How to Find Colleges Based on Location

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  • 0:02 Choosing a College
  • 0:43 Why Location Matters
  • 2:37 Finding Colleges
  • 3:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

How do you choose the right college for you? For many students, this question isn't easily answered. One option is to look at the location of a college. Watch this lesson to find out more about how and why to find colleges based on geography.

Choosing a College

Ryan is applying to college, but he's a little lost. He knows that he wants to stay close to home, preferably within a couple of hours, but there seem to be so many colleges out there. How can he find all the options out there for him?

There are many limitations of college searches, including finances, majors offered, the size of the college, and whether it is private or public. Geography, or where the college is located, can also be a limiting factor for some students, like Ryan.

Let's take a closer look at why location matters to some students and how to find colleges based on location.

Why Location Matters

Why would someone, like Ryan, want to limit his college search to a specific area? What if there are other colleges that would be great for him outside of his geographic boundaries?

There are many different reasons for wanting to restrict a college search geographically. Staying close to home, like Ryan wants to, has the benefit of offering the social support of family, which can lead to less homesickness for students. Moving far away to go to college can be stressful, and if Ryan is close to home, he can go to his parents when he needs support. Not only that, if he moves far away, he might feel homesick, whereas living near home can keep him from feeling that way.

The social and emotional benefits of staying close to home aren't the only ones, either. Ryan can save money by living at home if he finds a college nearby. Since dorms and apartments can be expensive, staying in his home with his parents can help Ryan save dough.

But even if he chooses to live on his own, Ryan can still save money when traveling home. If he lives across the country, Ryan will likely have to travel home by plane, which can get expensive. But by staying nearby, Ryan can drive, take a bus, or take a train home, all of which could be a lot cheaper.

Staying close to home isn't the only reason why a student would limit the location that they want to go to college. Because some careers are limited to certain geographic regions, career options are better in some places than others. For example, students who are studying acting might find that they prefer to go to school near New York or Los Angeles, while students studying software design might seek out Silicon Valley, and students who are interested in forestry might look to Montana or Colorado for school.

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