Hottest Big State School: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Growing up in Wisconsin, Laura Sullivan was raised on Badger mania. But she was initially afraid that she would get lost in Madison amid 41,000 students, 140 undergraduate majors and nearly 700 student organizations. So when her high-school German class visited, Sullivan says she was shocked to find that she immediately felt at home. The tree-filled campus of nearly 1,000 acres looked to her exactly like a college should. It occurred to her that its enormity actually meant "endless opportunities," she says. It is the old traditions graduates remember most, including Picnic Point, declared by one newspaper to be "the kissing-est spot in North America."