UNC Charlotte Great Bang for the Buck

Nestled into an area that has grown up around the University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, or UNC Charlotte is the fourth largest member of the sixteen UNC campuses. UNC Charlotte has a beautifully landscaped campus, and a multitude of programs.

Sitting on a 1,000 acre campus, the 21,000 student school is perhaps the city’s best kept secret. The best part about the school might just be the campus itself. With lush gardens housing hybrid plants and manmade waterfalls, rolling hills, and all brick sidewalks, it could be one of the best looking state supported universities in the country. Everywhere you turn is a comfortable park bench and lush greenery to make the landscape.

At the center of campus is a large bell tower, named after the Belk Family. This large towe can be seen from the school’s main entrance, and serves as a focal point on campus for events, gatherings, protests, and anyone trying to get noticed. Moving away from the center of campus you are surrounded by academic buildings for all of the schools 80+ undergraduate programs, as well as its Masters and Doctoral schools. Some of the older buildings are a bit homely, from when the institution was small and funding was weak, but the new buildings on campus are very large, state of the art facilities.

The addition of several new buildings over the last three years has brought the school towards fulfilling its goal of being a research-intensive university. Academics only make up a portion of a decision for most college bound students though, so of course living accomadations are of great interest as well.

With four high-rise dormitories, and more than ten other on campus housing solutions either by apartment or suite-style housing, UNC Charlotte has a capacity of over 6,500 students living on campus. The newer dorms, Squires Hall and Cypress hall are especially nice with suite-style rooms where students have their own bedrooms, or apartments that have a full sized kitchen, individual bedrooms, and two bathrooms. The school does its best to make for great accomidations with high speed internet, a far cry from some of the other state schools which have dorm rooms that don’t even have air conditioning.

With a beautiful campus, and wonderful facilties, what is a university without great area attractions? The area surrounding the University is known in Charlotte as University City. Less of a neighborhood, and more of an entire region, University City houses mostly new buildings, and more popping up all the time. Any type of restauarant you want, any price range, and you can be there within 5 minutes of the University. There are great bars, from Boardwalk Billy’s and Stage One which sit facing a man-made lake with paddle boats, to the Flying Saucer which has over 200 beers in stock on any given night.

Beyong spirits, there is Concord Mills mall just minutes away, which features the region’s only Bass Pro Shop, as well as NASCAR Speed park for go-karting and putt-putting fun. The quick drive to the Mill’s as the students call it will open up another twenty or so restaurant opportunities.

The campus in itself houses enough to keep students busy even if they don’t have the means to leave, with 5 dining facilities including which house among other things, fast food from franchises like Chik-Fil-A, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Salsarita’s. College food is no longer some poor cafeteria food, it is high quality prepared food, or fast food if it suits your fancy.

The student run Campus Activities Board runs events almost every day on and off campus, and provides transportation when needed. Advanced movie screenings, stand up comedy, hypnotists, just about anything you can think of, on campus entertainment has it. With so much to do, on such a huge campus, students can be easily distracted, but the vast network of student support by the adminsitration from writing resources to job searching helps keep students on track.

As a university dedicated to its students, UNC Charlotte truly is a great place to go to school, develop into an adult, and get a great education while having a good time outside of school. With so much to offer, and affordable instate and out of state pricing, UNC Charlotte is a real winner. Check out www.uncc.edu for more information.

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