New Hampshire’s flagship school is nationally renowned for its research, particularly its policy education and civic engagement work at the Carsey School of Public Policy. Given its home state’s place in U.S. primary elections, the University of New Hampshire’s knowledgeable political science faculty are often called upon by the media for their election insights. It’s clear academics are important at UNH, which performs well in Money’s ratings for its affordability and 74% six-year graduation rate.

Sports fans enjoy a competitive Division I athletics program at UNH, where winter teams like hockey and skiing ignite school spirit. Students, known as Wildcats, have myriad outdoor activity options amid a campus culture of environmental sustainability: The New Hampshire Outing Club — believed to be the oldest student group on campus — offers off-campus weekend adventures like backpacking, canoeing, camping and rock climbing.

Located in historic Durham, UNH has an active nightlife scene with a plethora of bars and restaurants. The campus is a short trip from the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and an hour and a half from the White Mountains. Students can also get a dose of big-city life on day trips to Boston, located roughly 70 miles away.