College Raptor’s Hidden Gems began in an attempt to highlight amazing schools that are often overlooked. To that end, these designations are based on College Raptor’s overall national rankings as well as the number of applications received and number of undergraduate students attending, both of which are important factors in the selection process.

This year’s lists include Hidden Gem schools organized by state and by region. New 2018 lists are Hidden Gems for Women in STEM and Hidden Public Gems!

This year the Hidden Gems lists have come out alongside our Best Colleges Rankings, so that students and families can learn about a wide array of schools they may not have previously considered, or even heard of!

Hidden U.S. Gems: 2018

For this, our most prestigious Hidden Gems list, we’ve featured the highest ranking gem school in each state—including Washington DC! These schools are truly diamonds in the rough! At College Raptor, we help students find colleges that fit them financially, socially, and academically–which means looking at more than just big name universities. That’s why we’re …

Hidden Northwest Gems: 2018

The northwestern region of the United States is known for its scenic beauty. There are a number of hidden gem-worthy colleges in the region as well. We’ve highlighted the top three hidden gem schools per state. For the purposes of this list, we’ve included the following states in the northwest: AK, Northern CA, ID, MT, …

Hidden Northeast Gems: 2018

Beautiful landscapes, bountiful industry, and storied history fill the Northeastern region of the United States. It is an area chock-full of well-known colleges and universities, and the following Hidden Gems deserve some of that attention. For the purposes of this list, we’ve included the following states in the Northeast: ME, NH, VT, MA, NY, RI, …

Hidden Midwest Gems: 2018

The Midwest is America’s heartland, and often an overlooked region of the country. But these “Flyover” states have a number of hidden gems among them that shouldn’t be counted out. We’ve highlighted the top three hidden gem schools per state. For the purposes of this list, we’ve included the following states in the northwest: IA, IL, …

Hidden Southeast Gems: 2018

Known for its good food and rich history, the Southeast is also home to several hidden gem schools. We’ve highlighted the top three hidden gem schools per state. For the purposes of this list, we’ve included the following states in the southeast: AR, LA, AL, MS, FL, GA, TN, SC, NC, VA, and KY. To …

Hidden Southwest Gems: 2018

Known for its dynamic landscapes, rich history, and diverse wildlife, the Southwest region should also get credit for its higher education programs. A number of hidden gems reside in these states, and deserve the spotlight. For the purposes of this list, we’ve included the following states in the southwest: AZ, NV, NM, UT, CO, TX, …

Hidden Gems for Women in STEM: 2018

STEM fields are the fastest growing career market out there, yet only 6.7% of college-going women graduate with a STEM degree–compared to 17% of men. There are many organizations, programs, and schools dedicated to encouraging young women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors.  The following colleges are true hidden gems for women who …

Hidden Public Gems: 2018

There is a pervading stereotype that private colleges are the idea places to pursue a higher education—however there are numerous public colleges and universities that rival their private counterparts. This Hidden Gems list highlights the best public colleges that are diamonds in the rough. To qualify as a College Raptor Hidden Gem, a school must …