Choosing a home for four years, why USD?


USD Campus

One of the toughest decisions a student must make in their academic career is what college they will go to. Many factors come into play when making the decision such as location, national ranking, and opportunities, as well as price, people, and atmosphere. In the end, the most important aspect of choosing a college is if you will be both happy and successful there as you continue your educational journey.

With a population of over 5,000 students and sporting a freshman retention rate of 89 percent, the University of San Diego ranks high on the list of ideal colleges, according to a US News and World Report. USD appeals to students looking to attend a small, private university nestled in the heart of San Diego. Armed with perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and hundreds of restaurants and dozens of museums, there is a variety of opportunities for any university student. San Diego allows you to find different ways to bolster your enjoyment of life outside the classroom.

In addition to the many opportunities in the city of San Diego, junior Courtney Cooper was attracted to the educational opportunities at USD.

“Smaller class sizes mean more time the professor will take out of their schedule to help you,” Cooper said. “That, and can you really say no to all of the seminars and stuff that USD gives? There’s a new one just about every week, and they’re always really interesting and a lot of fun to go to.”

According to the US News and World Report, USD has a student-teacher ratio of 15 students per professor. The small class sizes give USD a competitive edge over other San Diego universities such as UCSD and SDSU. USD was ranked No.95 on a US News and World Report out of all colleges in the nation.

Outside the classroom, the city of San Diego also offers many ways to make life in general more enjoyable. Freshman Emily Bolender is a San Diego native and has sampled many of the restaurants and recreational activities that San Diego has to offer. Bolender cites popular eateries such as Stacked and Extraordinary Desserts among the main reasons why she chose to stay in San Diego for college.

“I’ve already been to a lot of restaurants in San Diego and can’t even begin to claim that I’ve been to them all yet,” Bolender said. “I am making it my life goal to try all of the restaurants in San Diego by the time I graduate.”

Aside from a wonderful location and a strong emphasis on the value of education, USD also offers over 100 student organizations, including clubs and sports teams. A student can not only find many lifelong friends through these organizations, but they can also follow their passions. This bolsters their satisfaction with college life and allows them to continue pursuing them long after they graduate.

This sentiment is echoed by Senior Christopher McCullouch, who has been involved in many student organizations on campus.

“I’ve made so many friends from being involved and just going out and doing what I love,” McCullouch said. “If there’s one thing that I’m going to miss about this place, aside from the food, it’s the clubs and activities I’ve done here. Sure, I might leave my mark and come to watch a game or two, but it won’t be the same as actually being there as a student, cheering for the home team.”

USD is set in a wonderful location: five minutes from the beach, ten minutes from downtown, and surrounded by many museums, restaurants, and other sources of entertainment. It also offers many educational and recreational opportunities that allow every student that walks through its halls to succeed. Aside from location, education, and opportunities, there is still one more important aspect that just about every student must take into consideration before they choose: finance. USD’s tuition stands at a rather daunting $42,908 a year, as opposed to UCSD’s $36,180 a year for out of state and SDSU’s $18,026 a year for out of state. This is a price tag that is anything but cheap. However, USD is proud to be home to students and staff that find ways to make that price much less frightening.

Prospective Freshman Krista Pham is hoping to apply to USD in the fall of her senior year. Thus far, she has gone on the tour and attended several information sessions. When asked about her interest in USD, Pham cited money as one of the main reasons why she was applying.

“USD gave my cousin a huge scholarship to come here and I know that this college is very good about giving financial aid, ” Pham said. “I know that if I can get in here, this school will do all it can to make sure that I can have the time of my life here without having to worry so much over the bill. I like their monthly installment payment plan and wouldn’t mind applying for more scholarships outside the ones offered by the school if it means I can come here.”

USD stands as both a potential and a continuing home for many students, freshmen and seniors alike. While there are some that may become disenchanted by the bustling student life and the rigorous curriculum offered by USD, others have long grown very attached to this and accepted it as another way to help ease the transition into adulthood. McCullouch reflects on this as he prepares to leave USD.

“It’s not like I’ve never wanted to transfer- I have, plenty of times before,” McCullouch said. “But I gotta say, I’m glad I never did; USD is and always will be my home. It’s got the food, the people, the location, and the classes I need to help me succeed.”