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Settings: urban, suburban, rural. Description please?

kawaiigurlkawaiigurl Posts: 542Registered User Member
edited August 2008 in College Search & Selection
the easiest and simplest way to know the setting about the school is to go to collegeboard and look at 'setting'. howeverrrrr! what do they really mean? i mean, what are they like? can someone help me to describe what urban, suburban and rural schools are really like? thanksss!
Post edited by kawaiigurl on

Replies to: Settings: urban, suburban, rural. Description please?

  • MastrgamrMastrgamr Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
    Urban = City Surrounding. (NYC, or Boston is Urban)
    Suburban = Town, or Small city
    Rural = a place you need a car to get anywhere.

    that should be simple XD
  • kawaiigurlkawaiigurl Posts: 542Registered User Member
    ohhh can you be abit more specific about suburban?:S cz its like in the middle...i can't picture it lol TT
  • MastrgamrMastrgamr Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
    exactly.. its in the middle (a mix of rural and urban). not too far from your nearest mall etc. your still in the city but not in the downtown "mess" of it.
  • Hippo724Hippo724 Posts: 897Registered User Member
    Stanford and Princeton are both good examples of suburban schools (Stanford more so than Princeton IMO).
  • katliamomkatliamom Posts: 5,855Registered User Senior Member
    suburban=lots of people but in sprawling bedroom communities.
  • highopeshighopes Posts: 1,581Registered User Senior Member
    Urban: In the middle of a fairly large city.
    Suburban: In a town (e.g. a more residential area) but usually near to a city.
    Rural: In the middle of nowhere, in a farming area.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Posts: 6,439Registered User Senior Member
    Urban: in a large central city, usually the core city of a larger metropolitan region. Examples: Columbia, Barnard, NYU in NYC; BU in Boston; Penn in Philadelphia; Case Western in Cleveland; U Chicago in (you-know-where); UCLA, USC in Los Angeles; Brown in Providence, RI; Macalester in St. Paul, MN. However, in some urban areas there are several "core" cities. For example, I would categorize Cambridge, Mass (Harvard, MIT) as "urban," because Cambridge itself is an old city adjacent to Boston, rather than a suburb per se. Similarly, Berkeley, CA.

    Suburban: in a smaller municipality within a metropolitan region, but not the core city. Some suburbs are true "bedroom communities," essentially residential communities for people who commute to work in the central city. Other suburbs have significant commercial and/or industrial areas and are important job centers in their own right. Examples of "bedroom community" suburban schools: Wellesley (in suburban Wellesley, MA); Bryn Mawr (in suburban Bryn Mawr, PA); Haverford (in suburban Haverford, PA); Swarthmore (in suburban Haverford, PA); Sarah Lawrence (in suburban Broxville, NY). Examples of commercial/industrial/job center suburban schools: Stanford in Palo Alto, CA; the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, CA; Rutgers in New Brunswick, NJ; Northwestern in Evanston, IL.

    Rural: In a small town or village in the country, not in or near a metropolitan area. Examples: Middlebury in Middlebury, VT; Oberlin in Oberlin, OH; Carleton in Northfield, MN; Grinnell in Grinnell, IA; Cornell in Ithaca, NY; Colgate in Hamilton, NY.

    The problem with this classification is that there aren't sharp boundaries between the categories. When does a college town grow large enough that it becomes "urban"? And when is a town close enough to a metropolitan area that it become "suburban"? Ann Arbor, MI is an old college town that at one time was considered "rural," at some remove from Detroit, about an hour's drive away (and longer in the old days). Now Ann Arbor has about 120,000 residents and its own suburbs, and is the county seat and principal city in a county of about 320,000 residents which the Census Bureau categorizes as the "Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area." So is it now "urban"? On the other hand, there is now almost a continuous band of suburbs between Detroit and Ann Arbor, and for other purposes the Census Bureau includes it in the "Detroit-Warren-Flint Combined Statistical Area." So should it be considered "suburban"? I think you could argue it either way; but either might leave a somewhat misleading impression.

    In short, I think these categorizations aren't always terrible useful. You need to check out the area for yourself to get a feel for it.
  • arcadiaarcadia Posts: 2,289Registered User Senior Member
    Urban = City Surrounding. (NYC, or Boston is Urban)
    Suburban = Town, or Small city
    Rural = a place you need a car to get anywhere.

    Actually, I can think of many rural schools where you can walk right into town (where most stores and restaurants are), and many suburban schools where having a car is essential to getting to nearby stores and restaurants.
  • schleenschleen Posts: 65Registered User Junior Member
    I'd generally categorize urban as big city living, with public transportation and walkable retail. Suburban is near an urban area, so connected to a city but more malls and less public transport. Rural is not connected to a big city; tougher to fly in and out of and fewer city amenities.
  • kawaiigurlkawaiigurl Posts: 542Registered User Member
    thanks guys !!
  • dave72dave72 Posts: 589Registered User Member
    These can be difficult lines to draw. On the basis of the definitions offered here, for instance, I would characterize Oberlin as suburban, not rural. It's in a town of 10,000, with walkable stores and restaurants, easy to fly into (the Cleveland international airport is 25 minutes away), etc.
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