A sense of “this is where I belong” is something potential students look for the moment they step foot onto a college campus. The attractiveness of a campus plays a big part in that realization.
Beauty looks different across the most beautiful college campuses in America — and so does their costs. Using reports by Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, GOBankingRates compiled the 25 most beautiful campuses in the U.S., and then found the sticker price for one year of tuition at each institution.
Click through to learn if you make enough to put your kid through college, and see the most beautiful universities in the country.
All tuition quoted accurate as of 2018 school year.
25. Utah State University — Utah
One year of tuition costs: $20,726
If your vision of the most beautiful college campus includes mountain scenery, then pay a visit to this public university located in Logan, Utah. Utah State University sits against a picturesque backdrop of mountains and valleys. Must-sees include the Historic Old Main Building and surrounding quad area.
Once you graduate, stick around in Utah — it has the second-best employment growth rate in the country.
24. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — North Carolina
One year of tuition costs: $34,588
What’s not to love about a wooded campus with rolling hills and inviting flora throughout? Other visual appeals of the UNC Chapel Hill campus include two gargoyles from the Big Ben clock tower on the south side of Person Hall that greet those at the doorway. Of course, UNC also has the well-known Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower at the center of campus to add to its picturesque beauty.
23. Florida Southern College — Florida
One year of tuition costs: $34,774
Frank Lloyd Wright changed the way structures were built in America, and his architectural legacy is displayed throughout Florida Southern College. In fact, the Lakeland campus is home to the largest collection of Wright structures in one location anywhere in the world. You might say Florida Southern College earned its “most beautiful” title for being unique, as you won’t find any brick or Gothic-style architecture here.
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22. Indiana University — Indiana
One year of tuition costs: $34,846
The campus of Indiana University is exceptionally lovely in the spring, when flowers blossom against the limestone buildings. The university is also one of the more affordable to attend on the list.
21. Berry College — Georgia
One year of tuition costs: $34,950
Perhaps one of the lesser-known colleges on this list, Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga., is certainly among the most beautiful and charming. Although the student body is small, the campus itself is actually one of the largest, with more than 27,000 acres of woodlands, streams and meadows. The campus is so lovely that it’s been featured in several films, including “Remember the Titans” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
20. University of Washington — Washington
One year of tuition costs: $35,538
The University of Washington in Seattle is another scenic campus that will not visually disappoint. Students and visitors who come simply to marvel at its beauty enjoy its architecture and cherry blossom season, when the Yoshino cherry trees bloom in the quad. With clear skies, Mt. Rainier is visible in the distance.
19. University of Virginia — Virginia
One year of tuition costs: $41,722
When considering the most beautiful college campuses, no list is complete without mentioning the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Designed by Thomas Jefferson himself, the school’s campus certainly has a presidential flair, with timeless architecture that also appeals to the masses. UVA is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Charlottesville is the best city in Virginia for residents to have a successful 2018, a separate GOBankingRates study found.
18. The University of the South (Sewanee) — Tennessee
One year of tuition costs: $44,848
The University of the South (commonly referred to as Sewanee) sits on top of the Cumberland Plateau, which is between Nashville and Chattanooga. If nature is important to your educational journey, the 13,000-acre campus and surrounding area offer boundless scenery and study opportunities.
17. University of San Diego — California
One year of tuition costs: $47,100
Students and visitors of the University of San Diego will enjoy the design continuity of Spanish architecture on campus. The school offers marvelous ocean views and palm trees abound. The church of The Immaculata is at the heart of the university and might be the most visually striking structure with its iconic blue dome.
16. University of Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania
One year of tuition costs: $47,416
The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia radiates beauty. The urban school, founded by Benjamin Franklin, is known for Locust Walk, the pathway at the heart of campus that students take when walking to class.
Once you’ve toured Penn, visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art — the Rocky Steps are out front, and they’re free to visit.
15. Rollins College — Florida
One year of tuition costs: $48,335
Students at Rollins College in Winter Park experience the visual pleasures of Spanish-style architecture and extravagant blossoms, such as azaleas in the courtyard of Orlando Hall. Students who wish to sit and read or take a stroll will enjoy the cypress-lined pathway along Lake Virginia.
14. Lewis & Clark — Oregon
One year of tuition costs: $48,628
Students will want to be outside at this 137-acre campus, situated in the southwest hills of Portland. The campus offers phenomenal views of Mt. Hood and is surrounded by Douglas firs. The school has been ranked as one of the most sustainable in the country.
Portland is a great place to live, but it’s also getting more expensive — Oregon has one of the biggest real estate bubbles in the country.
13. Stanford University — California
One year of tuition costs: $48,987
Despite its extensive growth, Stanford University has managed to sustain its distinctive appearance. The Palo Alto campus undeniably has one of the most grandiose entrances of any university, with palm trees lining the entire length of Palm Drive and a view of iconic Memorial Church in the distance. The campus remains visually appealing throughout, with its red clay roofs and 25 fountains.
Stanford alumni Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in their Stanford dorm rooms.
12. Bryn Mawr College — Pennsylvania
One year of tuition costs: $49,310
Only 11 miles from Philadelphia sits one of the most beautiful college campuses in America. Bryn Mawr College is defined by stone buildings that are the first examples of Collegiate Gothic and served as templates for other campuses. The school is a private women’s college and is ranked among the best liberal arts colleges.
11. Princeton University — New Jersey
One year of tuition costs: $49,330
This Ivy League school is attractive both academically and physically, making it one of the best college campuses in the country. Students and visitors alike enjoy walking through the green spaces and historic quads, with sprawling ivy covering many of the Gothic-style buildings.
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10. Wellesley College — Massachusetts
One year of tuition costs: $50,840
Another private women’s college, Wellesley College’s 500-acre campus is located outside of Boston and is simply serene. The campus’ lavish landscape earns its spot on the list, as the grounds are made up of winding paths, open meadows, a private lake, pine trees and sweeping old oak trees. Henry Fowle Durant, who founded the college in 1870, wanted the landscape to be central to the identity of Wellesley College.
9. Yale University — Connecticut
One year of tuition costs: $51,400
Another campus well-known for its academic performance as well as its beauty is Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Established in 1701, stepping onto this Ivy League campus’ grounds feels like a walk back in time. The courtyard of Yale’s Branford residential college is considered to be one of the most beautiful spaces of any college in America, and the grounds in front of the library are a picturesque gathering place for students.
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8. Dartmouth College — New Hampshire
One year of tuition costs: $51,468
Dartmouth’s campus in Hanover is quaint and lovely. A staple to campus is the Baker-Berry Library and the clock tower that can be viewed from throughout the area, including from the Green, a five-acre plot of grass that serves as a gathering spot for students.
7. University of Notre Dame — Indiana
One year of tuition costs: $51,505
Simply put, University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., is exquisite. Students walk to class among more than 1,250 acres of lush landscape, which takes about 45 employees to maintain. But it’s the enormous architectural beauties that surround the grounds that make Notre Dame such a notable place. More specifically, the golden dome of the University’s Main Building is its most famous icon.
Indiana’s economy improved the fifth-most out of all states in 2017.
6. Kenyon College — Ohio
One year of tuition costs: $51,540
Located about 45 minutes outside of Columbus in Gambier, Ohio, the small liberal arts college has enormous beauty. Central to the campus is its Middle Path, the wide footpath that runs the length of the campus. Peirce Hall, with its stone tower, is the school’s most recognizable landmark.
5. University of Colorado — Colorado
One year of tuition costs: $52,018
If your idea of beauty equates to Rocky Mountains, then the University of Colorado in Boulder is a must destination. In addition to Mother Nature’s scenic gems, man-made attractions include the Old Main, the first building on campus that dates back to 1876.
4. Northwestern University — Illinois
One year of tuition costs: $52,239
Northwestern University in Evanston offers the best of both worlds, with a true college vibe and easy access to a big city. Plus, the university sits on the edge of Lake Michigan, which provides scenic beach views and activities.
3. Southern Methodist University — Texas
One year of tuition costs: $52,498
SMU’s campus is just five miles away from downtown Dallas. Despite being an urban campus, there is no lack of green space here. In fact, green areas define the campus, with large lawns a major feature of the school’s 234 acres. The campus features Neo-Georgian architecture throughout.
2. Colgate University — New York
One year of tuition costs: $53,650
Buildings at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., date as far back as 1827. Sprinkled throughout the 575-acre campus is an abundance of trees, including sugar maples and red oaks. Picture rolling hills, forests and traditional collegiate architecture, and you have an idea of Colgate’s simple, timeless beauty.
1. Duke University — North Carolina
One year of tuition costs: $53,744
Duke University is situated on nearly 9,000 acres in Durham, N.C. The campus encompasses two architectural styles: one with Georgian red brick, and another with Collegiate Gothic-style buildings created with local stone and carved limestone. Without a doubt, the most notable and beautiful gem on campus is the magnificent Duke Chapel.
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