How Important Is the Location of Your College?

College is home for four years (or more): Choose a location that meets your needs.

For some students, personal factors such as the distance from friends and family limit the location of colleges to which they apply. For other students, the location of a college is not a factor at all.

Either way, ask yourself three questions to hone down the college location that is ideal for you.

1. What geographic region(s) do you prefer?

Is there a certain geographic location of the US that you would prefer to live in, or one which you know you want to avoid altogether?

Weather can be an important factor here. Do you hate the cold? Do you want to be able to go skiing on the weekends? Or does your college absolutely have to be within driving distance of a sunny beach?

2. How far away from home do you want to be?

Do you want to be able to come home on weekends to do laundry and eat a home-cooked meal, or do you want to get as far away from your family as possible? Do you have friends at home that you’d like to be able to see regularly?

Figuring out your location comfort zone is important. Everyone is bound to get homesick when they first go to college, but many students quickly overcome homesickness after the first semester. It’s up to you to decide how close to home you want to be.

3. Do you prefer a rural or urban college?

Do you want to attend a college or university that is located in or near a big city? This will give you access to an urban location, but you should realize that it is common for big-city schools to offer less of a sense of an on-campus community. Students at this type of college often spend much of their time participating in social activities away from campus.

Or would you prefer the location of a more rural college? In this case, you’d be missing out on the fun of a big city, but many students find the close-knit on-campus community that comes with rural colleges to be fun and more comforting.

Location is Your Choice

Yes, college academics are important in deciding where you go to school, but location is a significant aspect of the social setting of a college that you shouldn’t disregard.
You want to be happy with your final choice, so figure out your expectations and pay close attention to the location of the college when you make your campus visit.
Only you can determine the answers to what college location is your best fit. After all, you’ll be the one living there!