When your teenager is weighing the big decision of where to go to college, you may be considering things like cost, curriculum and other factors. But the location of the school should be a primary consideration. Some teens may desire to leave the nest and go as far away from home as possible. Still, others either stay home and commute to college or they choose a university that is close by. Whatever choice is made, it is a personal one. Here is a list of considerations as to why the location of your college is important.
The expense of college is often the first and most important consideration. The location of your school can have an impact on the cost. When choosing a school close to home, you may take advantage of in-state tuition rates. And because you are close-by, you won’t have travel expenses. Going to school driving distance from home can keep costs down. Airfare is expensive. But keep in mind if you choose an out-of-state school, you may be awarded scholarships that offset expenses. You’ll need to consider that location of school does not necessarily dictate cost. Where would you go to school if cost was not a factor? Make sure that college/location is on the list. Then weigh in the other elements to consider.
When choosing a college, consider the network of people that comes with it. You’ll be spending pretty much all your time with students and teachers. Try to get a sense of how the community interacts with one another. Make observations by sitting in on a class and watch students outside the classroom. Visit a coffee shop and see how local people are. Can you envision yourself feeling comfortable with these people?
The actual environment of a college or university is important. Think about the size of the school and whether it’s urban or rural. What are the buildings like? Do you feel at ease in the classrooms? Would you feel at home in the dorm? What’s the weather like? All of these questions are good ones to look at. Being comfortable in your physical environment should be a factor in your decision on where to go to college.
While much education will occur in the classrooms of your college, you need to consider opportunities in the surrounding location. Investigate area companies or job opportunities in your field of interest. Some areas of study would benefit being near a bustling city while others near farmland. Consider this in your decision.
Location is an important factor to consider as we have outlined. Even if you desire to break free from your hometown, being able to return to it may be optimal until you get your bearing in a new place. There are always opportunities to branch out through travel, internships, exchange programs and college transfers. If you think you may need some support as you enter your first year of college, stay relatively close to home. On the other hand, consider that having your family so close may prevent you from taking full advantage school both academically and socially. Take your time in making a decision and weigh all the factors.