There's an urban legend that the characters in Scooby-Doo were based on each school in the “Five College” consortium. If true, UMass Amherst might be the over-excited, ultra-lovable main character.

Students have been known to live up to their Scooby-like reputation, with rowdy parties and ample school spirit. And when it’s time to buckle down and get the job done, they’re committed to their goals: UMass Amherst has an 80% six-year graduation rate, according to Money’s calculations (above our national median, which is 69%).

With about 24,000 undergrads (plus another 7,000 grad students), students have an easy time finding whatever college experience they’re looking for. Noteworthy student groups include the Outing Club, an adventure group for outdoorsy types, and Not Ready for Bedtime Players, an award-winning sex-education theater troupe.

As for majors, some of the school’s most popular programs are in business, communications and health, but the university offers over 100 different subject areas to choose from. Students can also take courses at the four other colleges in the consortium: Amherst College, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith.