Outside of its home state, Saint Anselm College is probably best known for its involvement in the political sphere. Thanks to New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary election and the college's New Hampshire Institute of Politics, students have seen a slew of big-name politicians, candidates and former presidents speak in recent decades. The institute offers an up-close look at worldwide politics and allows students to participate in the democratic process. Saint A's also has a well-regarded program in criminology, which is among its most popular majors, along with nursing, business and finance.

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As its name suggests, the college was founded by the Benedictine Order of the Catholic Church, and monks still live in a monastery at the Saint Anselm Abbey, which neighbors the campus. The monks are a big part of campus life — teaching, working and cheering on the Hawks sports teams — but students of all faiths are welcome at this liberal arts college.

Saint Anselm boasts a six-year graduation rate of nearly 83%, which is 8% higher than expected based on schools with comparable student demographics, according to Money's analysis. The more than 2,000 students can choose from upwards of 50 clubs, ranging from service-oriented groups to club sports to performing arts organizations.