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College Admissions: 5 Colleges Where Summer Never Ends

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

 

Can a college really look like this all year long? Yes it can, if it's the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Photo: UH Manoa.

Here in New England, sunny days, sandy beaches and sea breezes tend to make us forget about the perilous snows of winter. It’s hard to imagine that there actually are colleges where the sun shines in February while students throw Frisbees on the quad. Contrary to what we may believe in the northeast, academics can indeed thrive without a foot of snow keeping everyone in the classroom. So, if an “endless summer” college is on your mind, here are a few of my top picks:

1. University of Miami

Set amidst quaint Mediterranean architecture and palm trees, the University of Miami has propelled itself to a very competitive stature in the last 20 years. US News & World Report ranked it in the top 50 colleges in America and #1 in Florida. The stunning campus in a wealthy residential area is home to just over 10,000 undergrads, and offers a mind-blowing 180 majors. U. Miami boasts a top rate music school as well as architecture and marine science schools. Just a few minutes away, students can enjoy internships and the vibrant multi-cultural amenities of downtown Miami.

2. University of Hawaii-Manoa

Goodbye mainland US, aloha Honolulu. This 300-acre campus in the heart of the city is home to 13,000 undergrads and has a student to professor ratio of just 14:1. It holds the rare distinction of being a land-, sea-, and space-grant research institution. Funding for the sciences and engineering is abundant and impressive. The study of languages and cultures is also an area of strength on this diverse campus that attracts students from all over the world. With an out-of-state total cost of just $34,000 a year, University of Hawaii-Manoa is certainly a “best buy” among US colleges.

3. University of California-Santa Cruz

If Gidget had gone to college, it probably would have been at UC Santa Cruz. Built in 1965 on a 2,000 acre ranch overlooking Monterrey Bay, the campus is quintessential California. The 15,000 students here are an eclectic mix of scientists and poets. Academics and research are enhanced by “advising clusters” and the university takes a very interactive and new age approach to learning. The official mascot is a banana slug and sports are not a priority on campus-unless you count surfing. But if 1960s hippie meets 2011 hipster is your style, Santa Cruz is for you.

4. Pepperdine

High on the cliffs, overlooking the Pacific ocean and beaches of Malibu, the Pepperdine campus is among the most beautiful in the country. With about 3,500 undergraduates, this Christian college is focused on producing well-educated leaders with a sense of commitment to helping others. Business and international studies are popular majors on campus, as are the arts. Despite its Malibu location and proximity to downtown LA, this is not a college for surfers or star gazers; just 40% of applicants are accepted, so good grades are essential.

5. University of Arizona-Tucson

If dry heat, beautiful cactuses and the adobe flecked desert of the southwest sound like paradise, consider the University of Arizona. Located in a residential area of Tucson, this campus of 30,000 students is both big and beautiful. It boasts the nation’s largest honors college and some winning D1 sports teams. Resources at such a large school are plentiful and include state of the art environmental laboratories, great engineering and nursing programs and outstanding art facilities.

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic college counseling, SAT prep and athletic recruiting services www.collegeadvisorsonline.com.

 

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