With six campuses peppered throughout Washington, WSU has a palpable influence on the state in which it resides. Its sprawling flagship campus and large student body (about 24,000 undergraduates alone) dominate the small town of Pullman, a scenic (if a little sleepy) corner of the state rich in rolling hills and vibrant landscapes. The hiking trails of Palouse Falls State Park, located about 80 miles West of WSU’s campus, are a popular weekend jaunt for students.

WSU offers close to 100 undergraduate majors — some of the most popular include finance, accounting, hospitality and tourism, elementary education and biology. WSU says its Social & Economic Sciences Research Center is the largest university-based survey research center in the Pacific Northwest. The university also offers a wealth of student activities and organizations, and its study abroad department has hundreds of programs in dozens of countries.

Athletes can take advantage of intramural sports like sand volleyball and golf, while spectators can check out official Cougars basketball and football games. As for WSU's party scene, the fraternity houses are regular hangouts for students under 21, while local bars like the nearly century-old The Coug, are popular with the 21-and-over crowd.