Academic Showstopper: Hamilton College

, perched atop a hill and surrounded by the rolling farmlands of central New York, is a fixture on . Named for the founding father celebrated in the Broadway musical, the small liberal arts school attracts stellar students. Strong academics and robust financial aid awards help Hamilton secure its place and number six ). More than 80% of incoming freshmen report scoring 30 or higher on the ACT. The school's 90% four-year graduation rate is among the highest of all 400 colleges on our list. And Hamilton is among a small group of schools that admit students without regard to their ability to pay and that meet 100% of students' demonstrated financial need.

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