If you want that quintessential college experience—with a cozy, university-oriented community, spirited football weekends, and a green, walkable campus—then consider Georgia Southern. Located in Statesboro, the school has been listed as one of the top twenty-five safest colleges by the Daily Beast, a testament to the tight-knit community of town and gown.
Founded in 1906, the school of nearly 20,000 students was dubbed a Carnegie research university during its centennial year. Undergrads can choose from more than 100 majors that range from fashion merchandising and apparel design to recreation. Especially popular are nursing and business administration—the Princeton Review named the College of Business Administration one of the 300 best in the country. This fall, the school will introduce baccalaureate degrees in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering—making Georgia Southern the state’s only engineering school outside Georgia Tech.
Georgia Southern’s honors program, requiring a minimum two-part SAT score of 1200, has helped make the university one of the state’s most competitive. Participants receive benefits beyond the priority registration and premium housing typically offered by similar programs. Perks include graduate-student-level library privileges, an exclusive study alcove in Russell Student Union, and free book loans for all designated honors courses.
The campus stretches across nearly 700 acres and includes the newly renovated Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health. Other recent additions include a $22.75 million expansion of the Zach S. Henderson Library and a luxurious residence hall, Centennial Place, with “super suites” and individual bathrooms.
With intramural sports ranging from Ultimate to inner-tube water polo to a wheelchair basketball league, plus more than 250 student organizations, students don’t feel pressure to go Greek (though 11 percent do). Fall Saturdays are spent cheering on the Eagles’ six-time Division I national football champions, and weekends offer time for exploring downtown’s Main Street. Students can also hit the beach within about ninety minutes by heading toward Savannah or Hilton Head.
Photograph courtesy of Georgia Southern University