In the opening paragraph, this young skier stated that he was a sophomore
in high school.
He probably had no idea he would be "pounded" on by his elders, for asking what he probably believed, was a relatively straight forward question. Welcome to the world of adulthood/reality(?)!!
True, a 3.4 GPA will keep him out of some of the schools discussed(hopefully, it will inspire him to work harder in school, if that is truly what he wants,) but as others have pointed out, there are a multitude of schools in the West that he could attend and have relatively easy access to good skiing. Although these schools may not provide the "headliner" notoriety (and the job opportunities,they might present) that others might, with work and effort, he can get an education and a degree that could serve him well, while enjoying the love we all share, for skiing.
As one who has lived,skied,worked, and/or attended school in Utah, Idaho, and Montana and also skied/worked in WA,OR,CO, and British Columbia, I see no shortage of schools where one can "live the dream" while being educated, and hopefully, become smarter.(Most of which, have skiing that will at least be the equivalent to what he leaves in the East.)(This should draw some fire!)
Personally, I prefer the Intermountain West(Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) but all have their positives and negatives.
U of Montana, Montana State U.,Carroll College(Helena, MT), Boise State U., Idaho State U., College of Idaho(Caldwell,ID),U of Utah, Westminster College(attended by the head of Gart's/Sports Authority who was also Brighton Ski Patrol), Utah Valley State University, and Weber State(by the way, the mormonism will only bother you if you let it;as with any other religion.) On top of these, there are numerous two year and community colleges that are available.
Public schools in this part of the world are far less expensive, even with out of state tuition, than most schools in the east. At the same time, I also believe you can get a lot out of these schools if you apply yourself. I've had numerous friends move west for school and never return to the east(to live.)
As an aside, I worked in the ski business for 15+ years which was fun,but found it actually interfered greatly with my time to ski. (This could also draw some fire!)
All this being said, I hope no one else ever moves to the West!
Good luck! Study hard!