colleges- south
Photo by Allison Lara on Unsplash

Whether you’re heading off to college for the first time or returning for a degree, you’ll find some of the best colleges and universities in the country in the south. Between ivy-covered walls, rich football traditions and rivalries, and classic, historical architecture, southern schools reflect beauty and charm like no other. 

But there’s more to Southern colleges than many people realize. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the face of collegiate enrollment is changing. Some people are taking time off while others might be hesitant to go back to school in the fall. Others, still, are interested in making a change. 

While none of us know what the future might look like for colleges across the country, if you’re considering a change or you’ve just started to look at schools, let’s take a closer look at why going to college in the south is an experience you’ll never forget. 

Top-Ranking Academics

When you think of the highest-rated schools in the country, places like Harvard or Yale might come to mind. No one’s going to deny their prestige. But, some of the most academically challenging schools in the U.S. are actually found in the South. 


Often, Texas’ Rice University is referred to as “the Harvard of the South,” as it’s the 19th-hardest college to get into in the country. Many southern schools also specialize in difficult degrees and careers. Duke University, for example, was ranked #12 in the country for law schools by U.S. News. If you’ve done your research on things like getting a job as a lawyer or advancing your law career, there’s no reason not to come to the south to do so. 

Southern schools also shine when it comes to healthcare, with Duke ranking number one in nursing schools in the South, and number two in the entire country. Nursing is more important than ever. Not only is there a nationwide shortage of healthcare workers, but thanks to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, qualified nurses are needed throughout the country to keep up with demands in hospitals, small practices, and even for home care.

Even fashion reigns supreme in some southern schools if design is your true passion. The Stephens College School of Design in Missouri was named one of the best fashion schools in the world in 2019. So no matter what your interests are or what you aspire to be, don’t count out the south as an academic powerhouse. 

An Experience Unlike Any Other

Whether you’re interested in a southern school for the traditions and heritage or to get a top-notch education, there are a few other things you won’t find anywhere else that make the south the ideal place to go to college, including: 


  • Incredible food
  • Greek life (sororities/fraternities)
  • Warm weather
  • Plenty of outdoor activities

We’d also feel guilty if we didn’t mention the fact that tailgating is practically a sport on its own, depending on which school you attend. 

You don’t have to love football or rich southern traditions in order to love southern colleges. There are so many things these schools offer that can sometimes get overlooked by larger universities in the north. But, we like to think everything’s a little bit friendlier down here, at a pace we all can agree on. 

So whether it’s now, in the near future, or even if you’re just thinking about heading back to school, never count out the south when it comes to giving you the resources you need for a successful career and future!