Why Location Matters to Your College Search and Career Goals
Location, location, location. Maybe you’ve heard this phrase uttered in relation to real estate, however, it’s just as important when comparing college campuses. Considering the fact that buying a home and paying for your college education are two of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life, getting the greatest bang for you buck is imperative. And the location of a college is one of the key differentiators to consider.
Factoring in location
When searching for the college that checks all the right boxes, it’s important to keep in mind how a college’s location doesn’t just affect you during your undergraduate student experience, but how it can also play a role in jumpstarting your career or graduate study. There are many factors to consider when contemplating a college’s location and its importance to you personally:
Is the school close or far from home? Is it downtown in a city or in a small, rural town? Is it spread out over hundreds of acres or is it densely populated within a few city blocks?
How about what surrounds the campus? Are there attractions like restaurants, shops, a movie theater, athletic stadium, or even other colleges? Or do you have to drive off campus to find the closest pizza place or CVS?
What if you wanted to get away from campus for a weekend, is there public transportation that gets you to an airport or train/bus station?
What about jobs. Are there a lot of companies in the area? Would you have to move after graduation to find a job or will there be job opportunities in the immediate area? What if you’re interested in graduate school? Are there options for graduate school in the area or would you have to move again?
The above questions are important to consider when diving into your college search. They may help you decide what the best college location is for you.
“When searching for the college that checks all the right boxes, it’s important to keep in mind how a college’s location doesn’t just affect you during your undergraduate student experience, but how it can also play a role in jumpstarting your career or graduate study.”Chris Gray, Director of Admissions Marketing, Emmanuel College
As someone who moved from a small, rural town in Connecticut to Boston for college (and haven’t left), I’d like to offer you two pieces of advice to further consider when it comes to selecting a college in which to attend:
Remember, this is about you
Don’t choose a college location because all your friends will be close by or at the same college. This is a time to challenge yourself. Immerse yourself in a completely new environment. Think critically about a college location: will it help you step out of your comfort zone to take full advantage of what these significant years have to offer?
Look past the surface
Say a college promotes itself as being close to a major city where students can take advantage of competitive internships and research opportunities, world-class entertainment and more. Yet, that college is also 20 to 30 miles outside the city…meaning realistically, all those “opportunities” aren’t that convenient for its students or truly a part of their day-to-day experience. Don’t confuse proximity with being at the city’s very heart. A campus surrounded by global companies, startups, and everything in between will go a long way in securing your first step after graduation.