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10 Most Beautiful U.S. College Campuses

Rotunda_at_University_of_Virginia featured

There are so many factors that go into choosing which college to attend: tuition, scholarships, location, prestige and plenty more. However, the scenery often gets lost in the mix. If you’re going to be spending the next four years of life on this campus, why not consider the aesthetic? The environment of your college’s campus can be one of the most impactful factors in your perception of the college experience as a whole.


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For an even more comprehensive look, we’ve included average cost of these universities, covering out-of-state tuition, room and board, books and fees. Keep in mind though, visiting every campus on your wish list comes with a high price tag. Use this guide from to minimize your costs on flights, hotels, road trips and food for more affordable (and enjoyable) prospecting trips.

1. Berry College

Location: Mount Berry, Georgia

Popular majors: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Business Management, Marketing

Average Cost: $50,632

Berry College is a private liberal arts college in Georgia, and is the world’s largest contiguous college campus. These 27,000 acres have earned it the number one spot on our list. Berry College is popular among cyclists, equestrians, hikers and even deer, as Berry College holds a population of over 2,500. There is also Swan Lake and Mirror Lake, where bird watchers can see them glide across the lake all through the year.

Berry College

2. University of Notre Dame

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Popular majors: Finance, Accounting, Economics, Political Science

Average cost: $71,000

If you’ve ever visited Notre Dame, you know why this university is on the list: The Golden Dome. This gorgeous structure gains Notre Dame a place on most lists of gorgeous college campuses. There’s also the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which parades the largest collection of French-stained glass in the world, as well as a national record-breaking bell tower.

University of Notre Dame

3. University of Virginia

Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Popular majors: Economics, International Relations and Affairs, Psychology

Average cost: $61,000

The red-brick and Jeffersonian-columned buildings of the University of Virginia were conceptualized by founding father Thomas Jefferson himself. The presidential-style design brings so much history to mind, and you can’t help but admire how well it has preserved its original design. In 1976, the American Institute of Architects dubbed the University of Virginia “the proudest achievement of American architecture in the past 200 years.”

University of Virginia

4. Sewanee: The University of the South

Location: Sewanee, Tennessee

Popular majors: Economics, English Language and Literature, History

Average cost: $61,000

This 13,000 acre campus in Middle Tennessee is one that cannot be missed. It’s easy to wonder how they got this campus in the middle of the rolling hills and valleys of the Cumberland Plateau. The All Saints Chapel is certainly the apple of every visitor’s eye with a rose window, arched ceilings and an unbelievable tower. The location of the campus also gives it the best fall foliage on this entire list.

Sewanee: University of the South

5. University of Chicago

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Popular majors: Biology, Political Science, Public Policy Analysis

Average cost: $74,526

University of Chicago is unique because it’s one of the more urban universities on this list, but still has the beauty of a rural one. Its Gothic-style buildings are ripped straight from the University of Oxford, but that isn’t all. The university also sports a botanical garden, and several of the buildings have earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

University of Chicago

6. University of Colorado Boulder

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Popular majors: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering

Average cost: $54,314

In 1919, renowned architect Charles Klauder came up with the unprecedented design of the University of Colorado. This design later became known as “Tuscan Vernacular Revival,” which includes red-tiled roofs and sandstone walls. These buildings also have a distinctive can’t-miss-it backdrop: the Rocky Mountains.

University of Colorado

7. University of Hawaii at Manoa

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Popular majors: Business, Management, Marketing

Average cost: $48,606

This place would be gorgeous with or without the university, so it’s needless to say the campus is beautiful as well. The university is surrounded by lush palm trees, a beach, region-unique flowers and the university’s own coral reef. Due to the heavy rainfall the area receives, one can usually find a rainbow touted over the campus as well.

University of Hawaii, Manoa

8. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California

Popular majors: Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Human Biology

Average cost: $44,757

The same person who designed New York’s Central Park is responsible for the beauty that is Stanford University. A stone’s throw from Silicon Valley, this school rejects the super-modern campus you’d expect, and instead has a Spanish-colonial vibe. The crown jewel of campus, the Stanford Memorial Church, is decorated with vibrant stained glass and multi-colored mosaics. You’ll find the designers’ inspiration in the churches of Venice.

Stanford University

9. Bryn Mawr College

Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Popular majors: Social Sciences, Foreign Languages, Linguistics

Average Cost: $46,030

You can see influences from both Oxford and Cambridge in Bryn Mawr’s Gothic style, which also happens to be the first of its kind in collegiate design. This private liberal arts college has inspired several other Gothic-style universities in America, including both Princeton and Washington Universities.

Bryn Mawr College

10. Elon University

Location: Elon, North Carolina

Popular majors: Business/Commerce, Communication and Media Studies, Psychology

Average cost: $49,642

The only school on this list to also be classified as a botanical garden, it’s no secret that Elon University has a plethora of gorgeous flora. Features like the Alamance building and the Fonville fountain serve to complement the well-kept gardens of the university.

Elon University

Choosing a college and career path may seem daunting, but start with something that interests you, like a beautiful college campus, and build your plan from there. Consider what you can afford based on scholarships, loans and other federal funding you've been awarded through the FAFSA. Then research college majors based on what you think you may be interested in, and discover the career paths that match.

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