10 Most Demanding Colleges

The United States has several universities that rank with the best in the world and are considered equal in stature to (but have certain advantages over) Ivy League schools such as Dartmouth, Princeton, and Yale.

For those who are looking for the best, these are the top 10 to consider and investigate.

1. Stanford University

Advantages include a nationally ranked intercollegiate athletic program, a great California climate, a laid-back atmosphere

2. Princeton University

Here the emphasis is on the undergraduate student. Princeton students rank their academic experience as the best in the country.

3. Cooper Union

Possibly not as well known as the others—unless your are headed toward art, architecture, or engineering. All students are on scholarships. Seen as very rigorous with unparalleled academics.

4. Harvard College

The name connotes the reputation of the distinguished faculty and phenomenal world-class research facilities. Here the best minds on the planet can be found—and in almost any academic area.

5. Yale University

A world-renowned research center, which also gives great emphasis to the undergraduate experience.

6. United States Air Force Academy

All of the students fortunate enough to get in receive a full scholarship that includes tuition, room and board, health care, and a monthly living allowance. Emphasizes leadership training, exceptional academics, a challenging physical program, and hands-on experience.

7. United States Military Academy (West Point)

Not for those looking for an easy go. Days are crammed with demanding activities that include rigorous academics with an overriding military approach.

8. United States Naval Academy

Free for those who qualify. Outstanding military and civilian faculty. Tough but rewarding curriculum. Classes are small with individual attention.

9. Brown University

The flexible open curriculum is not for those who need structure or those who don't know their professional goals. In the worlds of one student, “I go to class because I couldn't deprive myself of listening to what my professors have to say.”

10. Columbia University

World-class engineering program. Columbia University takes advantage of the many opportunities in New York City to provide a well rounded education.

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