(Stacker) – While college enrollment remained below pre-pandemic levels, fall 2022 freshman enrollment rebounded by nearly 100,000 students from the previous year, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

As enrollment levels begin to stabilize and more students pursue a college degree, Stacker compiled a list of the best colleges in America using Niche’s 2023 rankings.

Niche ranks colleges using various factors, including academics, admissions, financial, and student life. You can read more about Niche’s methodology here. The list includes schools public and private, from West Coast women’s colleges to elite East Coast liberal arts institutions. There’s also a fair share of sprawling state schools, as well as more-privatized, religion-centric universities.

These schools offer pioneering programs in sciences, entrepreneurship, and even video games. While some members of the list may be best known for athletic achievements, many so-called football schools are making rapid advancements in educational fields, producing a number of Rhodes Scholars and collaborations with tech industry giants. Of course, some schools just have cool perks that few others do, like an on-campus ice cream factory or a nuclear reactor.

Tuition, student-to-faculty ratio, acceptance rate, and graduation rate are factors considered in deciding these rankings. Location is also often a key factor in a school’s appeal, whether it is a beachside location, one full of New England foliage, or proximity to tech hubs and companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google.

While the Ivy Leagues are normally considered the cream of the crop when it comes to American colleges, that’s not necessarily the case with this list.

#99. Trinity University

– Location: San Antonio, TX
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,471
– Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 34%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six-year median earnings: $54,900
– Two-year employment rate: 93%

Trinity University has historically ranked high for its undergraduate research, undergraduate engineering program, and school-wide innovation. It’s widely considered the best small college in Texas and among the best small colleges in the U.S.

#82. Southern Methodist University

– Location: Dallas, TX
– Undergraduate enrollment: 6,616
– Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1
– Acceptance rate: 53%
– Graduation rate: 81%
– Six-year median earnings: $60,700
– Two-year employment rate: 93%

SMU is another school jumping on the video game bandwagon, offering programs in digital game development. SMU is known for its thriving Greek life and its Tate Lecture Series.

#75. Texas A&M University

– Location: College Station, TX
– Undergraduate enrollment: 49,442
– Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
– Acceptance rate: 63%
– Graduation rate: 83%
– Six-year median earnings: $58,000
– Two-year employment rate: 95%

Texas A&M is one of six senior military colleges in the U.S., and the corps of cadets carry on this school tradition at events throughout campus. Texas A&M is also host to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center and has maintained a long partnership with NASA.

#46. University of Texas – Austin

– Location: Austin, TX
– Undergraduate enrollment: 37,404
– Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
– Acceptance rate: 32%
– Graduation rate: 88%
– Six-year median earnings: $58,200
– Two-year employment rate: 93%

The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, and students can view them at the McDonald Observatory, one of many prestigious facilities at this state school. The campus has tons of museums, from the LBJ Presidential Library to the Blanton Museum of Art, and you might even catch Matthew McConaughey at a Texas Longhorns game. Outside of campus, students can attend Austin cultural institutions like South by Southwest and Franklin Barbecue.

#6. Rice University

– Location: Houston, TX
– Undergraduate enrollment: 4,150
– Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
– Acceptance rate: 11%
– Graduation rate: 94%
– Six-year median earnings: $65,400
– Two-year employment rate: 92%

A tree-lined sanctuary in the middle of bustling Houston, Rice is consistently ranked near the top of lists gauging college quality of life. Rice has been a leader in artificial heart research and other sciences and maintains a close partnership with NASA.