choosing a college location - blog

Why does college location matter

While making your college decision, you are probably evaluating a whole long list of factors. You consider price, class size, what majors they offer, and one of the most important factors, location.

Location plays a major role in your college experience. The state, the size of the city, and the local community, all impact your years at school. For example, an urban university might offer you more big business internship opportunities, or larger non-for-profit internships, while a school in a smaller town might have a very large campus and more on campus activities and opportunities. Things like this are crucial to consider in order to make the right choice in choosing your perfect college.

Need help comparing schools? Check out this free College Location Comparison guide to evaluate the locations you’re considering!

Finding opportunities for your future

Your desired career field can be affected by the location of the college you choose. A suburban school can offer a range of on campus jobs, and internships however may not have nearly the options that an urban college can offer. At an urban college, you will have the chance to work with many of the businesses based there through internships, or part time work. This allows real work experience and a great avenue to get your foot in the door.

If business is not what you see for your future, there are many other options for internships or part time work. Because a downtown university has so many options, you will have plenty of opportunities to work a part time job in a career field applicable to your future.

More than just classes

While your college experience is largely academic, you will also spend time in other activities. Some of these are on campus, and others will be off campus, engaged in your surrounding community.

When considering locations, and whether or not you will go to an urban university or a school in a rural or urban area, your priorities for extracurriculars should be considered. Downtown colleges can offer a large variety of activities. Whether you love sports, art, movies, plays, or just going for a run everyday, the city of an urban college can offer all that. You won’t have to sacrifice any of the things you loved to do while growing up, in fact you may even get to enjoy them more.

Rural and suburban schools may be in more of a “bubble” community. This can provide a quiet lifestyle in the college area. But you will probably also find nearby activities to be more limited than a college located in the heart of a major city.

College location and college finances

The location of your school can also greatly effect the finances of your college experience. Being a student at a university located downtown allows you to get from one place to another swiftly and at a low cost.

With everything you need being so close, you won’t need a car if you don’t already have one. Just as easy as it is to spend money in a city, It is also very easy to entertain yourself without spending large amounts of money.

Transportation during your college years

Getting from one place to another is very important while at school. You might need to run to the store to pick up some cereal. Or if you catch the flu from your roommate, you might need to make a quick trip to the doctor.

As you evaluate college locations, consider how easy it will be for you to find transportation to essential locations. Does the school offer a shuttle to nearby stores? Are you able to have a car on campus? What is parking like? Is there access to public transportation? Or is everything you need within walking distance?

Almost all downtown colleges will be in cities that supply a great level of public transportation options. Whether you decide to use the subway, or light rail, or ride the bus, you won’t be left behind simply because you don’t have a car on campus. Be sure to consider how you will plan to get around when debating which college to attend.

Location and cultural experiences

If you tour a school and feel like it’s located in a “bubble,” that can have plusses and minuses. Sure, that feeling of insulation might be comfy for the first month while you transition, but you might also find yourself running out of cultural experiences.

Many people find it helps intellectually to meet and converse with people of a different upbringing and background. While almost all colleges will have a student body made up of multiple races and backgrounds, find a college location that allows you to meet these people on and off campus. Meeting people different than you can often allow a better worldview and understanding of life itself.

Access to networking opportunities

Your years at school are meant to prepare you and set you up on a path that allows you to pursue a career or future you will enjoy. For this reason, a school that can offer you countless networking opportunities should be on your list.

In a downtown university their are so many businesses and organizations, that every on or off campus event you attend is a chance to meet someone who can have a positive impact on your life. Having a great network can really help you in landing that future position you are working toward, and should be high on your list of priorities while deciding what college to attend.

Getting ready to make your college decision?

If you’re evaluating your top college options, you’re probably making a pros and cons list, or maybe you’re making lots of lists.

Download this free College Decision Worksheet to help evaluate your decision!

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