Deciding where to go to college is one of the biggest decisions a student will make. If you’re considering Eckerd College, you likely want to know whether it’s a good school that will provide a quality education and prepare you for future success.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Eckerd College is considered a good liberal arts school, known for small class sizes, close student-faculty interaction, and research opportunities.

However, it may not be the right fit for everyone due to its limited academic offerings and remote location.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at Eckerd College’s academics, student life, admissions, financial aid, and more to help you determine if it’s the right college for you.

Overview of Eckerd College

Eckerd College is a private liberal arts college located in St. Petersburg, Florida. With its beautiful waterfront campus and focus on experiential learning, Eckerd offers a unique educational experience for its students.

Let’s take a closer look at the history and background of the college, its location, academic programs, and its rankings and reputation.

History and background

Eckerd College was founded in 1958 as Florida Presbyterian College. It changed its name to Eckerd College in 1972 in honor of Jack Eckerd, a prominent businessman and philanthropist. The college has a rich history of providing a liberal arts education with a focus on critical thinking, creativity, and social responsibility.


Eckerd College is situated on a 188-acre waterfront campus on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Its location provides students with access to stunning beaches, outdoor recreational activities, and a vibrant arts and culture scene.

St. Petersburg, known for its sunny weather and thriving downtown area, offers students a dynamic and diverse environment to explore.

Academics and degree programs

Eckerd College offers a wide range of academic programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Students have the opportunity to pursue majors and minors in fields such as biology, environmental studies, psychology, international relations, creative writing, and many more.

The college also emphasizes experiential learning through internships, research opportunities, and study abroad programs.

Eckerd College prides itself on its small class sizes, which allow for personalized attention from professors and meaningful interactions with peers. The faculty members are dedicated to providing a rigorous and engaging educational experience that prepares students for success in their chosen careers.

Rankings and reputation

Eckerd College has consistently been recognized as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. It has received accolades for its commitment to undergraduate teaching, the strength of its study abroad programs, and the quality of its faculty.

The Princeton Review has named Eckerd College as one of the “Best Southeastern Colleges” for several consecutive years.

The college’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship has also been recognized. Eckerd College is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and has been included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges.

Campus Life at Eckerd

Campus life at Eckerd College offers a vibrant and engaging experience for students. From its beautiful waterfront location to its diverse range of extracurricular activities, Eckerd College provides a nurturing environment for personal growth and academic success.

Size and student demographics

Eckerd College has a relatively small campus, which fosters a close-knit community and allows students to easily navigate between classes, residence halls, and campus facilities. With a student body of around 2,000 students, Eckerd College offers a personalized learning experience with a student-faculty ratio of 12:1.

The college attracts students from all over the United States and from more than 40 countries, creating a diverse and inclusive community.

Housing and food

Eckerd College provides a variety of housing options for students, including traditional residence halls, apartment-style housing, and themed living communities. The college’s residential life program aims to create a supportive and inclusive living environment, where students can form lifelong friendships and engage in meaningful interactions with their peers.

The dining options at Eckerd College are also impressive, with a range of on-campus eateries offering diverse cuisines to cater to different dietary preferences and needs.

Extracurricular activities

Eckerd College offers a wide range of extracurricular activities to cater to the diverse interests of its students. Whether you’re interested in joining a student club or organization, participating in community service projects, or attending cultural events and performances, there is something for everyone at Eckerd College.

The college’s commitment to experiential learning also provides valuable opportunities for students to engage in internships, research projects, and study abroad programs, further enhancing their personal and professional development.


Eckerd College boasts a competitive athletic program, with NCAA Division II teams competing in a variety of sports such as soccer, basketball, tennis, and swimming. The college’s waterfront location provides unique opportunities for water-based sports and activities, including sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Whether you’re a varsity athlete or simply enjoy staying active, Eckerd College offers state-of-the-art athletic facilities and a supportive community that encourages both physical fitness and teamwork.

Admissions and Financial Aid

When considering whether Eckerd College is a good school, it is important to take a closer look at the admissions and financial aid process. This information can give prospective students a better understanding of what it takes to get accepted and how they can afford their education.

Admissions requirements and process

Eckerd College has a holistic admissions process, which means they take into consideration more than just test scores and grades. While academic performance is important, the admissions team also looks at extracurricular activities, leadership potential, and personal essays.

The college encourages students to showcase their unique experiences and passions in their application.

Prospective students can apply to Eckerd College through the Common Application or the Eckerd College Application. The application process includes submitting official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a personal statement, and a recommendation letter.

The college also offers an optional interview for applicants to further demonstrate their interest and fit.

Acceptance rate

Eckerd College is a highly selective institution, with an acceptance rate of around X%. This means that the college receives a large number of applications each year and only accepts a small percentage of applicants.

The competitive nature of the admissions process speaks to the high caliber of students who attend Eckerd College.

Tuition and fees

Eckerd College is a private liberal arts college, and as such, the tuition and fees can be a concern for many prospective students. For the academic year 2021-2022, the tuition for full-time undergraduate students is approximately $X.

It is important to note that this cost does not include additional expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and personal expenses. However, Eckerd College offers various payment plans and options to help make education more affordable for students and their families.

Financial aid and scholarships

Eckerd College is committed to making education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background. The college offers a range of financial aid options, including need-based grants, merit scholarships, and work-study opportunities.

Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their eligibility for federal grants and loans.

Eckerd College also offers a variety of scholarships based on academic achievement, leadership potential, and specific areas of interest. These scholarships can significantly offset the cost of tuition and make an Eckerd education more affordable for deserving students.

Prospective students can visit the Eckerd College Financial Aid website for more information on available scholarships and financial aid resources.

Pros and Cons of Attending Eckerd


Attending Eckerd College comes with several advantages that make it a worthwhile choice for many students. Here are some of the pros of attending Eckerd:

  • Small Class Sizes: One of the major advantages of Eckerd College is its small class sizes. With an average class size of 17 students, students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions, receive personalized attention from professors, and develop strong relationships with their peers.
  • Beautiful Campus: Situated on a stunning waterfront location in St. Petersburg, Florida, Eckerd College boasts a picturesque campus that provides a serene and inspiring environment for learning. The campus offers lush green spaces, breathtaking views, and easy access to outdoor activities.
  • Strong Academics: Eckerd College is known for its strong academic programs. The college offers a wide range of majors and minors, allowing students to explore their interests and pursue their passions.

    The faculty at Eckerd are highly qualified and dedicated to providing a quality education to their students.

  • Experiential Learning Opportunities: Eckerd College emphasizes experiential learning, providing students with numerous opportunities to engage in hands-on experiences outside of the classroom. From internships and research projects to study abroad programs and community service, students can apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.
  • Tight-Knit Community: Eckerd College prides itself on its close-knit community. With a student body of around 2,000 students, the college fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Students have the opportunity to form meaningful connections with their peers, faculty, and staff, creating a supportive and inclusive environment.


While Eckerd College offers many benefits, it is important to consider some potential drawbacks before making a decision. Here are a few cons of attending Eckerd:

  • Location: While the waterfront location of Eckerd College is beautiful, it may not be ideal for everyone. Some students may prefer a more urban setting or may find the limited off-campus options for entertainment and dining to be a drawback.
  • Cost: Like many private colleges, the cost of attending Eckerd can be a concern for some students and their families. It is important to carefully consider the financial implications and explore available scholarships, grants, and financial aid options.
  • Limited Program Offerings: While Eckerd College offers a variety of majors and minors, it may not have as extensive a range of programs as larger universities. Students with very specific academic interests may find that their options are somewhat limited.
  • Weather: Florida’s hot and humid climate may not be preferred by everyone. Students who are not accustomed to such weather conditions may find it challenging to adjust.

Ultimately, the decision to attend Eckerd College should be based on individual preferences, academic goals, and personal circumstances. It is recommended that prospective students visit the campus, speak with current students and faculty, and carefully consider the pros and cons before making a final decision.


Eckerd College offers a personalized liberal arts education with small class sizes, research opportunities, and close student-faculty interaction. However, its limited academic programs and remote beachside location may not appeal to all students.

By weighing the pros and cons, you can determine if Eckerd is a good fit based on your academic interests, financial needs, and preferences for college atmosphere and location. Use this guide to make an informed decision about whether Eckerd College is the right school for you.

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