The Inertia Social Media Editor
Just to the right sits the UCSD campus. Not bad. Photo: Anthony Ghiglia

Just to the right sits the UCSD campus. Not bad. Photo: Anthony Ghiglia

The Inertia

By now, most US college students are back to the grind of classes, study hall and dealing with the ever-nagging devil on the shoulder preaching about the innocence of Monday night beers. It’s a rough life being in school. All the freedom and decision making can be overwhelming. What do you do between classes? Where will you sit in the library? Yellow or orange highlighter? Should you shower today? These are fundamental decisions. The easy ones.

The real decision making begins before getting to school, when students consider where they’ll be for the next four, five…six (?) years. There are plenty of things to consider: solid academic rigor, class size, extracurricular activity options, what majors are offered, Greek life and male/female ratio, among others. However, there is one vital factor to consider when applying to spend the rest of your teens with thousands of strangers somewhere (possibly) far, far away from home: how’s the surf?

For some, this is a big one. For others, it’s the big one. If you haven’t weaved it into the equation yet, fear not. Here’s a breakdown that should help whittle down your list. Thank me later, because all those applications would’ve cost you a pretty penny. Hopefully you get into your dream break…er, school.

Future Banana Slugs, this might be your home away from home. Steamer Lane. Photo: Prefontaine

Future Banana Slugs, get to know your new home away from home–Steamer Lane. Photo: Prefontaine

1. University of California at Santa Cruz–Santa Cruz, CA


The original Surf City is the ultimate setting for your college experience. And what an experience being a Banana Slug (school mascot) would be. With all the trappings of living in Santa Cruz, the infamous Steamer Lane a short jaunt from campus and more natural beauty surrounding your daily stumble to class than you know what to do with, this is a surf student’s heaven. Just don’t drop in on the locals.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 15,945
Male/Female Ratio: 48/52
Average Incoming Freshman GPA: 3.6
Average Incoming SAT range: 1530-1900
Average Incoming ACT range: 22-29
Total Costs (In-state): $43,233
Tuition (In-state):
Total Costs (Out-of-state): $52,694
Tuition (Out-of-state): $22,878
Regular Application Deadline: 11/30
Percent Applications Accepted: 68%
Nearby Breaks: Steamer Lane, Pleasure Point and all sorts of nooks and crannies you can explore.

Home turf for the Rainbow Warriors–Ala Moana Bowls. Photo: Phil LeRoy

Home turf for the Rainbow Warriors–Ala Moana Bowls. Photo: Phil LeRoy

2. University of Hawaii at Manoa–Honolulu, HI

Thinking of heading to school in Hawaii? Can’t fault you for that. With less than Ivy League academic standards (read: more water time) and world-class surf out the campus’ back door, going to UH is a dream for the surfy student. Think about it like this: wake up, surf before class, go to class, poké lunch, afternoon surf sesh, a little homework, dinner and top the day off with a Hawaiian golden hour surf. Almost makes you want to go back to school, huh?

Undergraduate Enrollment: 14,054
Male/Female Ratio: 47/53
Average Incoming Freshman GPA: 3.4
Average Incoming SAT range: 1450-1750
Total Costs (In-state): $20,549
Tuition (In-state): $8,400
Total Costs (Out-of-state): $35,381
Tuition (Out-of-state): $23,232
Regular Application Deadline: 5/1
Percent Applications Accepted: 78%
Nearby Breaks: Ala Moana Bowls is 15 minutes away and the North Shore is about an hour by car. You’re on Oahu. There’s no such thing as surf starved.

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