The 25 Best Suburban Colleges – 2016 University Rankings

College Raptor Rankings star badge that says "Top 25 Suburban Colleges 2016".

Between the fast-paced urban campus and the isolated rural campus is another type of campus: Suburban campus.

For many students, these colleges and universities truly offer the best of both worlds. They often have access to major metropolitan areas, plenty of close shopping and dining, and nearby cultural attractions–all without having to fight traffic or leave the car at home.

They also may feel like the perfect setting for a student who is leaving home for the first time, and may well be used to the suburban setting.

Whatever it is that you’re looking for as a student, if a suburban college seems like the right fit, then you may find the right one among these ranks.

The colleges on this list are all schools located in suburban settings, and ranked based on their academic excellence. There are no factors included to rank the “quality” of the suburb.

Here are the 25 best suburban colleges in the U.S.:

25. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

Undergraduate Enrollment: 18,032

Learn more about the University of Connecticut


24. Smith College

Gate entrance to Smith College.

Source: Flickr user inkyhack.

Northampton, MA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,606

Learn more about Smifth College


23. University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, MD

Undergraduate Enrollment: 26,658

Learn more about the University of Maryland


22. Lafayette College

A building at Lafayette College surrounded by trees.

Lafayette College Easton PA 43 building” by TomwsulcerOwn work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons.

Easton, PA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,486

Learn more about Lafayette College


21. The College of New Jersey

A building at the College of New Jersey surrounded by trees.

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) 23” by TomwsulcerOwn work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons.

Ewing, NJ

Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,653

Learn more about The College of New Jersey


20. Bryn Mawr College

Entrance to Bryn Mawr College with Robindale in the background.

Entrance Bryn Mawr” by SmallbonesOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Bryn Mawr, PA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,328

Learn more about Bryn Mawr College


19. Villanova University

Villanova University building with flowers in front spelling "Villanova".

Source: Flickr user daveaustria.

Villanova, PA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,042

Learn more about Villanova University


18. Scripps College

Balch Building at Scripps College.

By Lure Photography (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Claremont, CA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 990

Learn more about Scripps College


17. Davidson College

Student sitting on the lawn at Davidson College.

Source: Flickr user melystu.

Davidson, NC

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,788

Learn more about Davidson College


16. Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,836

Learn more about Emory University


15. Harvey Mudd College

A building at Harvey Mudd College with a sign of the college's name.

By The original uploader was Imagine at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Claremont, CA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 807

Learn more about Harvey Mudd College


14. Soka University of America

Founders Hall of Soka University of America.

By Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Aliso Viejo, CA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 412

Learn more about Soka University of America


13. Tufts University

A student sitting outside the Tisch Library at Tufts University.

Tufts Tisch library entrance” by HereToHelpOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Medford, MA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,180

Learn more about Tufts University


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12. Vassar College

Thompson Library at Vassar College.

Thompson Library (Vassar College)” by Noteremote. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Poughkeepsie, NY

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,477

Learn more about Vassar College


11. Haverford College

Haverford, PA

Undergradaute Enrollment: 1,187

Learn more about Haverford College


10. College of William and Mary

Statue of Norborne Berkeley at the College of William and Mary.

By Pascal Auricht [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Williamsburg, VA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,271

Learn more about the College of William and Mary


9. Claremont McKenna College

A building at Claremont McKenna College with a sign of the college's name.

Source: Flickr user campusgrotto.

Claremont, CA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,316

Learn more about Claremont McKenna College


8. Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,474

Learn more about Wellesley College


7. Washington University in St Louis

Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis.

Brookings“. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

St Louis, MO

Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,336

Learn more about Washington University in St Louis


6. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Undergraduate Enrollment: 8,477

Learn more about Notre Dame


5. Amherst College

Red brick and white columns of an Amherst College building.

Source: Flickr user David Brooks.

Amherst, MA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,785

Learn more about Amherst College


4. Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,534

Learn more about Swarthmore College


3. Pomona College

Pomona College Campus Center and water fountain at dusk.

Source: Flickr user wlcarchitectsphotography.

Claremont, CA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,610

Learn more about Pomona College


2. Stanford University

Stanford University building surrounded with palm trees.

Source: Flickr user ahockley.

Stanford, CA

Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,274

Learn more about Stanford


1. Princeton University

Holder Hall at Princeton University.

Princeton (6035183309)” by popejon2 from Paddington, Australia – PrincetonUploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

Princeton, NJ

Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,323

Learn more about Princeton

About our methodology

Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology

View all of the 2016 Best Colleges rankings from College Raptor

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