Make the University of Alaska or the University of Hawaii your Safety School?
In the college admissions process, a “safety school” is one you’re almost certain to get admitted to, based on your grades and test scores. Our 49th and 50th states have fully accredited universities. These admit 75% or more of their applicants, so you don’t need straight-A’s and lots of AP classes to get into them. Plus, they’re in really exotic places. Just living there will be an education in itself. You might find yourself hoping you’ll get turned down by the “school of your choice” so you can attend one of these.
The University of Alaska at Fairbanks is Alaska’s “flagship” state university. We wouldn’t necessarily go there to study Shakespeare; we would go for things specific to Alaska like wildlife biology, meteorology, geology, geophysics, or arctic engineering. https://www.uaf.edu/
The University of Hawaii at Manoa is Hawaii’s flagship state university. It is in suburban Honolulu. Several Drake students have gone there. We would go for oceanography or Asian/Pacific Studies. https://manoa.hawaii.edu/
The University of Hawaii at Hilo is a smaller, more undergraduate-oriented college than the University at Manoa. Nearby Hawaii Community College shares most of the facilities, and Hawaii Community College students can live in the university dorms. Hilo is not like the well-manicured resort areas of Hawaii. It has some rough edges, but is an authentic place full of real Hawaiians. We would go there for marine biology, geology, agriculture, veterinary science, Hawaiian studies, or one of the trades that Hawaii Community College offers. Several of our students have gone here.
University of Hawaii at Hilo: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/
Hawaii Community College: http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/
These schools are part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Program, which means that if you live in a western state like California you can probably get a tuition rate that is only 150% of the in-state tuition. That makes them inexpensive; the discount is thousands of dollars and will more than offset the cost of flying to these places. http://www.wiche.edu/wue