The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, part of the University of Wisconsin system, is nestled between the Mississippi River and its prominent bluffs. The school's (approximately) 9,300 students are spread among five schools and colleges, including one devoted to business administration and another to science and health.

The most popular undergraduate majors are biology, psychology, elementary education, exercise and sport science, and finance. The school also offers some more niche programs, like the UW System's only nuclear medicine technology degree.

Tuition is affordable — below $10,000 a year for in-state students. The university also offers a Midwest Tuition Rate, a merit-based program where select first-years from 10 states can attend the school for no more than 150% of the Wisconsin resident tuition price (about $13,000).

UW-La Crosse offers 21 Division III sports teams, including football, basketball, track and field, and swimming. The UW-Lax Eagles have won a total of 71 national championships in different sports to date.

New and returning students are treated to a luminous display during Welcome Week each year: the school's "Lighting of the L," a giant L shape on Grandad Bluff, which towers over the campus just east of the school. Students used rags and kerosene when the tradition began in 1935; today, the big letter is formed with LED rope lights.