University of Chicago

Chicago, IL: Quirky, brilliant, bookish, and caffeinated – does that sound appealing to you? If so, you should certainly check out the University of Chicago.

I visited UChicago’s campus with my family recently and became infatuated with the school. Despite the dreary gray weather – it’s Chicago, after all – students talked spiritedly about wonderfully esoteric topics and whistled little tunes as they walked to class. At the information session, I learned about some of UChicago’s crazy traditions like the Scav Hunt in which students go three days without food or sleep and try to do things like build a nuclear reactor (3,954 points) or get full-body sunless tan zebra stripes (8 points).

Founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, UChicago was picked for the Best Overall Academic Experience by the Princeton Review, which is understandable with the school’s renowned programs like humanities, civilizations, mathematics, art, natural science, and social science. Students benefit from this well-rounded and rigorous education (the unofficial motto is, “Where fun comes to die”) as well as personal attention from top-notch professors. (The student-faculty ratio is 4-to-1.)

Although the University of Chicago may be considered one of the most underrated universities, it is starting to gain popular recognition. It provides a quirky, academically rigorous environment that is a happy haven for the 4,400 undergrads who attend (including me, hopefully). To find out more, go to