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University of Georgia

*In-state, two semesters' tuition and required fees. Source: U.S. News Best Colleges 2012.

The University of Georgia became the first state-chartered university in America in 1785 and held classes in 1801 on the banks of the Oconee River in northeast Georgia. UGA predates its hometown of Athens, which was incorporated in 1806.

Town: Athens (pop. 116,714) 

Enrollment: 33,367 (Fall 2010)

Nickname: Bulldogs, adopted in part because Georgia’s first president, Abraham Baldwin, graduated from Yale University (also the Bulldogs).

Colors: Red and black

Traditions: “Between the hedges” refers to the famous bushes that border the playing field at Sanford Stadium. The phrase “How bout them Dawgs” is a standard greeting between fans.

Eats and treats: The band R.E.M. made the Southern-style eatery Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods famous when it titled its 1994 album “Automatic for the People” after the restaurant’s slogan. Tour and taste the national award-winning brews at Terrapin Beer Co.

Places and spaces: Students and alumni rush to ring the campus Chapel Bell after a Georgia victory. Named the best college music scene in America by Rolling Stone, Athens is home to bands R.E.M., the B-52s, Widespread Panic and venues such as the 40 Watt and Georgia Theater on Broad Street downtown.

Correction: A previous version of this story mislabeled SweetWater Georgia Brown Ale.

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