THE BLOG

7 Cool Colleges You've Probably Never Heard of

03/12/2015 03:58 pm ET | Updated May 12, 2015

By Maggie Parker, Teen Vogue

Add these schools to your list.

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Photo by John Aquino; Composite by Isaac Lobel

A high-scoring football team, lots of money, a famous name and even more famous alums might sound cool when you're researching schools. But all of that does not the perfect college make -- in fact, it usually just means it'll cost more money. There are plenty of schools out there with unique programs, stunning campuses, notable grads and low tuition that are often overlooked simply because people don't know about them.

We wouldn't want you to miss out on the perfect education for you just because you didn't know it was out there. That's why we're shedding light on the seven coolest colleges you may not have come across (yet!). As you start your list, here's a few to keep in mind!

Johnson and Wales University; Providence, Rhode Island
While you were busy considering Le Cordon Bleu and the Culinary Institute of America, food masters have been graduating from Johnson and Wales University, including Emeril Lagasse. Tucked away in Providence, and often overshadowed by RISD and Brown, Johnson and Wales not only offers a top-notch culinary degree, but impressive fashion design and business programs as well.

High Point University; High Point, North Carolina
With commencement speakers like Tom Brokaw and a $700 million campus refurbishment, we aren't entirely sure why we've never heard of this college, but we are glad we finally did. It might be the coolest campus we've ever seen. High Point University boasts swimming pools, a theater that shows current movies, an arcade and the coziest looking library (with a fireplace!). The sweetness isn't only on campus; scholarship recipients are notified of their approval via a box of Godiva chocolates delivered to their door.

College of the Ozarks; Point Lookout, Missouri
Also known as Hard Work U, the College of the Ozarks does not charge tuition. Yes, you read correctly. Instead, all students participate in a work-study program in exchange for an education so that they can graduate without debt. We don't need to tell you how reassuring that is.

Marymount Manhattan College; New York, New York
Step aside, NYU. If you want an arts education in the capital of culture and creativity, apply to Marymount Manhattan College. The school boasts rigorous and impressive dance and theatre programs while encouraging its students to make NYC their playground. The college has bred multiple Glee stars (like Marley Rose and Tina!), Andrew Rannells and the one and only Laverne Cox. We thank you, MMM.

Otis College of Art and Design; Los Angeles, California
Have you ever dreamt of working alongside designers like Trina Turk, Cynthia Vincent or Cynthia Rowley? Otis College of Art and Design will make those dreams come true. The arts college is situated in the land of celebrities and fashion, and offers a fashion design major that includes mentorships with designers like the ones mentioned above.

Bowling Green State University; Bowling State, Ohio
If you are more interested in discussing the new Bachelor cast than the most recent politic debate, then this may be the place for you. Bowling Green State University offers a popular culture major, further proving that there is nothing wrong with living and breathing reality TV. Don't get us wrong -- you will totally be getting a well-rounded education at the same time. BGSU uses TV, music, Twitter and all forms of mass media to examine society presently and historically, which will give you something very interesting to say at your next Scandal screening.

Sullivan University; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky
Many of you will baby-sit or nanny at some point in your lives, if you haven't already. Why not major or minor in it? Sullivan University's department of early childhood education offers a program that will give you a degree in nannying and make you the most sought-after sitter on the block. All the better to help you move to Europe and be an au pair for a year after graduation. Sign us up!

Still unsure? Take Teen Vogue's QUIZ: What kind of college should you go to?