Colleges in Arizona and Why Should Go to School There

If you love the heat and expansive desert landscape, you might just want to attend a college in Arizona! The Grand Canyon state is the sunniest state in the United States (though it does snow in places, too). The state is also home to some unique experiences, locations, and, of course, schools. If you’re thinking about going to school in Arizona or just comparing your options, keep reading. We’ve outlined some of the top-rated colleges in Arizona, what the state has to offer, and how you can take advantage of financial aid programs.

Flickr user Kevin Dooley

Top Colleges in Arizona

  1. University of Arizona
    • Location: Tucson
    • Enrollment total: 49,403
    • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  2. Arizona State University
    • Location: Tempe
    • Enrollment total: 80,065
    • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  3. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott
    • Location: Prescott
    • Enrollment total: 3,162
    • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  4. Northern Arizona University
    • Location: Flagstaff
    • Enrollment total: 28,086
    • Acceptance Rate: 80.3%
  5. University of Advancing Technology
    • Location: Tempe
    • Enrollment total: 860
    • Acceptance Rate: 91.9%
  6. Prescott College
    • Location: Prescott
    • Enrollment total: 969
    • Acceptance Rate: 98.4%
  7. Grand Canyon University
    • Location: Phoenix
    • Enrollment total: 101,816
    • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  8. Arizona Christian University
    • Location: Glendale
    • Enrollment total: 1,082
    • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  9. See More Top Arizona Colleges

Why Should You Go to College In Arizona?

Arizona is so much more than desert – and has much to offer for students who love the outdoors and culture. We outlined some of the things that make Arizona a unique state below!

1. History and Education

Much of the history of the American West happened right in Arizona, so if you’re a fan of Wyatt Earp, pioneers, and cowboys, this is the place to be. Students can plan a visit to the Tombstone Historical District to see the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, the Pioneer Living History Museum in Phoenix, and Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

Arizona is also home to some unique museums and educational stops such as the Arizona Museum of Natural History, Pima Air and Space Museum, Musical Instrument Museum, Heard Museum, Lowell Observatory, and the Phoenix Air Museum. 

2. Culture

Of course, the history of Arizona goes back much further than the “American West,” too, and is home to some stunning cultural sites left by Native Americans as well as heritage sites. Some of the top destinations you should plan on visiting include the Wupatki National Monument which is home to the Wupatki Pueblo, the Tonto National Monument which dates back to 1250 to 1450 CE, the Navajo National Monument that features cliff dwellings, and much more.

Many of the unique food items that Arizona has to offer are deeply rooted in the land’s culture and past. Fry bread in particular dates back to 1864 when the Navajo were forced to make the “Long Walk” with limited supplies. Other items you might want to add to your “to try” list include chimichangas, mesquite flour for your baked goods, medjool dates, and cheese crisp.

3. Fun 

One of the biggest places to visit in Arizona is of course the Grand Canyon. The National Park offers a wealth of adventure and includes opportunities for camping, hiking, biking, and just taking in the awe-inspiring sights. The state is also home to the Petrified Forest National Park and the Saguaro National Park, and both are worth the visit!

Once you get your fill of the National and State Parks, you might want to plan a visit to the Wildlife World Zoo, SEA LIFE Arizona, Radford Racing School, Route 66, Out of Africa Wildlife Park, Butterfly Wonderland, or one of the state’s ghost towns. Also an option? Taking a trip up in a hot air balloon! 

Paying for Colleges in Arizona

If you’re thinking about going to college in Arizona, it helps to know what options you have to help pay for your tuition. Some residents may be able to take advantage of one of the state’s two grants which include the Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program and the Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership.

Arizona also has tuition reciprocity with the Western region, which means if you’re from one of the following states you could be eligible for in-state tuition even if you’re from out of state: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

When people think of Arizona, they think of the Grand Canyon and the desert, but the state really has a lot to offer, especially for students interested in learning about some unique points in the country’s history. And, of course, the state is home to some amazing schools that may fit exactly what you’re looking for in a college.

If you’re interested in going to college in Arizona, it’s time to find the perfect fit. With College Raptor’s College Match, we do the heavy lifting for you. Simply input your interests, achievements, goals, and other details about yourself to receive a list of some of the schools that perfectly fit what you’re looking for in a college. You can even set it so you’re only recommended colleges in Arizona! Try it for free here.