Tuition: $29,000 (In-state: $19,300)
Why we chose it: Across Lake Washington from Microsoft world headquarters, the University of Washington blends the theoretical and the practical for future entrepreneurs. "The school offers solid academics, but also does a good job of linking students with real-life projects so they get a good sense of how an entrepreneur works," says Glen Schuler, director of the MBA program at the University of Tennessee's College of Business Administration. In the Certificate Program in Technology Commercialization, students from all over the university, including the law school and the engineering school, sit in the classroom with MBA students. Together, they bring discoveries to market with the assistance of licensing experts. The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in conjunction with the law school, provides pro-bono legal and business advice to low-income entrepreneurs in the surrounding communities. Washington caters to both dabblers and hardcore student entrepreneurs with academic tracks that range from certificate programs to Ph.D.s. The business plan competition prize is $25,000 in seed capital.