Many parents who want to send their children to college consider sending them to a university in their region or state. This decision helps cut down on travel and tuition costs while young adults are in college. Taking advantage of educational opportunities in your region or state is a smart idea.
I am based in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I live and work in an area that is only 20 minutes from the South Carolina border. I put this tour together for high school juniors and seniors because there are some wonderful institutions of higher learning right here in the Carolinas. For the sake of conciseness and ease of transport for student groups, this tour represents my own short list of colleges I recommend — with ample travel time between destinations. In my opinion, the schools I have selected are some of the most well known schools in the Carolinas.
Clemson is a large private University located in Clemson, S.C. near the North Carolina border. There are almost 15,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students enrolled at Clemson University. Physical Sciences, Business and Engineering are the most popular majors. The Clemson Tigers are notorious on the college football circuit for their orange colors and fierce competitiveness in the sport, as well as a devoted fan base. The college campus dates to 1893 and was once Fort Hill plantation, the home of Thomas Clemson, the school’s founder and benefactor. Clemson is rich in scenery, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Clemson University even has its own lake and forest.
University of South Carolina (USC)
USC is a large state university with a long tradition dating back to 1805. The main campus is in Columbia, SC. Other locations include Beaufort, Aiken, and the Upstate (Spartantaburg-Greenville). Four additional two-year campuses are located around the state. USC is becoming distinguished in nanotechnology, health sciences, Future Fuels™, and environment and information technologies. The main campus in Columbia is well worth a visit. The campus has a horseshoe design with 11 historic buildings overlooking a lush lawn. USC has approximately 28,000 students enrolled. Nearly 20,000 of these are undergraduates.
North Carolina State University (NC State)
NC State is located in the heart of Raleigh, N.C. and has the attributes of an urban university. Raleigh is the 2nd largest city in North Carolina, with over 400,000 residents. It has a solid reputation for industry and is a leading ‘tech hub’ in the U.S. NC State has over 31,000 students and close to 2,000 faculty members and serves a diverse student population. The University offers students especially strong programs in agriculture, engineering, forestry, wood and paper science, textiles, veterinary medicine and design. The Small Business and Technology Development Center has been housed at NC State since 1984 and provides assistance to business owners and entrepreneurs.
Wake Forest University
Located in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wake Forest University is a liberal arts university that is also known for research. Wake Forest’s undergraduate school gives students a choice of 37 different majors covering business, divinity, law, medicine and other areas. With approximately 7,000 students, Wake Forest University offers the opportunities of a large university along with focused attention to academics and co-curricular activities.
Duke is a well-respected school with world-class sports teams. There are 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at Duke University. Duke is in the heart of Durham, N.C. a city of approximately 200,000 people. With Duke University Hospital and research there, Duke attracts medical professionals and biotechnology industry leaders. The Duke Chapel is seen in Gothic West Campus and is an icon for the University. Business, Divinity, Law and Medicine are some of the academic disciplines Duke is known for. Duke’s Blue Devil men’s basketball team is usually a top competitor in College Basketball. Duke and University of North Carolina are within a short distance of each other and can easily be visited in the same day.
University of North Carolina (UNC)
There are 16 schools within the UNC system in North Carolina. This tour visits the main campus at UNC Chapel Hill. UNC has a rich colonial history. It was established in 1789, and was the first public university in a new country. U.S. News and World Report named it 5th best public university in the Best Colleges guidebook for 10 years in a row. Student enrollment is 18,500 undergraduate and 11,000 graduate students. UNC has competitive admissions and most of their new enrollment is in the top 10% of their high school class. UNC is known for its medical program, Kenan-Flagler Business School, and has distinguished faculty in the arts, humanities, social sciences, global affairs and diversity and multicultural affairs. A visit in the spring or fall is the perfect time to take in the campus and see it operating at full capacity.
It is evident there are some excellent universities in the Carolinas. Many of these universities, both public and private, are steeped in the Colonial tradition. European influences emphasized the intellect, higher education, and training in the professions. Students in their junior or senior year of high school will benefit from this tour of colleges in the Carolinas.
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