Michigan Technological University, commonly referred to as Michigan Tech or MTU, was founded in the late 19th century as a school for mining engineers. It now offers more than 120 degree programs to its nearly 7,000 students, 5,700 of whom are undergrads.

Earlier this year, the school’s board of trustees voted to introduce a new nursing program, which will — pending approvals — begin admitting students in the fall. MTU’s student body is still largely focused on engineering, and nearly all students receive grants or merit aid.

About a tenth of students take part in Greek life, although if you don't there's no shortage of things to do: Michigan Tech has more than 240 student organizations and its own ski and snowboard hill called Mont Ripley, and the city of Houghton has a solid nightlife scene. The school’s proximity to state parks near Lake Superior shores also makes it a great place to go hiking, camping and paddling, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula features many bike trails.

For those who like to stay active but are not so fond of outdoorsy activities, MTU offers an indoor Student Development Complex complete with an ice rink, dance studio, climbing wall, pool and a tennis court. Fair warning: If you decide to become a Husky, you'll need a warm coat for the Winter Carnival, an annual festival during which students carve snow statues and play a sport called broomball. (It's kind of like hockey.) Those looking to go further afield can travel to one of MTU's 150 study abroad destinations, many of which offer additional financial aid to cover the costs of going overseas.