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86 SCHOOLS in MISSOURI
From the time Missouri was acquired from France in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the region has been a central player in the development of the US. Settlers began flooding the state immediately, but more importantly, Missouri was the Gateway to the West, the entry point of the California Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail – a role symbolized by the world-famous St. Louis Gateway Arch. As a central location, with the Mississippi River going north and south and Manifest Destiny moving west, Missouri became a melting pot of cultures, sparking musical genres (ragtime, St. Louis blues, and Kansas City jazz) and birthing the most American of writers, Mark Twain.
Of course, in its earliest days (with settlers competing and racing for cheap or even free land), Missouri was an agricultural state, but the major transportation hubs of Kansas City and St. Louis made the region an industrial, manufacturing, and distribution giant; two Federal Reserve banks are located in Missouri, the only such US state. With its agricultural history, Missouri is also a biotechnology leader, and the home of Monsanto, while extensive mining (including lead, limestone, and coal) has made Missouri a destination for engineers.
All of these elements of Missouri’s history, industry, and culture appear in the best colleges in Missouri. The “Show Me” State has an extensive and prestigious tradition of liberal arts colleges that take the skepticism and grit in the Missourian character and develop it into critical thought, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Missouri is even home to the oldest college West of the Mississippi, Saint Louis University. Meanwhile, Missouri’s Christian faith is fully on display in institutions like Drury University and the College of the Ozarks. MIssouri also shows an impressive array of regional public institutions, all led by the flagships, the University of Missouri and Missouri State University, and all dedicated to providing Missouri’s people with the best education for the future.