Wake Forest University, known by those who go there as "Work Forest," is a private institution in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Classes are rigorous but small, allowing the school's over 5,000 undergrads to have one-on-one interaction with their professors, whom students say are accessible and willing to go out of their way to help.

The university offers about 45 majors and 60 minors, including Arabic, entrepreneurship, chemistry and accountancy. A lush green landscape and stately brick buildings provide the backdrop for its stellar academics, though they do come with a high price tag — Wake Forest’s estimated net price of degree adds up to roughly $267,000 before state and federal aid.

The college aesthetic here may be largely preppy and Southern-country-club centric, but you can bet the students at Wake know how to shake it up. Nearly half of the undergrads go Greek, although students say most fraternity parties are open to everyone. "Wake Wednesday" is the big weeknight to go out, either to a frat house or, for a change of scenery, a local bar such as the popular West End Opera House. Most students love the Old Black and Gold, even if they say they live in a "Wake Bubble."