Santa Clara, CA: When I went to see my sister, a student at Saint Mary’s College, my parents wanted me to look at colleges while we were in the area. I did not think it was time for me to start the college search yet, but I agreed and we visited Santa Clara University.
The campus is the most beautiful I have ever seen. Just walking across it puts you at peace and makes you feel like you are in paradise. There are palm trees everywhere, grass, and well-kept buildings. The tennis courts aren’t too shabby, either. The university, right in the middle of Santa Clara, is not at all isolated. There are nearly 5,000 undergraduate students and the average class size is 26 students. Ninety-one percent of freshmen live on campus and 94 percent return sophomore year.
The athletic program is rated one of the top 20 in the country, the only school without a football team to rank this high. By the way, NBA player Steve Nash attended Santa Clara.
The athletics are strong, but the academics are even stronger. There are three major undergraduate programs: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, and the School of Engineering, each nationally ranked. The classes provide students with experience in their field through different projects.
A year at Santa Clara costs about $41,000, including room and board, but 71 percent of undergraduates receive some type of financial aid.
My visit to Santa Clara University was the most productive thing I have done in preparing for college, and I didn’t even want to go. It opened my eyes to a school I probably would not have known about. I’ve learned not to rule out any college. If you want to know more, go to scu.edu.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.