The best public college in every state

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The US boasts some of the best colleges in the world. But they aren't limited to elite private schools — every state has public institutions that offer residents top-notch education with an affordable price tag.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools, ranked the best public schools in the US. The site lets users sort by state, so we took a look at which public school dominated in each one. To determine its rankings, Niche considers factors like academic strength, campus quality, caliber of professors, and quality of student reviews for more than 1,500 schools across the country.

Read on to see which school is repping your state.

ALABAMA: University of Alabama

The University of Alabama/Facebook

Location: Tuscaloosa

Overall: A

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 57%

"Academics are a top priority and the classes are hard, but depending on your major the professors make sure you enjoy it!" one freshman exclaimed.

School spirit runs deep at Bama as well.

"We have the Roll Tide spirit," another freshman said. "Everybody is extremely friendly and the classes are very unique."


ALASKA: University of Alaska Fairbanks

University of Alaska Fairbanks/Facebook

Location: Fairbanks

Overall: B

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 74%

"There are a lot of classes to choose from," a student reported. "The professors are very helpful."

The temperature gets drastically cold, but students say it becomes something to bond over.

"The community is wonderful!" one junior said. "It gets a little cold, but that's what makes it fun. We have cool clubs, such as the -40 and -50 degree clubs."


ARIZONA: Arizona State University

Arizona State University/Facebook

Location: Tempe

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 80%

"The variety of the courses offered is vast and there are a lot of unique classes that enable you to really customize your general classes to something that you'll enjoy," one student commented. "A majority of the professors are well educated in their fields and easy to talk to."


ARKANSAS: University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas/Facebook

Location: Fayetteville

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 59%

"I'm not going to worry about finding a job after college," one student said. "The name of University of Arkansas is respected all over the place. I have great resources at my disposal to find jobs and prepare for interviews. Internships are stressed here and prepared for."


CALIFORNIA: University of California at Los Angeles

UCLA/Facebook

Location: Los Angeles

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 22%

"Employers are impressed by UCLA," one junior commented. "It's as easy as that. No matter where you go to work, there will be someone who went to or is related to someone who went to UCLA, and they always love to hire Bruins."


COLORADO: Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines/Facebook

Location: Golden

Overall: A

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 37%

"This school is prestigious for a reason," one freshman noted. "The classes are challenging but doable if you manage your time well. The professors are passionate about their subjects and want the students to learn."

The school helps students get started with their careers as well.

"There is an enormous amount of recruiting that happens on campus," one sophomore said. "The school is great at giving the students chances to network and interview with companies."


CONNECTICUT: University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut/Facebook

Location: Storrs

Overall: A-

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 54%

"UConn offers such a large variety of classes, professors, etc., so you can take anything that interests you," one senior said. "Professors are difficult, but certainly know their material."

Other students agree: The material is challenging, but rewarding.

"It's college, so there is a lot of work involved, but it's nothing students can't handle," one freshman noted.


DELAWARE: University of Delaware

University of Delware/Facebook

Location: Newark

Overall: A

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 65%

"University of Delaware has so many amazing things to offer," one student said. "It's very challenging academically, but has everything needed to stay involved and have an amazing time. The residence halls allow for meeting new people and making quality friendships. The campus is beautiful and allows for entertainment everywhere on-site."


FLORIDA: University of Florida

Facebook/uflorida

Location: Gainesville

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 47%

"I love UF because it is full of interesting people from all backgrounds, and they're mostly all friendly," one student reported. "The classes are challenging and they make you work hard to earn the grade. There are numerous clubs and organizations you can join. Overall, it's a place where you can discover yourself."


GEORGIA: Georgia Institute of Technology

Facebook/georgiatech

Location: Atlanta

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 55%

"Graduating from Georgia Tech is not only quite the achievement, but opens a doorway to many career opportunities," one freshman reported. "They have a few career fairs each year and many companies come because of how prestigious the school is. Many students are able to get internships and co-ops, even if they're freshmen. All in all, it's amazing the opportunities given and how often they're given."


HAWAII: University of Hawaii at Manoa

University of Hawaii at Manoa/Facebook

Location: Honolulu

Overall: B

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 80%

"The instructors are more than happy to assist students in their time of need," a junior said. "I find many of the professors within my major are very much in love with what they do, making it easy to learn from them."


IDAHO: University of Idaho

University of Idaho/Facebook

Location: Moscow

Overall: B

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 66%

"The teaching staff are the most student-friendly professors on the planet," one senior commented. "They often will see students outside of office hours for nearly any reason. The curriculum stays current and up-to-date with the times and is often affordable. The workload is steady, but manageable for those who manage their time well."


ILLINOIS: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign/Facebook

Location: Champaign

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 62%

"I've learned more so far in college than I thought I'd learn my whole life," one freshman revealed. "Professors are amazing, workload is tough, but has only benefited me, and studying is so easy with so many resources."

The professors truly care about their students here.

"The professors are fantastic," a sophomore said. "Every professor I've had has very clearly enjoyed their job, and they really get into the lectures."


INDIANA: Purdue University

Purdue University/Facebook

Location: West Lafayette

Overall: A

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 60%

"Purdue is very academically rigorous and good preparation for whatever career path students want to go into," a sophomore said. "Professors are very diverse, many having been published multiple times in their field, and many making significant advancements."


IOWA: Iowa State University

Iowa State University/Facebook

Location: Ames

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 85%

"Iowa State University is the best school out there for me because of the community setting, the helpful advisors, and the broad spectrum of learning opportunities," a recent graduate shared. "The advisors here at Iowa State are so helpful in finding ways to make sure you succeed and have all of the resources to do so."


KANSAS: University of Kansas

The University of Kansas/Facebook

Location: Lawrence

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 92%

"If given the opportunity to choose all over again, I would absolutely still pick KU," one student reported. "The classes, in my experience, have been appropriately challenging while still being fun and enjoyable, and the teachers I've had are so supportive to their students and passionate about what they teach."


KENTUCKY: University of Louisville

University of Louisville/Facebook

Location: Louisville

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 71%

"The workload is always manageable because you truly decide for yourself which courses and teachers to take, so you have a healthy control over your own education," one sophomore noted.

Even after graduation, Louisville stays connected.

"I feel the University of Louisville does a great job staying connected and engaged with alumni, which gives students a nicely established network," one freshman said.


LOUISIANA: Louisiana State University

LSU/Facebook

Location: Baton Rouge

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 76%

"The workload is very strenuous and grading by professors is very uncompromising. The great part, however, is that you'll be prepared for any pursuit of higher education after undergrad," one senior explained.


MAINE: University of Maine

University of Maine/Facebook

Location: Orono

Overall: B-

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 81%

"The academics at my school couldn't be any better," a freshman commented. "The professors help you when help is needed. If they feel like the class has struggled with a topic, they will go over it in a different way."


MARYLAND: University of Maryland at College Park

University of Maryland/Facebook

Location: College Park

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 47%

"University of Maryland is a great school," one senior said. "The academics challenge students to engage in extra studying to know the material. More so, UMD prepares you through academics for activities and projects you will have in everyday life."


MASSACHUSETTS: University of Massachusetts at Amherst

UMass Amherst/Facebook

Location: Amherst

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 63%

"There are an infinite amount of classes you could take," one sophomore explained. "They have basically any major imaginable and if not, there is a program to create your own major. Class size varies and can benefit every student's learning style."


MICHIGAN: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

REUTERS/Mike Stone

Location: Ann Arbor

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 37%

"There's so much energy all the time," one freshman observed. "Everyone is so proud to be a Michigan wolverine, it's great to be a part of it! There is a lot of challenging school work but in the end, it's worth all the work."


MINNESOTA: University of Minnesota at Twin Cities

University of Minnesota/Facebook

Location: Minneapolis

Overall: A

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 44%

"It is very important to the school that students succeed," one freshman noted. "Alumni are very willing to help students. Career services are very active in trying to find students opportunities."


MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi State University

Hunter Hart/Mississippi State University/Facebook

Location: Starkville

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 65%

"The school spirit here is unreal," one student said. "Everyone supports the teams, especially football. There is a great level of diversity for the area. The teachers and professors here all genuinely care for each student's well-being and academic success."


MISSOURI: University of Missouri

Tanzi Proust/Mizzou/Facebook

Location: Columbia

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 79%

"This school is great at helping students achieve all the knowledge possible to obtain their goals," one sophomore said.

Other students agree: "I'm a very academically-focused person, so I love to study and work hard. Mizzou allows me to do that and offers tons of support," a junior explained.


MONTANA: Montana State University

Montana State University/Facebook

Location: Bozeman

Overall: B

Academics: B-

Acceptance rate: 84%

"The workload can be stressful and extensive, but most professors are very knowledgeable and care," a freshman said.

Professors are willing to go the extra mile to help students. "The student to professor ratio is great," one sophomore noted. "The professors all have good office hours and [are] always willing and ready to help you."


NEBRASKA: University of Nebraska at Lincoln

University of Nebraska-Lincoln/Facebook

Location: Lincoln

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 64%

"UNL is an amazing school," one sophomore said. "There are so many resources to help you succeed and the quality of education is outstanding. Our programs are excellent thanks to the determined faculty and staff here, and there are so many people around you to encourage your progress."


NEVADA: University of Nevada at Reno

University of Nevada, Reno/Facebook

Location: Reno

Overall: B

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 84%

"I believe that the University of Nevada at Reno is a great school to go to if you want that 'traditional college' experience for a decent amount of money," one junior noted. "They have brick buildings all over campus, and the whole campus exemplifies a rich history."

Many students love the community they're a part of on campus. "The campus itself feels like home," one freshman said. "We are all very proud to be a part of the Wolf Pack and I wouldn't change it for anything."


NEW HAMPSHIRE: University of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire/Facebook

Location: Durham

Overall: B+

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 78%

"I absolutely love my major," one junior proclaimed. "The professors all show the passion for what they are teaching and truly want what is best for their students."

Great professors make all the difference in students' experiences.

"We have great professors that are very experienced in their fields," a recent graduate said. "They also provide many great opportunities to students."


NEW JERSEY: Rutgers University

Nick Perrone/Flickr

Location: New Brunswick

Overall: A

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 60%

"The actual classes and professors are amazing," one freshman noted. "The workload is what you would expect from the given level of difficulty of the course and most professors are extremely friendly and accommodating."


NEW MEXICO: New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology

Wikimedia Commons

Location: Socorro

Overall: A-

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 41%

"Graduating from this school means that you busted your a-- for four years, no doubt. But people recognize this, and with all the networking available to you for the four years that you attended, it should be easy to find an 'in' into your career," one student explained.


NEW YORK: Fashion Institute of Technology

Fashion Institute of Technology/Facebook

Location: New York City

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 45%

"FIT is great because the curriculum for your major begins right when you get in," one sophomore said. "Unlike many other colleges, the first two years is not spent solely doing gen-eds. I like that the class sizes are small, and I have made many great relationships with great professors."


NORTH CAROLINA: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Location: Chapel Hill

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 28%

"The academic structure is complex and vast," one junior said. "There are tons of departments and many majors within each department, which makes it an intellectually diverse campus. There are also many ways to make special study options for yourself — being a research assistant, applying for grant money, doing summer classes or projects, independent study with a professor, etc."


NORTH DAKOTA: North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University/Facebook

Location: Fargo

Overall: B

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 84%

"The academics at NDSU are great. Most of the professors are great at making their lessons fun and their grading is fair and reasonable," one freshman commented.


OHIO: Ohio State University

Facebook/osu

Location: Columbus

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 56%

"The academics at this school are fantastic," one freshman said. "The professors are often friendly and encourage students to come to office hours. The registration process is simple as well. I was able to create my dream schedule without any problems. In terms of study options and areas, there are thousands of locations."


OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University/Facebook

Location: Stillwater

Overall: A

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 76%

"My experience at Oklahoma State has been amazing. The atmosphere is the best," a junior said. "You can really feel the spirit of the school. The grounds are beautiful and the buildings are kept clean. The teachers are helpful and the classes are interesting. The best part is football season and basketball season. The school spirit is beyond the average."


OREGON: University of Oregon

University of Oregon/Facebook

Location: Eugene

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 73%

"I have enjoyed every single class I have taken and feel like I've retained a lot of the information I learned, too," one senior commented. "The workload is reasonable and the curriculum is engaging."


PENNSYLVANIA: Penn State

Penn State/Facebook

Location: State College

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 54%

"I go to a great school," one sophomore said. "My professors and classes are helping to prepare me for my field and are doing a great job. The experiences I have had here are unforgettable and everything I could have asked for."


RHODE ISLAND: University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island/Facebook

Location: Kingston

Overall: B-

Academics: B-

Acceptance rate: 79%

"I am definitely happy that I made the decision to attend URI," one freshman said. "The courses are all very interesting and easy to manage. The campus layout is beautiful and you really feel like you're at a top-notch university."


SOUTH CAROLINA: Clemson University

Clemson University/Facebook

Location: Clemson

Overall: A

Academics: A-

Acceptance rate: 58%

"Clemson is a fantastic school. It's the perfect mix of a larger school without being too large," one junior reported. "The students are friendly and welcoming to all types of people. The professors really care about helping you learn and aren't just research focused."


SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology/Facebook

Location: Rapid City

Overall: B+

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 86%

"I love the small and connected feel of South Dakota School of Mines," one junior said. "The people I go to school with are very dedicated to their schoolwork. Each day I am happy to say that I go to a school where I have a close relationship with all of the faculty who each show an earnest commitment for my learning. Within the school, even the professional societies have a close, constructive relationship with the students to help advancement into their fields."


TENNESSEE: University of Tennessee

University of Tennessee, Knoxville/Facebook

Location: Knoxville

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 72%

"The variety of topics and classes are fantastic," one student reported. "There are many options as far as electives and humanities go, and everything is delivered in a way to appeal to a growing and curious mind."


TEXAS: University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin/Facebook

Location: Austin

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 40%

"The professors really care about the students and they are very passionate," one junior commented. "There are a variety of classes that you can take even if they don't relate to your major. Students have to work hard to keep their grades up, but there are a lot of resources on campus to help with studying and time management."


UTAH: University of Utah

The University of Utah/Facebook

Location: Salt Lake City

Overall: A-

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 82%

"What makes this university so unique is that there are so many resources here," a freshman noted. "They are always renovating this campus to our benefit. There are all kinds of ambassadors here to help you with getting a job, getting involved, setting up your classes, and mostly creating a balanced life."


VERMONT: University of Vermont

University of Vermont/Facebook

Location: Burlington

Overall: B+

Academics: B+

Acceptance rate: 73%

"Rigorous academics without drowning you in work," one sophomore said. "You learn a lot, but you also get to have a social life and relax."


VIRGINIA: University of Virginia

University of Virginia/Facebook

Location: Charlottesville

Overall: A+

Academics: A+

Acceptance rate: 30%

"UVA is the perfect balance. It is a large enough school so you can constantly meet people, but small enough that you're not overwhelmed," one student said. "The campus is totally walkable and in a beautiful location. It can be academically hard, but college should be somewhat a challenge. This is balanced out by the social aspect of the school. The students study hard but go out and party too."


WASHINGTON: University of Washington

Curtis Cronn / Flickr

Location: Seattle

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 55%

"It's hard work, and it's going to take dedication, time, and motivation," one junior said. "It's all worth it, though! Professors are reliable, knowledgeable, and know how to inspire you to do your best. It's amazing feeling so [much] a part of something."


WEST VIRGINIA: West Virginia University

Facebook/West Virginia University

Location: Morgantown

Overall: B+

Academics: B-

Acceptance rate: 85%

"The academics offered are wonderful — just because it is considered a party school does not mean it doesn't also give you a workload," one freshman noted. "As long as you adequately study, do your work, and manage your time, you should be okay."


WISCONSIN: University of Wisconsin

Facebook/UWMadison

Location: Madison

Overall: A+

Academics: A

Acceptance rate: 68%

"I'm really enjoying the cool atmosphere and the incredibly nice people. There is a very diverse population here and I meet many new, interesting people every day," one freshman said. "The classes are challenging but enjoyable and I've learned an incredible amount!"


WYOMING: University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming/Facebook

Location: Laramie

Overall: B+

Academics: B

Acceptance rate: 96%

"University of Wyoming has been such a warm welcoming school," one sophomore said. "I enjoy that they really care about the welfare of the students, they surround students with lots of support from counseling, how to be successful in school, helping your needs, emotional needs."


See Also:

SEE ALSO: The hardest college to get into in every state

DON'T MISS: The best public high school in every state


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