St. Lawrence University was one of the first colleges to implement a first-year program, designed to help students make the transition to college-level academics and campus life. The university’s decades-old initiative places freshmen in one of 32 residential colleges with other people enrolled in the same first-year interdisciplinary seminar. Courses in the program include topics as wide-ranging as ghost stories, Cold War films and Sherlock Holmes’ reasoning skills. Students also can elect to begin with a study abroad program in London.

The college offers more than 70 majors and over 40 minors, including Canadian studies, biochemistry and data science. St. Lawrence is small but mighty, with a six-year graduation rate of 84%, according to Money’s calculations.

When they're not in class, the nearly 2,300 Laurentians can take advantage of over 150 student organizations, like Woodcarving Club or The Finer Things Cheese and Turophile Society. The school is located in Canton, a small upstate New York village near the Canadian border. It may be hours from any major city, but that means it's easy to take part in Peak Weekend, an annual event in which St. Lawrence students climb all 46 peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.