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Guidance for Underclassmen: What’s in a location?

May 06, 2020

How do you describe where you live?  City?  Suburb?  Country?  What aspects of your current location do you like or not like – and how far are you willing to go from home?  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 the terms and definitions used in college “locations”: 

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

Things to consider related to location: 

  • Distance from home 
  • Nearest airport
  • Nearest large city 
  • Nearest outdoor experiences (beach, mountains, etc.)
  • Popular student gathering places on campus
  • Popular student gathering places off-campus 
  • Nearest tourist attractions
  • Movies, shopping, restaurants, or other entertainment nearby
  • Employment/Internship opportunities
  • Your faith community, on or off-campus

Be sure to explore all the options.  View the college website for virtual tours.  Check for info on the surrounding community   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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