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Atlantic Coast Higher Education and College Overviews

There are over 500 public and private not-for-profit post-secondary schools located in the states along the Atlantic Coast. See how a few of these schools compare, and find a school right for you.

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There are many good public and private non-profit schools located along the Atlantic Coast. This article identifies and compares a few of the traditional colleges that fall in that narrow geographic region. These schools are compared using NCES statistics to help you discover which schools offer the right fit for you.

Highly Ranked Schools along the Atlantic Coast

For many students, it's important to go to a school that has been highly rated by credible sources. Private institutions compose the majority of the schools in U.S. News & World Report's list of the top schools in the North and South regions. Below are a couple of these private schools and few that are public.

  • Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL (#6 South regional ranking)
  • University of South Carolina in Aiken, SC (#18 South regional ranking)
  • Cooper Union in New York, NY (#2 North regional ranking)
  • University of Maine in Farmington, ME (#19 North regional ranking)
  • Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, VT (#24 North regional ranking)

Largest Schools along the Atlantic Coast

There are a number of advantages to going to a school with a larger student population. These can include greater networking opportunities, a larger variety of academic programs and more extracurricular activities. Here we list five of the largest schools along the Atlantic Coast, according to 2015 NCES statistics.

  • Liberty University (80,494 enrolled students)
  • University of Central Florida (62,953 enrolled students)
  • Miami Dade College (62,332 enrolled students)
  • Southern New Hampshire University (61,285 enrolled students)
  • University of Maryland-University College (50,248 enrolled students)

Lowest Net Price

The NCES gives average net price statistics for U.S. colleges by subtracting the average financial aid package the school awards to full-time undergraduate students from the total cost of attendance (tuition, room, board, books and fees) for those students. When public schools offer in-district or in-state rates for tuition, those are used in the calculation. The following schools were the some of the most affordable of the compared schools, according to the NCES figures for 2014-2015.

  • Palm Beach State College ($2,615)
  • Raritan Valley Community College ($3,392)
  • Schenectady County Community College ($3,507)
  • Washington County Community College ($3,545)
  • Nassau Community College ($3,817)

Highest Graduation Rate

One measure of success for colleges and universities is the percentage of full-time undergraduate students who complete their studies and earn their desired credential. The NCES calculates a school's graduation rate based on undergraduate students who enrolled full time and graduated within 150% of the normal time (i.e., six years for a bachelor's degree). The following schools had a few of the best track records in this category when looking at figures for students who enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in 2009, or an associate's degree in 2012.

  • Brown University (96% graduation rate)
  • Columbia University in the City of New York (95% graduation rate)
  • Dartmouth College (94% graduation rate)
  • Colby College (94% graduation rate)
  • Bowdoin College (93% graduation rate)

For students looking for a college or university on the Atlantic Coast, the information provided here can provide great insight as you either start your search or narrow your options.

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