Which schools are "hot" right now for very smart but social kids, ideally with a Jewish presence

More specifically, these kinds of kids from heavily Jewish areas, like Long Island, NJ, CT, FL, LA, Westchester, etc? If you know what I mean-

I’m thinking schools like -

I think this would be an interesting convo, so please give some input! :slight_smile:

I am a rising freshman at one of the schools you mentioned. I would agree especially with Duke, Vanderbilt, and Michigan as all three were at the top of my list (and I’m attending one of them). However, instead of Cornell, your best bets in the Ivy League are Dartmouth and Penn from what I’ve gathered, although I’ve never visited myself. I would also throw in UVA and W&L as very “social” as well. Georgetown is another potential choice as well. For schools that are slightly less selective, UGA is quickly gaining popularity and selectivity as well, and Florida also provides a good academic and social balance, although gauging from your aforementioned choices, UF and UGA would be backups.

Here in NYC, students that fit your description also apply to WashU, UWisconsin-Madison, Tulane, USC, and UMiami.

Unsolicited advice from a Jewish mother: I would edit your post to make it clear that you are looking for schools that are popular with the type of Jewish students that you describe. Without making that explicit, some may think you’re looking to avoid applying to schools that are popular with Jewish students. (I looked at your other posts which clarified what schools interest you.)

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oh yes hah- I am jewish myself I definitely am not avoiding these schools :wink:

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Hi! thanks for the reply! I would love to hear about your experience at the college you are going to attend!!! Those are my three top choices and I would so appreciate it :wink:

Brandeis? Don’t really know, but I hear it is popular with Jewish students.

it won’t let me edit this post for some reason but clarification hah that I am jewish and I made this post for some help with school choice - I want a school with a nice sized presence of these types of people:)

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You have smart kids everywhere. If you’re looking for schools that are social, with Jewish populations - they’re not your creme de la creme of academics but have solid cost and plenty of smart kids - Elon, College of Charleston, and #6 public school rated Florida…not to mention Florida State (great aid with a 31 ACT). You can add UMD as well and Emory/WUSTL.

I would not say Brandeis on the social side.

I second Penn where approximately 18% of undergraduates identify as Jewish (Penn Hillel). From their website, Penn Hillel is an active force on campus, annually involving over 3,000 students from diverse backgrounds of Jewish and different faiths. My non-Jewish kid always felt welcomed and enjoyed the events she attended.


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Definitely Penn. Tufts has a different social scene than some on your list but could be worth a look.

Tulane is often considered by folks who like Duke and Vandy.

Take a look at hillel’s guide to colleges, to get an idea of what the size and activity of the Jewish community is on campus. There are many resources available to help you with evaluating schools’ academic strengths.


As a Catholic, I cannot comment on Jewish life, but can suggest UPenn, WashUStL, Emory, & Northwestern based on remarks from friends.

I don’t know what level of selectivity you’re looking at, but Indiana university also draws that Jewish population. I would not second Wake, which doesn’t have a Jewish population or Georgetown, which has a small Jewish population but is Jesuit, unless you’re specifically interested in SFS. GW, AU, BU all have large Jewish populations. Look at the Hillel Jewish college guide, which shows numbers and percentages.

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Not on the level of Duke and Cornell type schools but Tulane is very Jewish and has tons of kids from the places you mentioned including a bunch of my D’s roommates. There is an unofficial nickname of Jewlane (in a fun way, not derogatory, I’ve even seen girls with that on cute t-shirts) and even the non Jewish kids like my D say the food at Hillel is the best on campus.


Here is a list of work hard/play hard schools. You can look at the Hillel list to cross match with Jewish student population. Many of these schools have been discussed in this thread. Most Intense Colleges in America

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Elon, Tulane
UF (especially back when Benacquisto made it a good choice for NMFs)

I would be careful about choosing Vanderbilt right now. The student government there has issued many anti Semitic, anti Israel statements in the last few months. It got so bad the university issued its own statement saying the student government didn’t speak for the university. But there is definitely a pro Palestinian vibe there right now. Not sure how a Jewish student would feel about the atmosphere on campus.

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If I’m not mistaken, Tulane has the highest proportion of Jewish students after Yeshiva University. UFL also has a very large number of Jewish students.


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Dartmouth College students tend to have more of a social life than their peers at similar top institutions, especially the ivies. This is because, as an undergrad focused research university, Dartmouth focuses its resources on its undergrad population and we have a collaborative rather than competitive stress culture here. We also have a very active Jewish organization, Hillel as well as the Roth Center which provides a home base for the campus’s Jewish population. I am not Jewish, but I have attended a few open events with friends who are. Each event was accompanied by fantastic meals and interesting discussion.

If you want to know more about Dartmouth specifically, feel free to reach out via PM.