Skidmore College's slogan, "Creative Thought Matters," seems to permeate all facets of academic and campus life. With an eclectic list of classes, an artsy student body of about 2,700 and a home in historic Saratoga Springs, New York, Skidmore is just about the quintessential Northeast liberal arts college.

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Professors are extremely accessible, and academics are rigorous, particularly the art and science programs. At roughly $234,000, the net cost of a Skidmore degree is above average, but the college gives out generous grants to students with financial need. Plus, its six-year graduation rate of about 86% is above average, too, according to Money's calculations.

The school provides a lot of weekend entertainment in the way of concerts, theater, improv comedy and film. Every spring, right before final exams, the campus celebrates Fun Day, an outdoor party replete with games, food and music as a last hurrah for the semester (Skidmore's website calls it a "mini version of Coachella"). The charming downtown of Saratoga Springs is available for students looking for an off-campus excursion (don't miss the macaroni and cheese at Druthers Brewing Company).