#1
I start applying to colleges in about a week, and my top college is in Arizona which is about a two-day drive from where I live just north of Houston. My parents have told me not to place emphasis on location, since studying is what a person is really there for in college, and obviously they're right; I want to go into biological studies, particularly virology, and I've chosen schools that fit my majors. Yet distance has its issues, whether it be tuition or transportation (both of which I've taken into consideration) and as my parents keep pushing Texas A&M or LSU, I keep pushing U. of Arizona or U. of Oklahoma. I need something different, particularly because I've lived in suburbia for the past 17 years, and I get the feeling that College Station or Baton Rouge would be a bit too....familiar, since I tend to hear about both schools constantly from living in the South, and since I visit both areas rather often. However, I know that college life differs greatly than that of high school, so then again I may be completely off in that view. I'm just not too keen on living in a college town in the middle of nowhere. So, am I wrong for placing some importance on location when choosing a college? Again, academics are the top priority, but location will be part of my considerations.
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#2
I really hate the location of my college, but I chose it based on its academics. If you can find a college with high quality academics with a location you enjoy, do it.
#3
Not at all. Location is important. You will be living there for 4ish years of your life after all. Your happiness is important. If location matters to you, then take it into consideration.


Obviously consider other things too... I'm just saying don't completely ignore location.
Last edited by rmr024 at Jun 28, 2010,
#4
If I were you, I'd go with the school that has the best academics in my field of studies. I have no idea which of them that is, but it makes the most sense, don't you think? Either way, it's your call.
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#5
i mean if you are really into your field of study and have a general idea of what you want to do which you seem to, really academics are most important. Yes location is important but at the end of the day going to a college with a great department in your field is better than one in a place you will like better, because arguably you will be better equipped for the job market from a better program. 4 years is not that much when you compare it to your whole career. Plus you can usually make the best of any location.
#6
Academics of course is the most important factor to consider. But location is important because you need to be able to study and live someplace that makes you happy since you will most likely have some kind of life outside your dorm and the classroom. Living in a location that poorly suits you can negatively affect your studies.
#7
You may be going to college for academics but I definitely would keep location in mind when deciding where you want to go. There's no reason college can't be an enjoyable experience as well as an educational one. You're going to have a hard 4 years of studying ahead of you and you'll need some fun time or else you'll go crazy and if you don't think you'll be enjoying yourself in a location you need definitely need to factor that into your decision.
#8
not at all
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#9
Yes, academics will take up a large portion of your college life, but they won't take up all of it. You need to live in a place in which you can actually enjoy your leisure time. I came from a small city, and chose to go to school in Chicago. Not only did I find a great school, but I now live in a place that I absolutely love. Location and academics should be equally important in your decision. You're young, so now is the time to move around and find what sort of living situation you prefer.
#10
There are so many colleges with similar academic programs, unless there's something really specific location is a huge factor, I didn't want to live in Suburbia/20 minutes from my house, and I didn't, and it's been great. My friend went to college in the middle of nowhere, with the closest city being our hometown, and he hated it, and is now transferring.
#11
Not at all. Location could be important if the college in question has different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. For example: If you're a resident of Ohio and you go to Ohio State, it'll be about $8,706/ year. If you're not a resident of Ohio and you go to Ohio State, it'll be about $22,278/year. Huge difference when considering how to pay for school.
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#12
if you don't like the location your academics will suffer, you can have great academic programs and a great location. just check out a bunch of schools until you find one with both.
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#13
To me, A&M is too close to home. It's not that I want to be far away from home; in fact, I've drawn the line at Tucson in terms of distance. I just want something different. And my mom persists "but you'll be able to live wherever you want when you graduate" and while she's probably right, I don't want to spend four years of my life counting down the days until I leave. My sis has had a great time at A&M, and there's no doubt it's a great school, and it has my majors of interest. But where it is....somehow it doesn't feel like me. I can't exactly fathom being in a designated college town surrounded by oak trees, cow pastures, and not much else.
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#14
I based mine primarily on location, luckily there happened to be a good college less than a mile from my house
#15
Apply to a bunch of schools that fit you well, from safety to long shot. I applied to 7. Wish I had done 3 more. Once you get in, then find the one that has the best combo of fit, difficulty, and, obviously, cost. Location should be just one part of the "fit" category.
One note: don't apply anywhere you would never live for 4 years (ex: Alaska University) even if it seems like a good school. It's a waste of time and money.

As far as my experience with college location goes, I'm going to an amazing school that, unfortunately, happens to be 20 minutes from my house, and I'm a little worried about being so close to home, but I guess I'll see next year how much of an impact location has on my college experience. Thankfully, it's in a pretty big city and not in the middle of nowhere.


Another item of general college admission advice: DON'T RULE OUT SCHOOLS TOO SOON. I decided USC was in a bad part of LA without even visiting it. Now, about a year later, I'm kicking myself. I could have gone to a solid school in sunny socal with a huge academic scholarship but didn't have the chance to even consider it because I didn't apply.
#16
Absolutely not. In fact, it should be a major factor in your decision. College in America should be an experience, not just academics. Make sure the location and environment is one that you will enjoy being in.

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#17
Hate to say it, but your parents are dead wrong. Location is soooo important.

My college counselor (in high school) once told me... the most important part of college is growing up, the second most important part is getting an education.

Location will determine who your friends are, what kinds of girls you'll meet, what kinds of experiences you'll have... all during what for many are the most exciting 4 years of their life.

You'll rarely, if ever again be as free as you are in college. You're certainly more free in college than when you get that job right after.

For me, I made the mistake of going to a small private school in a small town. The professors were amazing, as were the classes offered, but it wasn't the kind of experience I was looking for. Now I'm applying to UCLA and USF to transfer. I was from the South too, actually sounds a lot like your situation.

If you're looking to meet as many interesting people as possible, and have as wide a range of chicks as possible to meet (which is ****ing important in my book), go to somewhere like NYC, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, or any big multi-cultural city.

Not to mention the music scene. The music scene of a small college town will be a joke compared to a giant like NYC for example.
Last edited by WNxScythe at Jun 29, 2010,
#18
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Absolutely not. In fact, it should be a major factor in your decision. College in America should be an experience, not just academics. Make sure the location and environment is one that you will enjoy being in.

Seriously! I'm attending NC State, which is in the capital of North Carolina, in the Fall, but previously I considered UNC Charlotte and UNC Greensboro. While all three schools catered to my academic interests, I also chose them based on the surrounding area and honestly, the music scene, because that's ultimately very important to me. You should definitely consider the environment and area you'll be in.
#19
You're going to be living there for at least 4 years, so location does matter. As long as it's a decent university, you'll be fine for an undergrad. I would take both location and school quality into consideration.

I actually chose my school 100% based on location, now that I reflect.
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#20
Thanks a bunch guys, it helps hearing advice from people outside of my parents and siblings. Can anyone offer me advice on paying for out-of-state tuition? I got transportation covered, I'll take a train, but the highest tuition out of my choices is about $19,000 (per semester or quarter?), and with my sister already in college, my parents are a bit iffy.
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#21
Don't go out of state you fool! Unless you want to be up to your eyeballs in debt forever, then go to a school in Texas. Don't be an idiot and think that spending 4 years in a new environment is going to magically change your life for the better. UT is ranked higher than any of the schools you listed and is in one of the best cities for local music.
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#22
OU is quite decent for biological stuff, and Norman kicks ass. Good location, good academics. Out of state tuition though.

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#23
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Don't go out of state you fool! Unless you want to be up to your eyeballs in debt forever, then go to a school in Texas. Don't be an idiot and think that spending 4 years in a new environment is going to magically change your life for the better. UT is ranked higher than any of the schools you listed and is in one of the best cities for local music.


Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to get into UT. I'm a reasonably good student, but I'm in the top 30% when I checked in May, out of 1,000 people in my class, meaning that because of that stupid top-10% rule, UT is a VERY long shot. Even A&M is a reach for me. Every Texas school available for me is either a fourth-tier school or a reach, and every school that has what I like is out of state.
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It Happens.

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#24
if you're worried about expenses, there are these things called loans.

Some colleges specialize within reason of their location. You know, med schools close to hospitals, law schools in downtown. Important thing is the quality of education. You're school might be in an ideal location but it's shit it's just a party school.
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#25
Like these other guys said, you should go to the one that has the best academics for what you want to do and one that you would be comfortable living at for 4+ years. The college I'm going to this fall is about 3 or 4 hours away from home, but it is known for its education so I'm going to live there in a dorm.
#27
As it's already been said, you're going to essentially live there. So, while not ignoring it or having it be a main deciding factor, you need to keep it in mind.

Picking your college is a culmination of everything. Location, Academics, Sports, reputation (NOT that big of a deal tbh).. All of that stuff should be taken into account equally.
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