Big City Colleges and Universities Beyond Harvard and NYU

San Diego State University

Some of the country's top colleges and universities are located in big cities. Columbia (New York), Harvard (Boston/Cambridge), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), UCLA (Los Angeles), and University of Miami (Miami) are just a few. These, and many other schools in big cities have highly selective admissions and offer spaces in each freshman class to very few of the tens of thousands who apply. If your young adult has his heart set on living an urban life while attending college, there are plenty of other schools in bigger cities to look at that are a bit easier to get into.


Brooklyn College - Brooklyn, NY

Just across the Brooklyn Bridge from New York City, Brooklyn is a less expensive and less crowded option for living in New York, with easy access to all the city has to offer. Brooklyn College, part of the City College of New York system, Brooklyn College prides itself on its large and ambitious immigrant population. For a diverse and unique student body, this school is a good choice.

Class of 2020 admissions facts: GPA: 3.2 UW SAT: 1074 M/CR ACT: 24

Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA

Located adjacent to the rapidly growing Silicon Beach, home of many tech start ups and established companies and just minutes from the ocean, LMU is a Jesuit school of just over 6,000 students. While faith is an important component of the school's mission, it is a comfortable place for young adults of any religion. LMU is a good choice if the entertainment business is of interest to applicants, since the Hollywood industry is just around the corner.

Class of 2020 admissions facts: GPA: 3.5 UW SAT: 1182 M/CR ACT: 27

Rhodes College - Memphis, TN

A private college with a beautiful campus, Rhodes college has a student population of just over 2000. The campus is designed to resemble and English village, with Gothic details and big brick buildings. The unusual combination of a liberal arts college in a major urban area gives Rhodes a unique profile among small private schools. 

Class of 2020 admissions facts: GPA: 3.5 UW SAT: 1266 M/CR ACT: 29

San Diego State University - San Diego, CA

San Diego State University, of SDSU, is not easy to get into if you are a California resident, but for out-of-state applicants it's much easier. Located just outside of the urban center of San Diego, this university has an active and enthusiastic social life for those who want to participate, with stellar academic programs as well. The Aztecs are known for excellent sports teams and great school spirit.

Class of 2020 Admissions facts: GPA: 3.4 UW SAT: 1119 ACT: 26

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

With a 45% admit rate, University of Minnesota is worth looking at. There's a vibrant and active on-campus life, with 90% of freshmen living in campus housing. Hundreds of majors mean that there is something for everyone at this campus on the banks of the Mississippi River. 

Class of 2020 admissions facts: GPA: 3.5 UW SAT: 1279 M/CR ACT: 28

University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

The recent rebirth of Pittsburgh has brought many young adults to the city for jobs and in search of entrepreneurial opportunity. It makes sense that the university would see a resurgence in popularity as well. Its 53% admission rate for the class of 2020 means that there is lots of room for applicants who aren't straight A students. "Pitt," as it's known, is one of the oldest universities in the country, founded in 1787.

Class of 2020 admissions facts - Average GPA: 3.59 UW SAT: 1243 M/CR ACT: 28

University of Washington - Seattle, WA

Located in one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S., University of Washington offers everything a student could want in a large university, from a thriving Greek system to over 530 degree programs. The school is proud of the fact that 31% of all freshmen enrolled in recent years are the first in their families to attend college. With a 55% admission rate, University of Washington is a great option for many students who are looking for a big city experience.

Class of 2020 admissions facts- Average GPA: 3.6 UW SAT: 1272 M/CR ACT: 29