14 Classic College-Themed Movies You Shouldn’t Miss

Here’s a good life lesson: Don’t believe everything you see in the movies. Not all college students are Hollywood beautiful, and bookworms seldom use masking tape to fix a broken pair of glasses.

But a movie doesn’t have to be realistic to be entertaining, right? Oftentimes it’s the absurdity of the portrayal of college life that brings the laughs (or the tears). Add some of these movies to your Netflix queue, and enjoy comparing the characters’ struggles and successes with your own real-life college experience.

Accepted (2006)

If you can’t get into a college, why not create your own? And why not give it a name that will make the T-shirts and bumper stickers hilarious….South Harmon Institute of Technology, anyone? (Stars Justin Long, best known for being the “Mac” in the long-running Mac vs. PC ads from Apple.)

Animal House (1978)

Rollicking, rowdy frat brothers get back at the dean who’s trying to boot them off campus.

Back to School (1986)

A vehicle for classic funnyman Rodney Dangerfield, this flick chronicles the misadventures of a middle-aged businessman who decides to join his son at college.

Breaking Away (1979)

Four recent high school graduates in the quintessential college town of Bloomington, Indiana, struggle with the divide between themselves and the “rich” college students as they try to carve out their own futures.

The Education of Charlie Banks (2007)

The past doesn’t always stay in the past… Charlie Banks has to face some hard times from his own past when a high school bully shows up on his campus.

Extremely Goofy Movie (2000)

You’re never too old for cartoons! Follow the story of Max, the son of Disney’s Goofy, as he heads off to college. Max is feeling great…until his dad enrolls at the same college.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

So what if the title character isn’t actually a student MIT…he’s smarter than all of them! We can learn a lot from Mr. Will Hunting, including how to talk your way out of just about anything in court.

Higher Learning (1995)

The students attending Columbus University come from different races, countries, and social strata, and together they face issues of prejudice and misunderstanding.

Legally Blonde (2001)

Totally unbelievable, but totally fun…watch as ultra-chic sorority sister Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon) not only gets into Harvard Law School, but thrives there.

PCU (1994)

Port Chester University is overrun by political correctness…a place where frats are banned and “womyn” is becoming an accepted spelling. But a group of slackers manages to get the student body to move beyond their PC hang-ups and come together to oust the university’s overzealous president.

Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

The title really says it all…a group of outcasts bands together to fight back against humiliation and hazing by the preppy and popular crowd.

The Roommate (2011)

A dark tale of a young woman’s violent obsession with her college roommate.

School Daze (1988)

Spike Lee draws from his own college experiences in this tale of Greek drama at a historically black college.

We Are Marshall (2006)

Based on the true story of the plane crash that killed virtually the entire Marshall University football team in 1970, and the students’ determination to reconstruct the program.


This article was written by Sarah Engel

Sarah Engel is a staff editor for CollegeView.com. Sarah writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.


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