US Colleges near the beach

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

berkeley alumni

US Colleges near the beach

You’ve always dreamt of the perfect college experience, haven’t you? Imagine waking up to the gentle sound of waves crashing, the salty breeze tousling your hair as you head to your morning class. The idea of attending a US college near the beach isn’t just a fleeting fantasy; it’s a tangible reality for thousands of students.

As you embark on this journey of higher education, it’s essential to consider not just the academic reputation of an institution but also the environment that will shape your formative years. And what could be more invigorating than the vast expanse of the ocean as your backdrop?

A brief overview of the allure of beachside colleges

Now, you might wonder, what’s the big deal about beachside colleges? Well, think about it. The very essence of college is to expand your horizons, challenge your perspectives, and immerse yourself in diverse experiences.

US Colleges near the beach offer an unparalleled blend of rigorous academia and rejuvenating leisure. The proximity to the ocean isn’t just about the scenic beauty; it’s about the lifestyle, the opportunities, and the sense of community that these institutions foster.

Whether it’s late-night bonfire discussions on philosophy or weekend marine conservation projects, the beach becomes more than just a picturesque setting; it becomes an integral part of your academic journey.

The unique experience of studying near the ocean

Dive deeper, and you’ll realize that studying near the ocean is not just about sunbathing during study breaks or surfing on weekends. It’s about the profound impact the ocean has on your psyche.

aerial view of a coast

The vastness of the sea often mirrors the boundless possibilities of your future, urging you to think bigger and dream wilder. The rhythmic ebb and flow of the tides serve as a constant reminder of life’s ups and downs, teaching resilience, patience, and the art of going with the flow.

As you walk the sandy shores of US Colleges near the beach, you’re not just a student; you’re a dreamer, an explorer, a thinker. The ocean, with its infinite mysteries, challenges you to dive into the depths of knowledge, to seek, to question, and to discover.

Why Consider a Beachside College?

When you’re on the cusp of making one of the most significant decisions of your life, the choice of college, you’re not just selecting an institution. You’re choosing an experience, a lifestyle, a backdrop against which your most transformative years will unfold. So, why not opt for a setting that’s as dynamic, refreshing, and invigorating as the ocean?

US Colleges near the beach offer more than just a degree; they offer an environment where every day feels like an adventure, where the horizon constantly beckons, urging you to think bigger and dream bolder.

The Therapeutic Benefits of the Ocean

Have you ever stood at the edge of the sea, letting the waves lap at your feet, and felt an overwhelming sense of calm wash over you? There’s a reason for that. The ocean, with its vastness and rhythmic cadence, has a therapeutic effect on the human psyche.

Attending US Colleges near the beach means you’re constantly enveloped by this serene ambiance. The salty air, the gentle hum of the waves, the mesmerizing dance of the tides – they all work in tandem to reduce stress, boost creativity, and enhance mental well-being. It’s not just about the view; it’s about the profound impact the ocean has on your emotional and mental health.

Balancing Academics with Recreation

While academic rigor is a given at any reputable institution, US Colleges near the beach offer a unique blend of scholastic challenges and recreational opportunities. Imagine wrapping up a challenging exam and heading straight to the beach for a rejuvenating swim or a game of beach volleyball.

a group of students playing beach volleyball

The proximity to the ocean allows for an organic integration of work and play. It’s not about escapism; it’s about balance. It’s about understanding that while academics are crucial, so is relaxation, physical activity, and connecting with nature. This balance fosters a holistic approach to education, ensuring you’re not just academically sound but also mentally and physically robust.

A Unique Campus Culture

Every college boasts of its unique culture, but US Colleges near the beach have an undeniable edge. The beachside setting fosters a sense of community, camaraderie, and shared purpose. Whether it’s the annual beach clean-up drives, moonlit music festivals, or marine conservation projects, the ocean plays a pivotal role in shaping campus events and traditions.

The laid-back vibe doesn’t detract from the academic seriousness; instead, it complements it, ensuring students are well-rounded, open-minded, and ever-curious. The beach becomes more than just a scenic spot; it becomes a catalyst for growth, learning, and community-building.

What are the most affordable colleges near the beach?

Where can I find the most reasonably priced colleges that are located near the beach? Here are some of the best colleges by the beach. We included an estimated figure for your reference (Note that tuition fees may be changed at any time).

Brigham Young University, Hawaii

On the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian archipelago, close to the city of Honolulu, is where you’ll find Brigham Young University-Hawaii. This is not your typical college near the beach. Instead, it is quite literally encircled by beaches of exceptional quality.

Similar to the BYU-Provo campus, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns and operates BYU-Hawaii, and roughly 97% of the student body identifies as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Prospective students should still be aware of dress codes, even if the location is in tropical weather. Contrary to what we think about beach campus life filled with bikinis and skimpy clothing, BYU-Hawaii has a stringent dress code that emphasizes modesty. Like what they say, swimwears are welcome on the beach, but not on the school grounds.

Tuition: $6,068

Florida Atlantic University

In Boca Raton, one of the most well-liked beach communities in Florida, you’ll find Florida Atlantic University (FAU), considered to be among the top beachfront universities on the East Coast. As a matter of fact, you will be greeted by their tagline “This isn’t just a campus, it’s a coastline” on their website. How cool is that?

The Florida Atlantic University puts a lot of effort into maintaining its status as a public research university, and it funds a number of different programs. It should come as no surprise that many of these are associated with oceanography given that this is one of the most well-known coastal colleges.

Tuition: $4,879 (in-state) or $17,324 (out-of-state)

University of West Florida

3rd on our list of affordable colleges near the beach is The University of West Florida (UWF). It is a public research university that is a part of the State University System of Florida. It is found in the lovely city of Pensacola, which is located on the East Coast.

The campus spans over 1,600 acres and is located adjacent to Escambia Bay as well as between two rivers. Therefore, there are numerous options for pupils to take pleasure in various kinds of water.

Tuition: $6,360 (in-state) or $19,241 (out-of-state)

California State University, Long Beach

The moniker “The Beach” is given to California State University, Long Beach because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean.

California State University signage

The university, which is a public research institution, is comprised of eight academic colleges. California State University, Long Beach is one of the most well-known beach colleges.

It is interesting to note that the degree program in physics is the one that has the highest enrollment at CSU Long Beach. This seaside college’s engineering curriculum is frequently ranked among the best in the United States, making it one of the best in the country.

In addition to that, the College of Natural Sciences is home to a sizable water marine biology laboratory.

Tuition: $6,846 (in-state) or $18,726 (out-of-state)

California State University, Monterey Bay

CSU Monterey Bay is an excellent choice for any student who is interested in spending all four years of their education at the beach because it is located directly on the Pacific Ocean and spans the communities of Seaside and Marina.

Since this institution is a public research university and is situated on the coast, the majority of the school’s research programs are concerned with the environment and the water.

Tuition: $7,218 (in-state) or $19,098 (out-of-state)

University of North Carolina, Wilmington

UNC Wilmington, a public research university and a component of the University of North Carolina System, is recognized as one of the most prestigious beachfront educational institutions in the East Coast.

There is a wide variety of academic fields from which one might earn a degree, including education, health, human services, and many others.

It is interesting to note that the town of Wilmington is situated directly on the water and is frequently utilized as a filming location in place of locations in New England.

Tuition: $7,238 (in-state) or $21,303 (out-of-state)

San Diego State University

It is a public research university that is located not too far from the magnificent beaches that San Diego has to offer on the Pacific Ocean. It is the third oldest school that is part of the California State University system.

San Diego State University is one of the colleges near the beach that receives the most applications each year in part due to its geographic location.

Tuition: $8,136 (in-state) or $20,016 (out-of-state)

Humboldt State University

The campus of Humboldt State University may be found well up in the north of California and offers breathtaking vistas of both Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Because it is a part of the California State University system, Humboldt is an alternative for going to college that is not too expensive, particularly for California residents.

It grants degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, with a total of 49 bachelor’s degrees and 12 master’s degrees available.

Students who are enthusiastic about being near or on the water will be pleased to learn that Humboldt State University makes the most of its location close to the beach.

Tuition: $7,864 (in-state) or $19,744 (out-of-state)

California State University, San Marcos

Students at California State University, San Marcos have access to some of the most magnificent beaches in the Pacific Ocean, which is located near San Diego, where the university is located.

There are a total of 62 bachelor’s degrees and 15 master’s degrees available to students at San Marcos, which is one of the newest campuses in the California State University system.

Tuition: $7,727 (in-state) or $19,607 (out-of-state)

Western Washington University

It is a public university that is found in close proximity to the coast of Washington. The institution gives students the opportunity to earn a wide variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

In point of fact, the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University was the very first institution among colleges near the beach to be devoted only to the study of environmental science when it was founded in 1969.

Tuition: $8,703 (in-state) or $25,930 (out-of-state)

What makes the best beach colleges?

What characteristics are necessary for ideal colleges near the beach? Beaches are essential, but that’s just the beginning of what you’ll need. It is a matter of culture, values, and attitude – a way of looking at the world and relating to the ocean, which covers more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface.

In most cases, this implies that there is more to it than just a beach party scene; in fact, many of the top beach colleges are places where sustainability, environmental responsibility, and respect for nature are inscribed into the curriculum and mission. They are also beneficial for students since having a place where they can interact with nature is quite helpful in managing the stress that comes with being in college.

Many of the most prestigious educational institutions located along the coast are also leaders in community engagement; they actively seek to improve the quality of life in the area where they are based. Even if their hometown is a major city such as Miami or Los Angeles, the best beach colleges are integrated into the communities they serve in some way, shape, or form.

This may take the form of volunteers putting in a large number of hours of community service; safeguarding local wildlife and marine life; assisting local small businesses, or providing one of the many other benefits a college can offer a community. Students who are looking for part-time or full-time work to supplement their education will find several opportunities in tourist locations.

Are There Any Challenges to Studying Near the Beach?

While the allure of attending US Colleges near the beach is undeniable, it’s essential to approach this decision with a balanced perspective. Just as the ocean has its tides, studying near its shores comes with its own set of challenges.

The picturesque views, the vibrant campus culture, and the therapeutic benefits of the ocean are enticing. However, it’s crucial to be aware of potential hurdles that might arise in this unique setting, ensuring you’re prepared to navigate them effectively.

Distractions and Time Management

The beach, with its golden sands and azure waters, can be a siren’s call, especially on a sunny day when your textbooks seem particularly drab in comparison. While US Colleges near the beach offer a plethora of recreational activities, they also demand a high level of self-discipline.

alarm clock with time running out. Students hands to take exams, write examination room with pencil holding on optical form of standardized test with answers

It’s easy to be swayed by the temptation of a midday swim or a beach volleyball match, especially when stress levels peak. Effective time management becomes paramount. It’s essential to strike a balance, ensuring that the beach becomes a reward for hard work rather than a distraction from academic responsibilities.

Weather Concerns

Nature, in all its glory, is unpredictable. While beachside settings offer stunning sunrises and sunsets, they also come with their share of weather concerns.

US Colleges near the beach, especially those located in tropical or hurricane-prone areas, may face disruptions due to storms, hurricanes, or coastal flooding. It’s vital for students to be prepared, stay informed about local weather patterns, and participate in safety drills and awareness programs offered by the institution.

The beauty of the ocean is vast, but so is its power, and respect is crucial.

Cost of Living

Beach towns, with their tourist appeal and high demand, often come with a steeper cost of living. Whether it’s housing, dining, or even basic amenities, prices can be higher than in inland college towns.

Students considering US Colleges near the beach should factor in these additional costs when budgeting for their college years. While some expenses, like premium housing with ocean views, can be optional, others, like daily essentials, might strain a student’s budget. It’s essential to plan ahead, seek out financial advice, and explore cost-saving options available in the area.


As the sun sets on our exploration of US Colleges near the beach, it becomes evident that the decision to study by the shore is not merely about academic pursuits. It’s about embracing a lifestyle, a rhythm, a unique blend of rigorous academia, and the rejuvenating embrace of the ocean.

The journey through college is transformative, filled with challenges, discoveries, and personal growth. And what better backdrop for this journey than the vast, ever-changing expanse of the sea?

Students walking on the streets.

Reflecting on the holistic experience of studying at a beachside college

The holistic experience of attending US Colleges near the beach is unparalleled. Beyond the textbooks and lecture halls, the beachside setting offers lessons of its own. It teaches resilience, as students witness the relentless spirit of the waves crashing against the shore, only to retreat and come back with renewed vigor.

It fosters a sense of community, as students come together for beach clean-ups, marine conservation projects, or simply to share stories under a canopy of stars. The ocean, in its vastness, serves as a constant reminder of the boundless opportunities that lie ahead, urging students to dive deep, explore, and make waves in their chosen fields.

Encouraging prospective students to visit and feel the vibe for themselves

Words can paint a picture, but to truly grasp the magic of US Colleges near the beach, one must experience it firsthand. If you’re a prospective student, take a trip. Feel the sand between your toes, listen to the symphony of the waves, and engage with the vibrant community.

Attend a lecture, participate in a beachside event, or simply take a quiet walk along the shore. Let the ambiance speak to you. Because while facts and figures play a role in college selection, it’s the vibe, the energy, the intangible feeling that will guide your heart. And who knows? The call of the ocean might just be the beacon leading you to your future.

Get admitted to the college of your dreams with AdmissionSight

The team here at AdmissionSight is eager to help you achieve your objective of getting admitted to the beach college of your dreams. AdmissionSight has helped students just like you gain admission to their top-choice colleges.

If you’re interested in setting up your no-cost initial consultation, please get in touch with us as soon as possible (you’re reading it right: no cost).


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