Often people tend to associate large universities with less individualized instruction and, overall, less prestige.
But our seventh annual ranking of the 50 best colleges in America proved otherwise.
Our list ranks colleges by median starting salary, average SAT score, and a survey that asked more than 1,000 Business Insider readers to choose the colleges that best prepare their students for success after graduation. Read our full methodology here.
With more than a quarter of the colleges on our list clocking in with an undergraduate enrollment of more than 10,000 students, they’re proof that, sometimes, bigger may be better. Read on to find out which large colleges made the cut.
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Average SAT score: 1945
Median starting salary: $US50,100
The Boston University alumni community is full of Nobel Prize and Pulitzer winners, Fulbright scholars, and poets laureate. The school received over $US350.3 million in grants and contract awards last year, powering it as one of the top research universities in the country.
Undergraduate enrollment: 32,959
Average SAT score: 2030
Median starting salary: $US55,000
Located about 140 miles south of Chicago, the University of Illinois is home to one of the largest public-university library collections in the world, with more than 24 million volumes across over 20 area-studies libraries. Students can take advantage of more than 400 study-abroad programs in more than 60 countries.
Undergraduate enrollment: 17,400
Average SAT score: 2105
Median starting salary: $US54,100
Located in Boston, Northeastern has steadily climbed the ranks on US News' list: It was No. 42 in this year's ranking, up 56 spots from the publication's 2007 list.
Experiential learning opportunities ensure that students are exposed to real-world work, research, and study opportunities that will further them in their chosen fields far beyond life at Northeastern.
Undergraduate enrollment: 24,985
Average SAT score: 2015
Median starting salary: $US50,000
The largest private university in the US, New York University is known for its renowned drama and theatre programs in the Tisch School of the Arts. The school is also recognised for the Stern School of Business, ranked the No. 5 undergraduate business program by US News.
'Networking, research, mentoring expertise, along with a location that allows for great internships as well as life experiences. New York City can't be beat for these, so NYU rank(s) very high,' a survey taker said.
Undergraduate enrollment: 16,483
Average SAT score: 2025
Median starting salary: $US54,100
US News named UVA -- which is located in Charlottesville -- the No. 2 public school and the No. 6 undergraduate business program in the country. Research is also an important part of the school's curriculum, and it has 1.5 million square feet of research facilities, labs, and studio space, as well as $US26 million in research awards from corporate partners.
Undergraduate enrollment: 14,682
Average SAT score: 2080
Median starting salary: $US61,700
'Atlanta is the technological hub of the South, and Georgia Tech is a major reason for this, attracting among the best technology students from around the world,' one survey respondent said.
Undergraduate enrollment: 28,395
Average SAT score: 2065
Median starting salary: $US56,800
Michigan students received more Fulbright grants than anywhere else in the country but Harvard last year. The university counts Google cofounder Larry Page, actor James Earl Jones, and President Gerald Ford among its many high-profile alumni.
Undergraduate enrollment: 27,126
Average SAT score: 2035
Median starting salary: $US59,500
The top strictly public school on our list, Berkeley is also ranked the No. 1 public university in the country by US News. Students can choose between 170 departments and programs across 12 colleges, and even at a big school 73% of undergraduate classes seat 30 students or fewer.
Undergraduate enrollment: 14,453
Average SAT score: 2130
Median starting salary: $US58,200
Cornell strives to contribute to the world's knowledge in a way that 'prioritises public engagement to help improve the quality of life in our state, the nation, the world.' The Ithaca, New York-based school offers 80 fields of study and an active career-services office, which connects students with alumni for mentoring, networking, jobs, and internships.
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