When considering colleges, why not also consider proximity to the beach? If you want to surf after studying, if you wear flip-flops even when it’s snowing, or if you keep your boogie board with your books, then these beach colleges are for you. Nothing’s better than finishing your reading assignment while sprawled out on a beach towel, or working off some stress by hitting the waves. The following beach schools are top not only for academics, but for beaches, beach life, and surfing.
UCSD offers the ultimate combination of beach and academics – even the professors surf! San Diego‘s stunning oceanfront is within walking distance, and the Rec Department offers surfing classes. If you have more than a casual interest in the ocean, UCSD is home to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, one of the largest centers for ocean research in the world.
There are several beaches within walking distance of UCSB’s campus, and over a dozen more in Santa Barbara and neighboring Ventura and Carpinteria. Santa Barbara also has a bumping party scene for students who want to experience the true California surfer lifestyle.
It’s hard to beat the UC’s for academic quality, value, and proximity to beaches. UC Santa Cruz is located near what surfline.com calls “the single most diverse surf area in the state.” The school offers beginner and intermediate surfing classes, and even features a spring break trip to Baja California. For those who want to casually enjoy the beach, Santa Cruz has an old-fashioned beach boardwalk.
Located in Honolulu, a few miles from Waikiki, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa is a beach lover’s dream. Students are surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The University of Hawaii also has world-renowned marine laboratories, and the graduate programs in oceanography and marine science are ranked among the top 5 in the country.
Wilmington is a great draw for surfers and non-surfing beach lovers alike For those who don’t surf, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the warm Atlantic waters. Carolina Beach in Wilmington has classic boardwalk rides and food stands. Nearby Kure Beach offers a less touristy beach getaway with hiking and boating opportunities.
Finding the right fit
Remember: college is the chance to not only develop yourself academically, but also explore outside interests and build relationships. These things are just as important to your education and preparation for the rest of your life. Thus, don’t be afraid to let fun be a factor in your decision. College is four or more years of your life, so it’s important to choose a school you’ll enjoy attending.
You’ll want to know what the best late night pizza spot is or which cafe serves the best coffee—especially when it comes to finals. You’ll also want to know what it’s like to attend those college football games or what it feels like to walk around campus in February. College visits will help you experience these things firsthand.
Don’t forget: the first step in studying seaside while in college is to study for college admissions exams like the SAT and the ACT. Higher scores will create the maximum number of opportunities for you to choose from.