It’s been around for 128 years. One student said it’s “one of the most uplifting environments I’ve ever been in.” It’s Meredith College.

Located in the thriving city of Raleigh, NC, Meredith houses 2,000 students with an average class size of 15 – and no teaching assistants. Students widely agree that the college has a supportive, welcoming atmosphere, where, as one said, “the amount of growth you’re able to do is amazing.” A reported 99% of alumni would recommend Meredith to prospective applicants. When I visited in balmy April, students were buzzing about an impending visit from Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Some of the college’s selling points include:

  • A sister school located in a Tuscany palazzo. While 15% of college students nationwide study abroad, at Meredith the figure is 30%. Summer study abroad is often funded by the college.
  • Generous acceptance of credits previously earned through AP, IB, or dual enrollment. One entering student started college with 37 credits!
  • Generous merit aid ranging from $16-21,000. One or two lucky scholarship winners get full tuition or even a full ride. Financial aid applicants need only fill out the FAFSA.
  • A free shuttle to nearby NCSU. All students can take courses at NCSU, and some opt for a 3-2 dual bachelor’s program (through a Meredith-NCSU collaboration) in engineering plus math or chemistry.
  • A short 8-mile jaunt to an international airport.
  • Free laundry. Free printing. Unlimited meals for first-year students. Four years guaranteed housing. No communal bathrooms in the residence halls.
  • A range of interesting majors, including exercise and sports science, interior design, fashion design, dance, hospitality, and international studies. And those not satisfied with the existing majors can design their own.
  • Ample opportunities to do undergraduate research, including travel stipends to present at conferences.
  • A 4+1 MBA program.
  • One of only two women’s colleges in the world with an AACSB-accredited business school.

Yes, it’s a women’s college. Many Meredith students weren’t originally looking for a women’s college, but fell in love as soon as they set foot on the beautiful campus and felt the friendly vibe. With a large state university – and a city – nearby, there’s easy access to diverse activities and opportunities.

The Meredith watchword is “strong”: “going strong,” “this is what strong looks like” (on a T-shirt), and the StrongPoints curriculum, which includes career development and financial literacy. The college welcomes international students, older students, and veterans. The feeling of camaraderie on campus is – well, strong.