St. Olaf College is probably best known for its world-class music department, but the liberal arts school offers a broad range of majors. Located in southeastern Minnesota, St. Olaf was founded by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants whose legacy is still evident in the school's Lutheran affiliation and renowned Nordic studies program.
Academics are rigorous, with a general education core that every student must complete, and St. Olaf's 87% six-year graduation rate is a testament to the dedication of its student body. It might get cold — OK, very cold — in the winter, but St. Olaf students find plenty of ways to keep busy indoors through clubs, performing arts groups and service organizations. Social life takes place on campus, in Northfield (the town Oles share with students from rival Carleton College) and in nearby Minneapolis.
Olaf is also one of the most forward-thinking colleges in the country when it comes to environmental sustainability: A wind turbine provides much of the school's electricity, and students run an organic farm that provides produce and flowers to locals.