Washington University in St. Louis, commonly known as WashU, blends a feeling of laid back Midwestern attitude with top notch academics and a strong school spirit. A top research university the University has risen in the US News rankings in part because they offer something that most other top research universities don’t offer: merit scholarships. The University has used its strong endowment to enhance the financial aid offers to strong students to encourage the students to attend. The result has been that this traditionally strong school has gotten even stronger and it has become much more difficult to gain admissions compared to 30 years ago. But don’t think that money is the only thing Wash U has going for it.
Located in suburban St. Louis, across from one of the largest urban parks in the nation, Wash U has a beautiful campus that defines what an urban college campus should look like. Students come from all over the country with a large group of students coming from the East coast. There is a great deal of diversity and students from different backgrounds actually mix with each other rather than forming small ethnic groups that often occurs at many schools.
The university competes in Division III sports and does very well in a number of sports particularly volleyball where they are traditionally a national contender. The school is large enough to offer enough variety to almost any student, but still small enough that you will not become lost in the crowd.
If you are looking for top academics, strong sports where everyone can participate and maybe some merit money, Washington University in St. Louis might be your school.
In the interest of full disclosure, I attended law school at Wash U so have some bias in favor of the university.
For more information about Washington University in St. Louis, check their admissions website.