La Jolla, California
The University of California – San Diego is one of the most selective of the UC schools, with a high median ACT score. Within a college system, admitted applicants are assigned to one of six colleges, based on stated preference and availability, where they will live for two years of their studies. Each college has its own dining facilities and traditions, as well as differing general education requirements, offering benefits of a small liberal arts school within a large research university. Academic departments operate independently of the colleges and are highly acclaimed. Students of marine sciences and earth sciences can study through the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which operates four research vessels and in 2013 logged 767 days at sea. You can keep busy all year through 596 student clubs and celebrate the end of the school year with the annual Watermelon Drop from Urey Hall.
Net Price: $14,329