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The NEW Ivies: 10 Schools To Keep Your Eye On (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 08/24/10 09:26 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:25 PM ET

In college resource site Unigo's "10 For '10" school rankings, more than 31,000 students from participating colleges voted in a variety of categories, grading their schools in each one on a scale of 1 to 10 and sharing their candid thoughts about their campus experiences. Here at HuffPost College, we'll be relaying that information by rolling out one list per day for the next ten days.

We'll begin at the Ivy League. The hallowed Northeastern enclave of schools has dominated rankings of best colleges for, well, as long as colleges have been ranked. But beyond the Ivy-clad hype, there exist many schools among America's 2,500 of similar caliber -- and Unigo set out to find which ones rival Harvard and Princeton as the country's best institutions of higher learning.

Unigo's New Ivies list was compiled looking at data from four categories, including education quality, campus intellectualism, professor accessibility and whether or not a voter considered their school a "near Ivy."

Click through to see the winners: A mix of non-Ivy League schools where students reported a great education, intellectual classmates, real attention from their professors and a strong sense that they were every bit as good as an Ivy League institution.

What do you think? Are you convinced? Do these schools qualify as near-Ivies? Which school would you nominate? Weigh in below.

Carnegie Mellon University
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The students at Carnegie Mellon, in Pittsburgh, PA, don’t beat around the bush: “Here is CMU's big selling point: the academics. They are great.” The approximately 6,000 undergrads at this Pittsburgh, PA school won’t stop raving about their “brilliant” professors who go out of their way to “know who you are,” and the “truly intellectual environment” this creates. There’s something else it also creates: “A workload that is not to be taken lightly.” “We’re forced into late night work/study sessions every other day,” said one. As a result, the rumor that “Carnegie Mellon is where fun goes to die” might just be accurate. As one sophomore confessed, “In general, the students are awkward.” But at least they get to be awkward together. “Everyone is awkward, everyone is a geek, everyone is driven, everyone is a work-a-holic. It’s great,” a senior said. “Everyone has a few quirks, and you don’t really need to hide them … we’re all just slightly not normal.” “But we’re also the campus tomorrow’s leaders are going to come from,” countered a sophomore. With recent alums as diverse as Andy Warhol, the founder of Juicy Couture, the CEO of Xerox and the actor Zachary Quinto, that’s not hard to believe. As a final student proclaimed: “Carnegie Mellon … it’s a place where you walk in smart, you walk out smarter, and you learn all you can.”
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Filed by Leah Finnegan  |