The University of Georgia is one of the oldest public universities in the country. Well over two centuries after its founding, the school is still evolving and growing. The university's 85% graduation rate is well above average, and 89% of students get grants to help fund their education.

The university has an impressive number of students and faculty who earn national awards each year, including Rhodes, Fulbright and Marshall scholars. UGA also houses some of the state's best academic and cultural resources, among them a rare books collection, the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and the state's official art and natural history museums. The university's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication oversees the Peabody Awards, which honor outstanding contributions in TV, radio and digital media.

Fraternities and sororities lead the social scene, and weekends during college football season revolve around cheering on the Bulldogs. Considered one of the country's top college towns, Athens has a great restaurant lineup (try South Kitchen + Bar’s duck fat tater tots) and music scene, including a three-day music and arts festival called AthFest.