The New Ivies 2012 Page 7

These top 10 schools are the next generation of excellence

By Explore Editor

What the students are saying about:

University of Virginia

University of Virginia

Widely recognized as one of the country’s most prestigious public universities, the University of Virginia draws students from across the country and around the world. Located in the small town of Charlottesville, UVA’s campus is known for its Jeffersonian architecture, and most undergrads embrace the school's aesthetics and history as one of the unique factors that makes it home. “One of the best things about UVA is the campus,” writes a recent alum. “It is beautiful and inspiring, especially outdoors. Brick buildings and sidewalks; lots of greenery, flowers and trees; neoclassical architecture; tradition.” From fight songs to campus-wide events to secret societies, UVA is packed to the brim with customs that are integral aspects of the institution's identity. Then, there are the academics. Students at UVA take their work extremely seriously, and tend to be dedicated to their studies. “Academics come first here at the University.” “Don’t be surprised if you graduated high school with above a 4.0, and get B’s and the occasional C’s here.” In an atmosphere packed with so many bright and talented students, “It’s harder to stand out – but more satisfying when you do,” write a freshman studying computer science. As is the case with many storied institutions based in the South, UVA students have a reputation for being on the preppy side (students joke that UVA’s mantra is “guys in ties, girls in pearls”) But, in truth, “while it might seem for the first few weeks that there’s only one type of person, after about a half a semester, diverse student groups will come out of the woodwork.” And, overall, everyone gets along. “Just the simple act of holding the door open for someone or saying please and thank you is a constant here on campus.” For its history, its academics and its students, this school that Thomas Jefferson built has earned its place as one of the most respected universities in the nation.