Most state universities seem so massive. Will attention be paid to an undergraduate? Will a freshman feel lost? Are there public options that offer great resources on a smaller scale?
There are a number of higly ranked smaller public institutions that focus on a liberal arts education. Here's a list of some good ones.
I've heard of most of them, and know good things about St. Mary's (MD), College of Charleston (SC), UNC - Asheville (NC) and the University of Mary Washington (VA). But here was the revelation: The College of New Jersey. I'd read that it was a good school but it wasn't till I looked at its profile and this chart comparing TCNJ to other colleges, private and public, in New Jersey and saw it comes in second after Princeton in SAT scores.
I was surprised and impressed. And I bet there are lots of other good surprises out there. It's just a matter of looking, and not being too restrictive in the college search.