Five great rural schools

August 28, 2012

Do you consider yourself more of a country than city mouse? Not everyone enjoys the urban sprawl of skyscrapers and pavement. Whether you were born on an Idaho farm or in the heart of Greenwich Village, sometimes you just want a locale with plenty of leaves, open spaces and perhaps a few mountain vistas.

If you're the kind of high school student ready to break out into the country, you'll want to consider these fantastic rural colleges. Research them, apply, ask about scholarship opportunities or just use the information to your advantage as you seek out other schools you may like more.

1. Marlboro College - Marlboro, Vermont. With a student body of more than 300, this school is the epitome of the small rural liberal arts college. Perched in the middle of scenic southern Vermont at the foot of the Green Mountains, Marlboro is the perfect school for the quiet and contemplative scholar with a love of hiking, skiing or just plain old nature.

2. Kenyon College - Gambier, Ohio. Ever wish the ivy-covered neo-Gothic arches and towers of Yale, Princeton or Harvard could be found in the middle of scenic Ohio? Kenyon may just be the school for you. Often voted one of the most beautiful campuses in America, this college has all the ivy league charm with none of the urban smog.

3. Pepperdine University - Malibu, California. While Malibu might seem anything but rural, Pepperdine's beautiful main campus is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of nearby locales. At 830 acres, this campus overlooking the Pacific ocean might offer you just the meditative beachside school you're looking for.

4. The University of Mississippi - Oxford, Mississippi. Celebrated for its history as much as its campus and gorgeous and lively college town, "Ole Miss" might be the perfect school for any high school student yearning for a little rural Southern hospitality - with an academic twist, of course.

5. Southwest Minnesota State University - Marshall, Minnesota. Settled in among the rural plains of Marshall, one of SMSU's greatest boons is its close proximity to the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Rural, but not entirely isolated, this university will appeal to students looking for a friendly Midwestern atmosphere full of great opportunities for sailing, winter sports and quick escapes to the city.

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