The transition from high school to college life is never easy. Students have to leave the comforts of home. They will leave behind the sense of security that comes with the knowledge that the family is always there for support. That is why pets can be very useful companions when making the transition into college life. Your pet can be your ever-dependable friend who will lift up your spirits from college day jitters. It is unfortunate that not all educational institutions allow pets in their premises. There are colleges and universities, nonetheless that respect the invaluable bond between man and pet. These are your best options if you want to make your pet an important part of your college life. Here’s a list of the ten pet-friendliest colleges in the US you can enroll in.
One of the best colleges for pet-loving students is Eckerd College in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. You’ll love the philosophy that they have for their students. To make college life a lot easier for their soon-to-be adults, Eckerd encourages its students to bring an important part of their home with them. And you know what its students bring? Their pets, of course!
You can be spending the rest of your college years with a roommate who has an Albino python for a pet or a hairy tarantula. You will be walking the hallways and meet other students carrying their own Sonic the hedgehog, Daffy Duck, and Roger Rabbit. There are lizards, ferrets, and other unusual pets living with the students in any of Eckerd College’s 14 residential halls. Each young pet owner can also rely on the guidance of a Pet Life staff who is more than eager to show them the ropes to the proper care of their pets. He or she will also make sure that you follow the guidelines for the proper care and upkeep of your pet.
Come graduation, there’s also a little ceremony where these “resident” creatures get to shake paws with the president of the college. Your pet receives a diploma, too. You’ll never get a pet-friendlier college than Eckerd.
This college in Columbia, Missouri may only cater to female students, but their pet policy knows no gender. There are two very important things that are worth noting at the Stephens College.
First, the college has its very own doggy daycare center at Searcy Hall. No wonder people in the campus call this hall Pet Central. It is where you will leave your furbaby if you have to run to class or attend your co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. It’s like a baby daycare center where professional doggy sitters and caregivers will be tending to all the needs of your dog. This way, you can always stay focused on your academics and never worry about the welfare of your hound. Afterwards, you can pick Fido from the center and spend the rest of day in the campus’ sprawling grounds.
Second, if you cannot bring your pet with you to Stephens, the college can provide you with one. They have this foster program that allows their students to go home to their dorms with a wagging tail greeting them at the door. If this is not a pet-friendly college, then nothing is.
Not only is the Lees-McRae College famous for having the highest elevation of any educational institution in North America at 3,720 feet above sea level, it is also one of the very few that allows pets right inside classrooms. Yes! There is no such thing as “No Pets Allowed” in Lees-McRae. You can bring your dog inside your class if this is the only way you can find the confidence to perform well in your academics.
Lees-McRae allows not only its students to bring their pets. It also encourages everyone including faculty and staff to bring theirs. It isn’t a surprise then that you will see pet parents with their dogs, cats, and other animals mingling in the campus grounds. You’ll see dogs playing and cats minding their own business.
The location of Lees-McRae in Banner Elk, North Carolina also affords young pet parents the chance to walk their dogs. The Blue Ridge Mountains feature many pet-friendly trails. It’s the perfect getaway from the rigors of academic life. These trails are very near the campus, too. There are also pet-friendly parks where you can have a good time with your pet on weekends.
The warm weather of Central Florida makes Stetson University a haven for dogs and other pets to let loose. Its sprawling 175-acre campus also happens to be in the National Register of Historic Places because of its collection of vintage education-related buildings. More than this, however, is their pet-friendly policies.
Stetson has its own dog park where you and your hound can play a good game of Frisbee together with other dog-loving students, faculty, and staff. You can also join the Providing Animals with Service or PAWS. This is a campus organization that dedicates its resources to helping animals. You’ll find helping other animals to be as rewarding as taking good care of your own pet.
There are only two student residential halls in Stetson that allows pets in dorm units. These are Stetson Cove and Nemec. Students choose these halls if they want to spend the rest of their college days with their respective pets. By the way, any pet is welcome in these residential halls and in the premises of the campus.
University of Northern Colorado
The University of Northern Colorado is following in the great example of Eckerd College. UNCO also believes that students can excel in their academic lives if they can bring with them an important part of their young lives. Don’t expect UNCO to follow the Eckerd pet-friendliness model to the letter, though.
Only Lawrenson Hall in UNCO allows dogs and cats to live with their young masters in their respective dorm rooms. Also, only three of the Hall’s dormitory floors are available for pet and pet parent occupancy. Nevertheless, the view from the dorm rooms is spectacular. Imagine the Rockies greeting you every morning as if enticing you to go out with your hound.
When you do go out with your canine friend, you can always head to any of the 11 dog-friendly parks that are sprawled around the campus. Here, your dog will get its much-deserved exercise and playtime. You’ll also benefit from the fresh mountain air coming from the Rockies. You can also mingle with other dog- and pet-loving folks in the campus and in Greeley, Colorado.
Johnson & Wales University
Providence, Rhode Island may be famous for being one of the country’s oldest cities. But it is also famous for the Johnson & Wales University. This private, career-oriented, co-ed university happens to have one of the pet-friendliest policies in this part of the US.
Dogs, chinchillas, rabbits, and other exotic pets are welcome to stay with their respective owners. Students can stay at the Harborview, Harborside Village, Snowden Hall, or the Renaissance residential halls. These halls provide almost everything for you and your barking bestie. It can get real cold in New England. As such, student pet parents never fail to shop for pet supplies to keep their furry friends warm and cozy as soon as temperatures start dropping below 40s.
Before this happens, however, the inviting waters of Compass Rose Beach are always a welcome sight. Dogs and their owners can head to the beach and have as much fun as they can. There are also other dog-friendly beaches and parks nearby.
Washington & Jefferson College
Sitting some 30 miles from Pittsburg, Washington & Jefferson College is an institution offering liberal arts degrees. Like all the pet-friendly colleges in this list, W&J also strives to create policies that are not only favorable for students, but are also appealing to their pets.
If Eckerd College recognizes the invaluable support of pets in the academic life of its students, W&J goes a step further. It gives due recognition to all pets that have shown remarkable behavior for the academic school year. Deserving pets walk the stage in their tiny gowns and caps. They will receive their very own diploma. How’s that for venerating the pets in our lives?
They have their Pet House, too. This is what Washington & Jefferson College calls Monroe Hall. It is a student residential facility that allows students to live with their Fidos, Garfields, and what have you. The dorm also features a large lawn. Students and their pets can stay in the lawn, catching a breather while Fido plays with the other dogs in the campus.
State University of New York, Canton
Lying close to the St. Lawrence River and the Adirondack Mountains of northeastern New York, the State University of New York at Canton is also a haven for young animal lovers. What makes this college worthwhile for young pet lovers is that they promote an atmosphere that is family-like. It is homier than other colleges and universities.
Students can bring their cat, gerbil, guinea pig, turtle, fish, hamster, or any other pet as long as it is not vicious or poisonous. These pets are the students’ companions as they make friends in the school. Walk across the hallway with your cat in your arms and you will soon be making new friends. It’s the perfect excuse for graduate students to visit their classmates for a heads up on a difficult subject matter.
Dogs are not welcome in certain sections of the campus, however. For example, Fido cannot go and visit the other pets at the Pet Wing in residence halls. They are free to roam with their human masters in other sections, nevertheless. And if you have a cat, you’ll love the university’s cat yoga activities.
It may be small, but Principia College is big when it comes to the love of animals. This Elsah, Illinois private liberal arts educational institution is the go-to for pet-loving students in Illinois. Overlooking the great Mississippi River, Principia sits on bluffs some 30 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. It has sprawling grounds; 2,500 acres to be precise. Both its staff and students are practitioners of Christian Science.
In the past, students could bring their dogs and cats on their residences and on the campus grounds. Today, however, the school only allows smaller pets like hamsters, birds, amphibians, and fish. As long as the pet has a house or cage of its own, it is welcome in dorm rooms and residences.
No one knows the reason for the sudden change in school policy. What matters now is that students can still bring with them their favorite small pets. Without a doubt, this is an animal-loving community. Too bad Fido and Garfield are not welcome anymore. The faculty and staff can bring theirs, however.
Ohio Wesleyan University
Ohio Wesleyan may not have the pet-friendliest policies in this list, but it sure deserves credit for what it is doing for its students.
This university in Delaware, Ohio allows students to bring fish as pets to their respective dorms. There are some strict requirements for the fish tank, however. The aquarium cannot exceed 10 gallons. It should also contain only fish, snails, and crustaceans. The school doesn’t allow any other marine or aquatic life forms.
In addition to fish, students can also bring one rat, mouse, guinea pig, or gerbil. It should only be one animal and must have its own cage. It is sad that Garfield and Fido are not welcome in the campus. This pet policy applies to its student residences, small living units, fraternity houses, and other infrastructure for students. You will also need to register your pet with the college. Your roommate’s consent is also a requirement before you can bring your pet into the dorm.
Getting a college degree doesn’t have to be very stressful. Bringing your pets to college can give you a comforting piece of home. With these pet-friendly colleges, you can ensure a brighter future while taking good care of your pet.
- Colleges that Allow Dogs: 16 Pet-Friendly Colleges and Universities – Student Debt Relief
- Pet-Friendly Colleges – ThoughtCo.