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From time to time, Florida does its thing. Photo: Tupat

From time to time, North Florida does its thing. Photo: Tupat


The Inertia

8. Flagler College–St. Augustine, FL

Great weather year-round, warm water, a laid-back, surfy town and no shortage of bikini-and-boardshort-clad students make going to school at Flagler a no-brainer. With a small undergraduate enrollment, students get plenty of one-on-one time with professors and an intimate classroom setting. When the focus shifts from school, the beach is four miles away and students pile in to cars to surf, tan and enjoy the area’s beaches.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,878
Male/Female Ratio: 42/58
Average Incoming Freshman GPA: 3.4
Average Incoming SAT range: 1560-1760
Average Incoming ACT range: 22-26
Total Costs: $24,690
Tuition: $15,340
Regular Application Deadline: 3/1
Percent Applications Accepted: 40%
Nearby Breaks: Matanzas Inlet, St. Augustine Pier and New Smyrna Beach (to the south).

It's a sure thing that when New Jersey is on, you'll find these littering virtually the entire coast. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

It’s a sure thing that when New Jersey is on, you’ll find these littering virtually the entire coast. Photo: Christor Lukasiewicz

9. Monmouth University–West Long Branch, NJ

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It’s no secret that New Jersey has plenty of surf. The coast is littered with beachbreaks, mainly to the south, and New York is immediately north. Not a bad place to be to receive fall swells. With a small undergraduate student body, there are plenty of small classes leading to a good amount of attention for students who want the extra help. In a region of the country (Northeast) whose academics is undeniably first-rate, Monmouth is a hidden gem for those who don’t get into a top-tier private school but still want a challenge…and a beach.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,652
Male/Female Ratio: 42/58
Average Incoming Freshman GPA: 3.4
Average Incoming SAT range: 1480-1720
Average Incoming ACT range: 22-25
Total Costs: $39,659
Tuition: $27,372
Regular Application Deadline: 12/1
Percent Applications Accepted: 63%
Nearby Breaks: Starting south and moving north–Manasquan, Belmar, Avon, Asbury Park and Long Island to the northeast with so many in between.

Nothing like a North Cackalacky pier barrel. Photo: DJ Struntz

Nothing like a North Cackalacky pier barrel. Photo: DJ Struntz

10. University of North Carolina at Wilmington–Wilmington, NC

Wilmington couldn’t be more charming if it tried. Its laid-back, southern hospitality charms the saltiest of prospective students while the surf can be tons of fun. Like almost all of the east coast, Wilmington (or Wilmy, as it’s affectionately dubbed by UNCW students) works best in the fall. Students enjoy the local beachbreaks as well as the Outer Banks which can pump big, sandy barrels.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 11,902
Male/Female Ratio: 40/60
Average Incoming SAT range: 1640-1880
Average Incoming ACT range: 22-27
Total Costs (In-state): $20,601
Tuition (In-state): $6,343
Total Costs (Out-of-state): $32,737
Tuition (Out-of-state): $18,479
Regular Application Deadline: 2/1
Percent Applications Accepted: 53%
Nearby Breaks: Wilmington is dotted with plenty of sandbars that work given good conditions, but the area’s real gem is the Outer Banks to the north.

Honorable Mention: University of Southern California and UCLA  are also noteworthy top-tier institutions located in wave-rich Southern California. Plus, our Founder is a Trojan, so there’s that. And if you made it this far and your school didn’t make the cut, feel free to make your case below. We’d love to hear it.

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