Choosing a college is no easy decision. There are several factors you need to take into consideration, the most important of which is the curriculum. Making sure that the college you choose offers your preferred major is a top priority. Other factors to consider are the cost of tuition, campus size, extracurricular activities offered, and location of the campus.The last criteria may come as a surprise. Many students don’t really think of it as a deciding factor. If you’re wondering does location determine college choices, the answer is yes, location matters too when shortlisting colleges. While it may not be the primary consideration, it will impact your overall college experience in a number of ways.
These are some of the reasons why you should consider location when choosing a college.
College Is More Than Just Academic Classes
You’ll be spending four years in college. While a major portion of this time will be devoted to academics, there’s so much more that goes into creating a memorable college experience. The campus location plays a major role in this regard.
Urban And Rural Colleges Offer Drastically Different Experiences
Whether the campus is located in an urban or rural setting is the first thing to look at when considering location. Neither one is better than the other. It’s just that they both offer drastically different experiences and benefits. Which one is better for you will depend on your personality and the type of extracurricular activities you prefer to spend your time on.
The highlight of rural campuses is that they offer plenty of opportunities to indulge in outdoor activities, from hiking and abseiling to trail mountain biking, kayaking, and camping. They promise a quieter lifestyle and a closer-knit community. However, you’ll have limited access to the arts, theaters or other urban leisure activities such as nightclubs. A rurally located campus may be more suitable for you if you love spending your free time outdoors and you’re looking for a closer-knit community.
Urban campuses on the other hand offer easier access to the big city life and everything it offers. In larger cities, everyday has something new to offer in terms of urban activities, whether you enjoy spending your evenings taking in a play or a move or you love soaking in the energy at live music shows or live sporting events. A campus in an urban setting may be better suited to you if prefer these types of activities over the more outdoorsy lifestyle.
Access To Networking Opportunities Is Something to Think About
The four or more years you spend in college are aimed at preparing you to pursue a specific career path. Your choice of major and electives play an important role in preparing you for your chosen career. But depending on your career choice, you may need more than just academics to succeed. What you also need is networking opportunities.
Networking opportunities are especially important if you want to pursue a career in media, finance, journalism, the arts, medicine, or the hospitality industry. In all of these fields, getting your foot in the door as a new graduate can be extremely difficult. Building a network of professionals can open doors for you and make it easier for you to land that position you’re working toward.
Urban colleges tend to offer more networking opportunities as compared to rural colleges. They also offer more diversity in terms of the student body and faculty, which means more networking opportunities. This is something you must take into consideration when choosing your college.
Access To Internship Opportunities Is Another Thing to Think About
Doing an internship is just as important as networking for students looking to get a head start in their chosen field. So how does location affect your internship opportunities?
Take the fields of medicine or media for example. An urban campus located in a big city is likely to offer significantly more internship opportunities as compared to a rural campus located in a small town.
When choosing a college, it’s a good idea to make there are ample internship opportunities where the campus is located.
Distance From Home May Be a Determining Factor
Distance from home may have a bigger impact than you think. This is more so if you come from a close-knit family and this is the first time you’re going away to live on your own.
Choosing a campus that’s far away can be an adventure that many students look forward to. The thought of exploring a different state across the country may sound exciting before you actually leave home. But what happens when you miss family get-togethers, mom’s cooking and other milestone events? Feeling lonely and left out can often take away from the joy of the adventure.
Traveling home from a campus that’s located across the country can be hugely expensive. In addition to the expense, it can also mean a day or two spent traveling. This is impossible to do during the semester. If you choose a campus that’s far from home, you’ll have to get used to staying in touch and keeping up with family news through video calls.
So how much does location determine college choices? While the primary consideration should be the degree program and the cost of tuition, the campus location is definitely something to give serious thought to. Visit our college match tool to help you find the campus(es) that might be right for you!