The University of St. Francis describes itself as a Roman Catholic college "rooted in the liberal arts." It requires all of its roughly 1,300 undergrads to take core courses in communication, philosophy, religion and statistics. Located in Joliet, Illinois, about 35 miles southwest of Chicago, the university has small classes — with more than 90% of classes having 25 or fewer students.

The estimated net price of a degree is just under the average for schools in Money’s 2023-2024 ratings. The school says the average financial assistance package for a full-time freshman living on campus was $30,262 last year.

The University of St. Francis offers some unusual programs, including a concentration in digital and recording arts, and its campus culture prizes music, hosting several ensembles such as choral group Singing Saints.

Greek life is a relatively small and new aspect of student life — it’s only been on campus since the 2014-2015 school year — but students interested in joining will find opportunities to do so. Otherwise, there’s a plethora of other school organizations to participate in, from the yoga club to the dance team to the student nurses association.