Columbia University # 4
New York has some of the most storied history of any place on the planet and one of the landmarks of that long history is Columbia University. Founded in 1754, it is the oldest University in the state of New York and one of the oldest in the entire country. The college consists of three different undergraduate schools, Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the School of General Studies.
Students who attend Columbia are guaranteed housing in the Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City, which is an attractive bit on its own. That being said, Columbia is one of the hardest schools to get into in the United States but if you do manage to get in, there is a high success rate associated with the college. 101 Nobel Prize winners, four founding fathers of the United States, more than 20 Academy Award winners, 43 Nobel Prize laureates and 20 living billionaires are all alumni of the university.
Tuition and fees for 2013-14 totaled $49,138, but it probably goes without saying that any one of those billionaires or Nobel Prize winners would happily pony up the money knowing that Stanford helped them achieve such greatness.