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The Quick 10: 10 Great Colleges that Finished Second

My college, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, was just named the number one school for engineering* by US News and World Report (for an impressive tenth year in a row). Being number one is important, but it shouldn't be the only criteria looked at when searching for a school. Here are ten colleges that, while not topping the annual list, are still equally impressive in second place.

1. In my school's category, Harvey Mudd College in California took the silver.

2. For those of you looking to get a doctorate in engineering, Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley tied for second after MIT.

3. For those more inclined towards business, MIT's Sloan School of Business ranked just below the University of Pennsylvania's program.

4. For those looking for a liberal arts degree, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania placed third after a tie between Amherst College and Williams College (both in Massachusetts) for top honors.

5. The Juliard School in NYC has the second-lowest acceptance rate, admitting only 8% of applicants from 2007. The most selective school, the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, only admitted 5%.

6. Williams College picks up another second place accolade-it has the second-highest graduation rate, only behind St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Illinois, 91% vs. 92%.

7. Students looking for plenty of merit-based financial aid should look no further than Anderson University in South Carolina, which fufills 95% of its students' non-need based aid. The leader, Cooper Union in New York, offers a full ride scholarship to anyone who is admitted.

8. Students looking to transfer schools but afraid of being the only transfer student should consider Colorado Technical University, which had 8,352 transfer students Fall 2007. The University of Phoenix accepted 33,337.

9. For those looking for a historically black college, Howard University in Washington, DC was ranked second behind Spelman College in Georgia.

10. Finally, for those looking to join a fraternity, Sewanee--University of the South in Tennessee reports 82% of its student body is involved in a fraternity. This percentage is only surpassed by Clearwater Christian College in Florida, which requires each student to join a fraternity.

* Amongst schools with a Masters as the highest degree offered.

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
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Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

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