Spotlight College Review Series: Southern Schools

Jenna Helfant

Staff Writer

Living in Los Angeles, we very rarely hear much about the South. Aside from learning about the Civil War in history class or watching shows like Jersey Shore set in Florida, the southern states seldom fall into our radar. But with colleges such as Wake Forest University, and University of Miami situated in the South, it would be a tragedy to let them remain unnoticed by Milken students.

After 177 years, Wake Forest University continues to be one of the best colleges in North Carolina. Located in Winston-Salem, Wake Forest is ranked as the 25th best national university, according to U.S. News America’s Best Colleges Report. Wake Forest provides a small and comfortable university with only 2,300 students, yet large enough that with 575 students per grade, making friends and finding your niche is effortless.

Unfortunately, with only about 46 Jewish students, a strong Jewish presence on campus is not something you’ll find at Wake Forest.

Wake Forest
Wake Forest University. Photo from

On campus at Wake Forest, half of all undergraduate students are in the Greek system. With 26 fraternities and sororities, becoming a part of Greek life is definitely desired and almost necessary. Additionally, Wake Forest prizes its Division 1 basketball team, and vivacious fans consistently attend home games. Former Wake Forest basket players that have gone on to the NBA are Chris Paul and Tim Duncan.

According to the student reviewed website, campus housing was given a grade of B+ by a student quoted saying, “Two of the freshman dorms look like hotels. The rest of the dorms are above average, but pretty much your standard college dorm. Good size, mostly good locations.” Additionally, while you can pretend it doesn’t matter, guys were given an A+ and girls were given an A.

Don’t let Jersey Shore fool you; Miami is actually filled with some very intelligent people, many of whom attend the University of Miami. Falling within the top 50 nationally ranked schools according to US News Best Colleges, U of M offers students a unique mixture of rigorous academics, great athletics (both Basketball and Football are division I), and a more than entertaining nightlife in the heart of Miami.

“It has great spirit, a great location, a beneficial alumni network, plenty of majors to choose from, and its situated in a diverse and entertaining city,” praises Milken college counselor Ross Mankuta.

Considering Florida itself is 4.6 percent Jewish, it is no surprise that approximately 1,600 of the total 11,000 undergraduate students at U of M are Jewish. So if you’re in the mood for warm weather that parallels Los Angeles, in addition to a strong Jewish community, U of M is the school for you.

The University of Miami. Photo from

According to, guys, girls, diversity, nightlife and weather were all rated within the A range. One student voted their overall experience as “awesome” and gave it an A+ rating, stating, “The social scene, and the campus involvement at this school is amazing. There is a place for everyone. Also, classes are small and students receive a lot of attention”.

With notable areas of study such as their medical and biology programs, U of M undoubtedly offers challenging academics. But chances are, if you’re looking into U of M, it is the city of Miami itself that will draw you in.

Stay posted for more reviews.