Contrary to popular playground songs, "first" is rarely the worst.

Taking a dive into American and world history, we figured out what was the first clown college, the first film school and other significant "firsts" in the history of higher education.

Think you know your college history? Check out our slideshow to see a list of "first" colleges:

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  • First University

    The first university in the English-speaking world was the University of Oxford. While its date of inception is unclear, its site states that "<a href="http://www.ox.ac.uk/about_the_university/introducing_oxford/a_brief_history_of_the_university/index.html" target="_hplink">teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096</a> and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris." Today, there are over 21,000 students at Oxford, including 11,752 undergraduates and 9,621 postgraduates. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bevington_Road_Rear,_St_Anne's_College,_University_of_Oxford.jpg" target="_hplink">Stannered</a>

  • First College

    This first has been debated by a few schools, but it seems as though more literature has been written about Harvard University establishing itself in 1636 as the "<a href="http://www.harvard.edu/history" target="_hplink">oldest institution of higher learning</a>" in the U.S. William & Mary considers itself the second oldest. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harvard_college_-_annenberg_hall.jpg" target="_hplink">Jacobolus</a>

  • First Football Game

    Rutgers and Princeton both played the <a href="http://scarletknights.com/football/history/first-game.asp" target="_hplink">first game of intercollegiate American football</a> in 1869. Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4 at home in New Brunswick, N.J. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Old_Queens_Rutgers.jpg" target="_hplink">Rickyrab</a>

  • First To Sell Plan B Via Vending Machines

    It is unofficially fact that <a href="http://www.ship.edu/" target="_hplink">Shippensburg University</a> is the first college to offer the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/shippensburg-university-plan-b-vending-machines_n_1260086.html" target="_hplink">Plan B pill to its students by selling the pill from school vending machines</a>. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shipoldmain.JPG" target="_hplink">Cgboeree</a> Photo Credit:

  • First Black College

    Cheyney University is the <a href="http://www.cheyney.edu/about-cheyney-university/" target="_hplink">oldest African-American institute of higher learning</a> in the country. It was founded in 1837 as the African Institute then renamed that same year as the Institute for Colored Youth. Today, it is 175 years old with over 1,500 students in attendance. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1909_Cheyney_Library.JPG" target="_hplink">Smallbones</a>

  • First For Women

    Wesleyan College was chartered in 1836 and is credited as being the<a href="http://www.wesleyancollege.edu/About/FirstforWomen/tabid/133/Default.aspx" target="_hplink"> first college to grant degrees to females</a>. It also has the world's first and oldest alumnae association, which began in 1859. Additionally, it was the first college with sororities. <strong><em>Correction: The photo originally placed within this slide was of Wesleyan University. The photo now accurately represents the campus of Wesleyan College.</em></strong> Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=170487066759&set=a.106953801759.124659.53321571759&type=3&theater" target="_hplink">Facebook</a>

  • First Clown College

    The <a href="http://www.circopedia.org/index.php/Clown_College" target="_hplink">Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey College</a> was established as the first ever clown college in 1968 to formally train young aspiring clowns. Photo Credit: <a href="http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=211846422250981&set=a.211846412250982.35380.128580317244259&type=3&theater" target="_hplink">Facebook</a>

  • Anti-Slavery In The South

    <a href="http://www.berea.edu/" target="_hplink">Berea College</a> was established by an anti-slavery advocate during the mid-1800s. The school was the first non-segregated, co-educational school established in the South. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berea_College,_Lincoln_Hall,_Berea_College,_Berea_%28Madison_County,_Kentucky%29.jpg" target="_hplink">Lance HIll</a>

  • Oldest Film School

    The USC School of Cinematic Arts, located in Los Angeles, is the oldest film school in the country. It is part of the University of Southern California. It was established in 1929. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USC_School_of_Cinematic_Arts_01.jpg" target="_hplink">Joe Mabel</a><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/09/movies/09film.html?_r=1" target="_hplink">established</a>

  • Basketball Team

    The first college basketball team formed at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The team was created by Professor Charles O. Bemies. He coached the team's <a href="http://www.basketball.org/first-college-basketball-game/" target="_hplink">first game in 1893</a> with peach baskets for goal hoops; the team won 3-0 against a local YMCA team. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:South_End_View_of_Geneva_College.jpg" target="_hplink">Bmstephany</a>

  • Class Rings

    West Point Academy is thought to be the first college to begin the <a href="http://digital-library.usma.edu/collections/photographs/classrings/" target="_hplink">tradition of class rings</a>. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:West_Point_cadets,_Woodrow_Wilson_inaugural_parade,_1913.JPG" target="_hplink">The Pictorial News Company </a>

  • Oldest Academic Society

    The nation's oldest academic society, <a href="https://www.pbk.org/home/index.aspx" target="_hplink">Phi Beta Kappa</a>, was founded by five students at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1776. Photo Credit: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:College_of_William_and_Mary_in_Williamsburg.JPG" target="_hplink">Pascal Auricht </a>

  • First Catholic University

    Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit and Catholic university in the United States and was founded in 1789. They also have the <a href="http://wayback.archive.org/web/jsp/Interstitial.jsp?seconds=5&date=1086548333000&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehoya.com%2Feg%2Fcampus%2Ftheatre%2Fmaskandbauble.cfm&target=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20040606185853%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehoya.com%2Feg%2Fcampus%2Ftheatre%2Fmaskandbauble.cfm" target="_hplink">oldest continuously running</a> collegiate theater troupe in the United States.

  • First Student Newspaper

    Rutgers <a href="http://ruweb.rutgers.edu/timeline/" target="_hplink">gets the credit</a> for this one; <em>The Political Intelligencer and New Jersey Adviser</em> was the first student newspaper in the U.S. It began publication at Queen's College in 1783, but ceased operation in 1785.