Going to school these days is quite a big deal. It is always ideal to find the best college to attend school at, as it will have a great impact on your future.
Schooling in the south is not any different. While there are a variety of schools with unique qualities, there are also superb schools in the south.
In this article, we would discuss the best colleges in the south, alongside why you should attend the best colleges in the South and the general cost. Keep reading.
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Why Attend the Best Colleges in the South?
Before the 1860s most of the South had only a rudimentary public school system. After the Civil War, southern states ultimately created a dual educational system based on race.
These separate schools were anything but equal. However, this has changed. The top reasons you should go to the best colleges in the south are-
- By attending the colleges in the South, you will be able to gain mentors and internships, join the Public Relations Student Society of America, record a podcast, and network with other professionals in the field.
- The best colleges in the South aim for the best learning through experience
- By attending the best colleges in the Scouldouth, you can expect to gain beautiful friendships from beautiful people.
- The weather in the South is warm most of the year and as such, students would find it easier to study.
- By attending college in the South, they would prepare you to better understand, live successfully within, and provide enlightened leadership to a richly diverse and increasingly complex world.
- By studying in the best colleges in the South, you would have increased marketability and keep you in demand as the need for skilled, college-educated workers continues to rise.
Cost of Attending College in the South
The South is a region known for its many affordable colleges and universities, so many in fact, that it can be challenging to choose the best of the best affordable colleges available.
The average annual in-state college tuition in South Carolina was $13,468 for the 2019-2020 academic year. This is $1,197 lower than the U.S. average and ranks.
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15 Best Colleges in the South
#1. Duke University
Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892.
In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment and the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.
Duke is ranked among the top universities in the United States. Undergraduate admissions are among the most selective in the country, with an overall acceptance rate of 5.7% for the class of 2025.
Duke spends more than $1 billion per year on research, making it one of the ten largest research universities in the United States. More than a dozen faculty regularly appear on annual lists of the world’s most-cited researchers.
#2. Rice University
William Marsh Rice University (Rice University) is a private research university in Houston, Texas. It is situated on a 300-acre campus near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Center.
It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,076 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size is 300 acres.
It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Rice University’s ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #17. Its tuition and fees are $52,895.
Rice University, located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, offers a dynamic student life in the nation’s fourth-largest city.
The Rice Coffeehouse, Valhalla Pub, and Willy’s Pub are all student-run institutions offering on-campus food and drink.
Before stepping foot on campus, all students are assigned to one of 11 residential colleges, of which they remain, members, even if they decide to move off-campus. It is one of the best colleges in the South.
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#3. Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a private institution that was founded in 1873. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,057 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size is 333 acres.
It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Vanderbilt University’s ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #14. Its tuition and fees are $56,966.
Vanderbilt University offers a wide range of student activities. Located in Nashville, or Music City, there are plenty of off-campus options for dining, shopping, music, and entertainment.
On-campus, Greek organizations play a big role in social life, with approximately 40 percent of students affiliated with Greek life.
All undergraduate students at Vanderbilt are required to live on campus, and freshmen live together in The Commons, which has many LEED Gold and Silver certified buildings.
#4. University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. It is the flagship university of Virginia and home to the Academicals Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Graduate and professional school admissions are also highly selective.
As of 2019, the average LSAT score was 169 at the School of Law, while at the Darden School of Business the average GMAT score was 718. UVA is a highly rated public university located in Charlottesville, Virginia.
It is a large institution with an enrollment of 16,267 undergraduate students. Admissions are competitive as the UVA acceptance rate is 24%.
Popular majors include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Economics, and Management Sciences and Information Systems. Graduating 95% of students, UVA alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $50,300. It is one of the best colleges in the South.
#5. Davidson College
Davidson College is a private institution that was founded in 1837. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,983 (fall 2020), its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 665 acres.
It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Davidson College’s ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, #13. Its tuition and fees are $55,000.
Davidson College is located in Davidson, North Carolina, 19 miles north of Charlotte. With more than 200 student organizations on campus, there are a variety of ways for students to get involved.
In addition to clubs and organizations, students can also join one of the school’s eight national fraternities, four eating houses, or two sororities on campus. Freshmen are required to live on campus in the four first-year student residence halls. It is one of the best colleges in the South.
#6. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina is the multi-campus public university system for the state of North Carolina. Overseeing the state’s 16 public universities and the NC School of Science and Mathematics, it is commonly referred to as the UNC System to differentiate it from its flagship, UNC-Chapel Hill.
Within its seventeen campuses, UNC houses two medical schools and one teaching hospital, ten nursing programs, two schools of dentistry, one veterinary school and hospital, and a school of pharmacy, as well as two law schools, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a school for performing artists.
Basically, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the oldest university to first admit students in 1795. The smallest and newest member is the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a residential two-year high school, founded in 1980 and a full member of the University since 2007.
Above all, it’s the largest university in North Carolina State University, with 34,340 students as of fall 2012.
#7. James Madison University
James Madison University (also known as JMU, Madison, or James Madison) is a public research university in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Founded in 1908 as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg, the institution was renamed Madison College in 1938 in honor of President James Madison and then James Madison University in 1977.
It is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, just west of Massanutten Mountain. The Madison Experience includes a beautiful campus and surrounding area, vibrant outside-the-classroom experiences, and lifelong friendships. It is one of the best colleges in the South.
#8. Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University is a private institution that was founded in 1749. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,822 (fall 2020), its setting is a city, and the campus size is 430 acres.
It utilizes a 4-4-1-based academic calendar. Washington and Lee University’s ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, #11. Its tuition and fees are $59,380.
Washington and Lee University is located in historic Lexington, Va., three hours southwest of Washington, D.C.
The school fields 24 NCAA Division III sports and is most competitive in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Its men’s and women’s tennis teams have both won national championships.
Approximately 80 percent of students are involved in Greek life, which comprises nearly 25 fraternity and sorority chapters. Freshmen are required to live on campus in one of four residence halls. It is one of the best colleges in the South.
#9. Stetson University
Stetson University is a private university with four colleges and schools located across the I-4 corridor in Central Florida with the primary undergraduate campus in DeLand.
The university was founded in 1883 and was later established in 1887. In total there are over 4,000 students currently enrolled at Stetson.
Stetson has approximately 20 honorary academic and professional organizations and over 100 other student organizations on campus.
#10. Christopher Newport University
Located in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University is a public school named after an English ship captain whose voyages took settlers to Jamestown and the Virginia colony.
The university offers more than 80 areas of study. Outside the classroom, CNU students can get involved by joining more than 100 clubs, pledging with numerous fraternities and sororities, or attending one of the many campus events, such as festivals and comedy shows.
CNU students can venture off campus and explore the nearby James River and The Mariners’ Museum, or drive a few minutes to explore beaches or a few hours to enjoy the city life of the District of Columbia.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best school in the South?
Rice University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the best universities in the South.
What is the oldest school in the South?
Named for the British co-monarchs who were reigning at the time and who gave the university its royal charter (the first for any university in the US), the College of William and Mary is the oldest university in the American South.
Which school is the Harvard of the South?
Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt University is known as the Harvard of the South and with good reason. The campus is an urban one and located on West End Avenue and 21st Avenue.
Is life in the South better?
Living in the South is better, according to people who believe this to be true. While the northern part of the United States typically has more action and commotion, the South has its perks too. Most of the lower part of the country is a little slower, warmer, and quieter.
Why do people want to live in the South?
You’ll enjoy a lower cost of living. Speaking of saving money, Southeastern residents enjoy a lower cost of living than many other Americans. Everything from housing costs and childcare to restaurant prices and amenities tends to be less expensive in the South
Living in the South may or may not be the ideal place for you. Some love it … others hate it. The schooling systems are also invariably good. These 15 best colleges in the South have really good infrastructure to prepare you for the future.