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The Distance Question: How Far Away From Home Is OK?

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Replies to: The Distance Question: How Far Away From Home Is OK?

  • warblersrulewarblersrule 9999 replies170 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited March 2015
    minimum 100 miles! that way you do not run home every time you hit a rough spot in a relationship, class etc...
    Although that's a popular opinion on CC, those students are actually in the minority. Of the freshmen attending four-year colleges in fall 2014:

    5.4% ≤5 miles
    7.2% 6-10 miles
    28.4% 11-50 miles
    16.1% 51-100 miles
    26.6% 101-500 miles
    16.3% 500+ miles

    In other words...

    12.6% of students attend college within 10 miles of home.
    41% of students attend college within 50 miles of home.
    57% of students attend college within 100 miles of home.

    It's also worth pointing out that 55% of students are attending their first choice college, 82% are attending their first or second choice college, and 93% of students are attending their first, second, or third choice college. Moreover, ~73% of students were admitted to their top choice.
    edited March 2015
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  • halcyonheatherhalcyonheather 8775 replies212 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is it important for students to consider where they want to live in the future?
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  • giterdonegiterdone 1398 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I believe so. At least in the first +/- 5 years from graduation.
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  • fallenchemistfallenchemist 24269 replies860 threadsHonorary Super Mod Inactive
    When I was starting my search, I took a map of the USA, drew a circle around my home town of St. Louis the equivalent of 400 miles, and only looked at schools outside that circle. Obviously I succeeded. In fact, Tulane says that they have the highest percentage of students from more than 500 miles away than any other school. I suspect it is true, given the high percentage from the Northeast plus California plus southern Florida, not to mention a decent draw from Chicago and St. Louis.
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  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD 3085 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2015
    D drew a two hour circle and only searched outside the circle. She doesn't want to live in her home state; I can't say I blame her. H and I will probably leave when we retire.

    I encouraged her to look anywhere she wanted. When we visited a west coast LAC, it was obvious that she could settle in that state quite easily, even though the college wasn't a slam dunk "yes".

    @spacelover17‌, I'm sorry you've been running into resistance. CalTech is an amazing opportunity. Good luck on the best outcome.
    edited March 2015
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  • 1203southview1203southview 460 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    @spacelover17, don't let them get to you! You should be so proud and rejoice in your accomplishment!

    I gave my S the leash of anywhere in the world. He had wanted to apply to Oxford in addition to top schools in the US but didn't end up doing so. I hope to visit him monthly to go out for a dinner just for fun so a city that doesn't involve much further driving from the airport would be nice.
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  • mollii4mollii4 47 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    When my parents and I moved to Texas, I immediately knew that Texas wasn't for me because of the weather especially. That was freshman year, and I didn't have an idea of what I wanted to do in college, all I knew was that I wanted to go to the North for college. In 10th grade I realised that I wanted to be an architect, and so far that hasn't changed after taking classes, and being the assistant of one architect last summer. Anyways, there was only one architecture programme available withing 120 miles. And it wasn't really prestigious so I slowly convinced my parents to let me go elsewhere. I only applied to 2 schools in Texas, and the rest where in places in the north. When I got accepted to my dream school in NY, my parents didn't seem to excited, and still they couldn't believe I got accepted there. They were expecting me to go to a school in Texas, but they didn't try to talk me out of going to NY. The people who were kind of upset about it were some of my uncles. It's not that I hate them, but as long as I have the support of my parents, I don't care if other relatives want me to stay in Texas.
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  • 123wombat123wombat 94 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Fit was my primary concern when constructing my list, so location didn't play a huge role. That being said, my parents wouldn't let me apply to the wonderful liberal arts college in my home town because they wanted me to gain independence and experience another part of the country. At the time I was a bit peeved, but now I understand their logic. Aside from that restriction, I was free to look at schools across the country. I'm now headed to the opposite coast (~2500 miles away).
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  • bottleitupbottleitup 34 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I applied to a few schools close by, but mostly as a safety net financially (in-state tuition)/psychologically (in case I got cold feet about going far, for whatever reason). My top choices were all reasonably far away and my family are all supportive/excited to visit me.
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  • giterdonegiterdone 1398 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2015
    one fact to also consider is, when you look at the stats above (>80% within 500 miles), I always looked at the student body make up of OOS schools that peaked DC's interest. Almost invariably (except small'ish LAC's) the bulk (80%+) of the student body was from their respective state.

    I can see going afar because of a specialized major or something. But being too far is just inconvenient. For anything. DD'12 attends about 40 miles from home. She is plenty independent. She comes home during the usual breaks, but that's it. And DW and I have never visited outside move in/move out day.
    edited March 2015
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  • marvin100marvin100 8558 replies1247 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @‌Roger_Dooley
    While some students and parents have the attitude that one should pick the best fit school, regardless of location

    This is the best attitude and the one my parents had for me. I went from the coast of CA to western MA, my brother went to NH, but my sister stayed close (Palo Alto).
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  • summerwind2015summerwind2015 77 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We are doing our best to sell our state flagship to both kids. It's only 45 minutes away, they can almost commute, which will save us a lot of $$ that can be used towards their grad/med school. The farthest We want them to go is another state on the west coast. East coast is a big no no. Even the trip home for the holidays would cost a small fortune, not to mention we want them to live close to us after college.
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  • mtrosemommtrosemom 1726 replies0 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2015
    We didn't put any distance restrictions on D. She had a definite idea of the type of school she wanted to attend, which was a small LAC with a discussion-based learning environment. We have zero schools like that in state. She would also need substantial merit aid to bridge to gap between what we saved (equiv to stat flagship) and what a private LAC costs. She applied to many schools and got excellent aid from two Virginia schools. She will be going there in fall. It's 2500 miles and three flights, but we all agree it's the best choice for her. She does have cousins on the east coast, so holidays like Thanksgiving will be spent there instead of at home.

    Each kid and family is different and they have to do what works for them collectively. I commend the kids who know what they want and choose that path despite what their family thinks they should do, especially if they are paying for the school on their own, or getting aid to go.
    edited March 2015
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14270 replies297 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We're int'l, so all schools in the US will plus or minus 20 hours flying. Our preference is that the school has convenient access to an airport w good flight frequency.
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  • giterdonegiterdone 1398 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^it's funny how so many International kids strive to get here, our kids pine for study abroad opportunities, East goes West, West to East, North to South and vice versa. Everybody wants what the other has got.
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  • MamaBear16MamaBear16 1103 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We didn't put any distance restrictions on our D'15. She wanted a certain kind of LAC and didn't find one that "fit" her in state. We did try to find one she loved that was near a major airport, which she did. She will have to fly across the country but at least it's a direct flight and she is happy with her choice.
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  • CatriaCatria 11199 replies150 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    As for my PhD: no further west than Minnesota, no further south than Tennessee...
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  • MomOnALaptopMomOnALaptop 261 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 2015
    Ha ha, @GMTplus7, we're in the same boat. Or rather, transit lounge. Exactly -- strong preference for colleges within an hour or two of any int'l airport that is a likely US entry point, because that customs line ("oh no, it's not moving and the clock is!") followed by a rush for another domestic flight after the invariable 3 int'l flights seems a bit excessive. It'll be a day and a half of flights and transit lounges regardless. Thanksgiving break? LOL.

    Of course, it'll really come down to "right fit," whatever that'd be. But proximity to int'l airport is good. So is proximity to relatives or support network. So is a school that understands the needs of global nomads. All of those things aren't necessarily possible, but well, such is life. On the plus side, all those colleges that tout "study abroad" trips that are 2 or 3 weeks long? To my son, that just sounds like a long layover with a side trip :smile:

    BTW @giterdone, not all kids who come to the US from homes abroad are international students. Lots of parents are Americans who live and work overseas, and so it's not about kids wanting something different -- there's simply no option to send them to a school a short jaunt down the freeway.
    edited March 2015
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Distance is related to money and time to travel for us. I went to school about 2 hours from home, and I was rarely home. If you don't have a car, and your parents aren't going to pay for a train or plane ticket, you stay on campus.

    I can see that a clingy child might be encouraged to go further away so they aren't tempted to come home.

    As far as I know, my oldest is comfortable in our state and with our weather, so he was looking within a few hours. Helps to be in the Northeast where there are a lot of schools with long traditions.

    My next - no idea, he's special needs so might just live at home and commute, or a special residential program. The next after that (can't think any further) probably will go far, far away, just because.
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