San Diego Colleges & Universities

Only 2 hours (and change depending on traffic) away from Los Angeles, San Diego makes it easy for Southern California students to live in a completely new environment, yet be reasonably close to home. If you’re an out of state student, it’s a great environment to be close to the beach and enjoy Southern California. Either way, for prospective college students it’s worth checking out. I love San Diego, mostly because you can access sleepy beach towns, bustling downtown vibes, the culture of old town, and pretty much any type of environment you’re in the mood for all within 15-20 minute driving time of each experience. For students, San Diego itself has a ton to offer. Hospitals, businesses, tourism, hospitality, marine sciences and more. Within San Diego you have your pick of universities. If you can, visit. It’s easy to tell the vibe between campuses. But if you can’t, use video tutorials and dive in online.

When researching, how can you tell if a college is a good fit for you? One that is a good fit ACADEMICALLY, SOCIALLY and FINANCIALLY 

Hint: Don’t always assume the initial cost, a.k.a. “sticker price” of an institution is set in stone, take a look at this post to know how to tell if a college can be more affordable: 3 Tools to Easily Tell College Affordability and Tuition Price

I’ll post some pictures and link to content below. I highly encourage students to go directly to the website for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information.

  • University of San Diego Virtual Tour 
    • Private Institution, residential campus, liberal arts
    • Check out this article: What Does Liberal Arts Mean Anyway?
    • Small-medium size campus, about 6,000 undergrad students
    • 52% acceptance rate, average GPA 3.72-4.17, ACT 26-31, SAT 1710-2010 (Source: USD Admissions)
    • Holistic admission factors: Grades, Course Rigor, test scores, extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendations
    • Pre-professional programs in health sciences and law
    • Small class sizes
    • Merit scholarships available
    • USD Website
    • Might be a good fit for the student wanting a smaller environment and to be integrated throughout the university not just solely their major
  • San Diego Sate University Virtual Tour
    • Public institution, 34% acceptance rate, average GPA 3.85, ACT 27, SAT 1174 (Source: SDSU Admission Fast Facts)
    • Admission factors: A-G coursework, SAT/ACT scores, rank applicants within each major, all majors impacted
    • Large campus, 30,000+ students, athletics/greek life, access to research
    • High retention rate = happy returning students!
    • Beginning Fall 2019 will require students to live on campus for first two years (to boost 4 year graduation rates)
    • Over 190 majors! These are a TINY sampling, explore online…
      • Nationally accredited Journalism & Media Studies
      • Strong business within the Fowler College of Business (enter pre-business as Freshman, complete coursework and apply for your major). Concentrations include:
    • SDSU WebsiteSDSU Achievements & Distinctions
    • Might be a good fit for student who is looking for a larger university, bigger social scene, access to a number of clubs and options on campus. Students should consider major impaction and graduation rate
  • University of California, San Diego Virtual Tour
    • Public Institution (34% acceptance rate, 4.04 – 4.28 average GPA, ACT 29-34, Source: Freshman Admission Profile) Located in La Jolla, California, incredibly close to the beach!
    • Holistic admission review (Meeting/exceeding A-G coursework, grades, strength in course rigor, test scores, personal insight questions, extracurricular activities)
    • Research based institution, clubs, organizations, athletics, strong academics
    • Unique Six College System
      • “The College system at UC San Diego is a unique university structure that personalizes the delivery of services to undergraduate students. The Colleges are residential neighborhoods on campus with their own residence facilities, staff, traditions and general education requirements. Every UC San Diego undergraduate is assigned to one of six colleges when they are admitted to UC San Diego (Source UCSD).”
    • UCSD Website, UCSD Majors
  • Point Loma Nazarene University Virtual Tour I wasn’t able to tour this one, but it’s in San Diego, so please check out their website for more information if it sounds like a good fit for you!
    • Small, private Christian university, 15-1 student to faculty ratio
    • Honors program available, over 50 majors
    • Might be a good fit for a student wanting a small, faith-based university

CAUTION: Students please DIVE into your college search! Please note, the most up-to-date information can be found directly on colleges’ websites, reach out to a regional admission counselor, speak to students on campus and REALLY get to know your options, beyond the tidbits provided here! 

Published by Casey Barneson

Author of The College Wellness Guide. Beverly Hills High School College Counselor.

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