The Southeast’s 10 Best Hidden Gem Universities

7. Coastal Carolina University (Conway, SC)

photo by Sk5893 via Wikimedia Commons

Conway, South Carolina is a small coastal city just outside Myrtle Beach that stakes claim to one of the more underrated institutions in the Carolinas.

Their commitment to a high standard of online learning affords students at Coastal Carolina the opportunity to obtain a quality education from anywhere in the world.

Sports are also a huge part of the culture at CCU, with dozens of notable athletes across all domestic men’s and women’s professional sports leagues.

The volleyball program is one of the most storied and successful programs in the country, with CCU alumnus Leah Hardeman being the only player in Division 1 history to ever win four consecutive Player of the Year conference awards.

Students looking for the athletics of a large D1 school in a small, public liberal arts university will likely fall in love with the beach environment present at Coastal Carolina University.


6. University of West Florida (Pensacola, FL)

photo via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine going to school on a natural preserve bordered by two rivers and the world-famous Escambia Bay. For students at the University of West Florida, this dream is an absolute reality.

Sitting on 1,600 acres, UWF’s beautiful campus attracts visitors from all over the southern United States and beyond.

The University of West Florida is a comprehensive research university that is a member institution of the State University System of Florida.

UWF is known for its dedication to providing affordable educational majors to Florida residents with its strong online programs, multiple campus locations, and world-class faculty.

Students of the university are also big proponents of NCAA athletics, with UWF celebrating both their 100th conference championship and winning its first-ever NCAA Division 2 Football championship title.


5. Stetson University (DeLand, FL)

photo via Wikimedia Commons

Stetson University has many of the same beachy, tropical campus characteristics as the other Florida schools on this list. For a school of its size, Stetson boasts impressive accolades and awards that continue to entice students from nearly all 50 states.

Current and former military members are very welcome at Stetson. In fact, the Military Times cites the university as one of the best universities for those serving in the armed forces with their School of Business Administration also being recognized as a top college for veterans.

The law program at Stetson is absolutely stellar, with the Stetson University College of Law winning 5 world titles and over 70 national championships in various trial advocacy competitions.


4. Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge, LA)

photo via Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve heard any popular song that’s been transformed into a marching band set during a football half time show, it’s likely that it was first played by the famous band of Southern University.

Southern is one of the largest historically black institutions in the country and the largest in Louisiana with over 6,000 students calling the university home.

Located in the heart of Baton Rouge, SU is also the only urban campus on this list, giving its scholars access to all a capital city of its size has to offer.

Along with its sleuth of other offered programs, Southern is an HBCU with a strong engineering program.

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