California State University, Long Beach

Long Beach, CA: Located just three miles from the beach, this school is a beach bum’s dream. It is one of the few colleges that have been the setting for movies. With 36,870 students and tuition for in-state residents under $3,000 a year (out-of-state tuition runs about $10,000), an education is not only ­affordable but there are plenty of people from all backgrounds to share this experience with you.

The campus has 323 acres, and the many buildings do not overwhelm you. Instead it feels very open and airy. One thing that this college has that many others don’t is consistent building style. CSU’s architecture is reminiscent of an Ivy League campus. In autumn the leaves change color, which ­allows southern Californians to experience another season.

For those interested in teaching, CSU Long Beach offers a unique opportunity. It is possible to get your Bachelor’s degree and your teaching credentials at the same time. The pace is accelerated, but you can save money and kill two birds with one stone.

One of the negatives of this school, for me, is the lack of a lacrosse team. Lacrosse is an up-and-coming sport in California, and CSU Long Beach fails to provide a team for all those scholarship hopefuls (the school does have a club, however). Also, if you want to major in pre-med, CSU Long Beach only has a nursing program. It is possible to take biological sciences and then go to medical school.

Overall, CSU Long Beach left me with a very good impression. The ­campus is breathtakingly gorgeous and is a very happy environment. The programs are good, even though the school lacks some that may be important to prospective students. At such an affordable price, CSU Long Beach ­provides an excellent education in an equally excellent environment.

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