College Selection: What's in a Location & Why it is Important?


How do you describe where you live?  City? Suburb? Country? As you explore colleges, one thing to consider is the location of the college.  Location can make a significant impact on your college experience. Think about where you want to go to school.  

 Here are terms used in college “locations” with definitions:  

  • Major City: Population 300,000 or more: or within a 25-mile radius of a metropolitan area. 
  • Small-Medium City:  Population 75,000-299,999 or within 15-25 mile radius of its metropolitan area. 
  • Large Town: Population 25,000-74,999 or within a 10-mile radius of a large town. 
  • Small Town: Population 5,000-24,999 or within a 5-mile radius of a small town. 
  • Rural: Population under 5,000, in or near a rural community.  

How do you know what will be best for you?  Search for:  

  • Nearest airport.
  • Nearest large city.
  • Nearest outdoor experiences (beach, mountains, etc.).
  • Popular student gathering places on campus.
  • Popular student gathering places off campus.
  • Activities available on weekends at the school.
  • Activities available on weekends in the community.
  • Nearest tourist attractions.
  • Movie, bowling or other recreational activities nearby?
  • Employment opportunities. 
  • Your faith community- on or off campus.  

Be sure to explore all the options. Look on the college website. View the college facebook pages. Most importantly, look it up on a map. 

Take Action 

Use the Guided Search to explore the location of colleges you are interested in. GuidedPath offers search on location types. Also check out: 

  • How many freshmen live on campus? 

  • Fiske Social Rating 

  • Fiske Quality Rating 

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