Unsurprisingly for a school with about 47,000 students — over 34,000 of them undergraduates — opportunities abound at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Eclectic arts scene? Check. Grade-A athletics? Badger faithful get pumped on game days. Charming college town? Affirmative — people bike along Lake Mendota. Strong Greek community? Got it. Impassioned political activism? The university is steps from the state capitol, where protestors often gather. Great academics? You'd better believe it.
Students have more than 9,000 courses and 242 majors and certificates to pick from. The business and engineering programs are notably prestigious. The downsides are that the school's size can be intimidating, and students say professors are sometimes more focused on research than teaching. Still, UW-Madison students come from all over the country to attend this esteemed public institution, and 87% of them graduate within six years of matriculating.
The estimated net cost of a degree from UW-Madison comes in at just over $102,000, too — a cool $30,000 cheaper than the median cost of all the schools on Money’s list. Their early career earnings come in at about $70,600, according to the College Scorecard.
Badger alums go on to do other big things, too, like starting The Onion and founding Earth Day.