Selecting the right school can make a huge difference in your career potential and future moving forward.  However, while important, there can be more to choosing an academic institution than just its reputation and academic standing and standards.

For many, college isn’t just about learning or a means to an end to get a better job.  While those aspects can certainly be benefits of obtaining a college degree, sometimes there are non-academic considerations of selecting as school as well.

Here are just a few of the more prevalent such considerations to bear in mind when choosing a college and college campus.

Proximity to Home

While you might find it exciting to finally be on your own as a college freshman, this doesn’t mean you won’t be feeling anxiety at being out from under your parents’ protective wings.  If you are anything like I was once I settled into school, you might never want to leave; but many new students get that feeling of homesickness — at least initially – when they arrive at school.

Not being able to go home on weekends, holidays or just an occasional weekend to see family, friends or just get a good home-cooked meal might be a real detractor to some.

Navigability of the Campus

A college campus can be huge and sprawling or small and confined.  It could be in an urban environment with plenty of public transportation or it could be in a rural area with very little in the way of helping you get around.  Therefore, just how navigable the campus and surrounding areas are can make a big difference in not only your level of convenience, but your costs and possible level of safety and security as well.

Having to spend extra money on having a vehicle on campus and pay for insurance, parking, gas, etc. can add thousands of dollars to your college costs.  And having to struggle to make it around campus or just too campus, can add additional time, trouble, energy, and stress to a situation in which you’re already working hard to succeed.

Living Locations, Availability and Costs

College campuses can be very different in the styles, locations and costs of living situations they provide their students.  And the students’ needs, wants and requirements regarding possible living situations and scenarios can be equally varied.  From dormitories and apartments to rental houses or the Greek system, a college student can be faced with multiple options when it comes to how or where to live.

Therefore, finding out proximity of various living locations to campus, the costs involved in such options, as well as availability can be important in getting a living situation that is not only convenient to getting to and from class but that’s affordable as well.

Entertainment both Close to Campus and Around Town

As I mentioned earlier, college isn’t always just about the book side of learning.  For many students, the college experience is a chance to learn, explore, and discover outside the classroom as well.  This self-growth process may be enhanced by the things there are to do around a college campus.

The geographic region in which the campus is located, whether there are outdoor activities to participate in such as hiking, boating, rafting, biking, camping, etc., whether there is a town with job opportunities nearby, and similar aspects of entertainment and activities may all be things to consider when choosing a college campus that fits you best.



The author is not a licensed educational professional or academic advisor.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or educational advice.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.