in the Riverdale section of the Bronx (it moved to its current location in 1923). Sometimes referring to itself as the "sixth borough," the school’s tree-lined campus is just 35 minutes away from midtown Manhattan.

Application requirements are straightforward: You’ll need your high school transcript, one letter of recommendation, a personal essay and a $75 application fee. SAT/ACT scores are recommended but not mandatory for admittance. While the school accepts applicants of all faiths, this Catholic institution does require students in some majors to take at least one course in Catholic theology. The university boasts a hands-on learning experience, and students can conduct research with faculty for credit over the course of a year. More than half of Manhattan’s students participate in internships in companies located in New York City.

The Jaspers can cheer on one of the 18 NCAA Division I sports teams, including basketball, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse. Major social events of the year include Manhattan Madness, which kicks off basketball season, and the Spring Concert, at which All-American Rejects, T-Pain and Tiesto have performed.