Five great urban schools

August 29, 2012

Bright lights, big city. Some high school students look forward to escaping to urban environments just as much as they look forward to college itself. When your school of higher learning is located in the heart of a thriving metropolis, the city provides half your education, after all. Where else can you find such diversity in food, film, art and - of course - people?

Urban environments aren't for everyone, but city schools offer amazing opportunities for students ready and willing to take advantage. Consider these five excellent city-based schools, but also consider the cities themselves and even the scholarship opportunities they might afford.

1. Columbia University - New York City, New York. There are many folks who call New York the greatest city on earth. Whether you subscribe to that level of devotion or not, there's no question that it's a wonderful place to live. From MoMA to Lincoln Center's theater or the New York Public Library, Columbia itself will only be a portion of your education over four years in this thriving melting pot.

2. Trinity College - Hartford, Connecticut. Nestled in the heart of Connecticut's capital, Trinity College looks like a slice of the bucolic hidden within an old industrial city. Whether you choose to take advantage of Hartford's small arts district or not, Trinity gets points for its traditional New England brick buildings and secluded ambiance, making it a prime cultural center for the state.

3. Boston University - Boston, Massachusetts. In a sense, Boston University is too big to be contained by Boston itself. Sporting over 33,000 undergraduates, BU is one of the biggest schools in the nation, spilling over into Boston's neighboring areas, like Allston, Back Bay and Fenway. The main draw of BU might not be the city itself though, but rather the wealth of other schools in the area. Cambridge and Harvard are only a twenty minute bus ride away.

4. University of California, Los Angeles - Los Angeles, California. As the school's website happily points out, UCLA has produced 11 Nobel laureates, 12 Rhodes Scholars and won 108 NCAA titles. If you're looking for eclectic, UCLA - and more importantly, Los Angeles itself - will be sure to deliver.

5. University of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois. Chi-town residents could give New Yorkers a run for their money in city pride. The University of Chicago is located in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, giving you easy access to what is easily one of the nation's most beautiful cities.

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