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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?

  • ocomea15ocomea15 141 replies23 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Currently a senior making my final choice on where to attend. When applying, my parents did not set parameters on distance, but did say that it would be a lot easier (and cheaper) if I picked a school that was within driving distance. so pretty much less than 8 hours.. I, myself, decided that I wanted to stay in the northeast (from PA, lots of family in NY) and try to keep distance under 6hrs. I just knew I wanted to be close enough to come home if there was ever an emergency. Right now, it's looking like I'll go to my state flagship school (Penn State) which is about 2.5 hours away. I think it's a good distance, maybe a little close. I am wait listed at my top choice and really hoping I'll be admitted there, and that school is 5-6hours away in Boston. As you can see, the choice is more about fit than distance.
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  • paul2752paul2752 4777 replies349 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My parents or I don't care about the distance as long as the money issue doesn't get in the way
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  • musicgeek97musicgeek97 156 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My parents set no parameters on distance. I didn't want anywhere that I had to take a plane home. Aside from that I just looked at the school. I applied to one 30 minutes away and two that are five hours away.
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  • northwestynorthwesty 3445 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Since we live out west, there's only a handful of schools within driving distance. Our only distance rule is that the school has to be located in a place that Southwest flies direct to. No bag fees, no change fees, no connecting flights.
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  • koikatkoikat 17 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My twins attend different colleges. Both are about one hour from home. Luckily for me that both got into colleges that they wanted to attend. However, I did remind them that if they did decide to go far away for college, that they couldn't come home when they pleased due to the cost. Both have cars on campus to drive to wherever they want and the freedom to come home if they desired. They are having a blast and thriving. Homesickness is very real and they had a few friends who didn't even last the first quarter before they quit and are attending college closer to home. Each child is different and you really need to know how much they can handle.
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  • lje62lje62 5517 replies101 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For us , distance wasn't measured in miles , but the ease of coming home for holidays. Being near an airport with direct flights is a plus for sure , having the option of train and reasonable driving distance , at least for moving in and out of dorms is important.
    All of our children wanted to be in the Northeast or Mid-lantic region.

    We are still in the decision process right now with our youngest . She has a nice offer from a school that would NOT be so easy to get to..direct flights are pricey , it's a nine hour drive away.

    We haven't visited yet and will probably have to wait until the final hour to decide.
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  • boudersbouders 2446 replies170 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We moved several times while my children were growing up, including from the US to a different country where we are now. First child decided to go to school in our current city which he feels has the best fit for him. Child #2 wants to go to school in California which she has visited several times, but has never lived in. She is also applying to east coast schools, but once the results come in next year, the west coast schools will be getting the nudge from me. I will be moving as well when she graduates high school and the west coast will be a lot closer to me. I will still be a 5 hour plane ride away though.
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  • digmediadigmedia 3122 replies209 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @minohi - I wanted son#1 to out of state (we lived in Florida then) to experience a whole different environment/part of the country. So he went to UofR, which is a GREAT school EXCEPT the COLD COLD COLD COLD winters!! Congrats and good luck!
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  • ASPnCalASPnCal 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    As a parent with our only child considering going to college in NYC (we live in a San Francisco suburb) this thread was helpful for me. We would never force our child to accept a school in CA (he has choices in state) but we are a close family and it would be tough for everyone if we were separated by a 6 hour flight and realistically no ability to come home except for summer and winter holidays.
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14270 replies297 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2015
    if we were separated by a 6 hour flight and realistically no ability to come home except for summer and winter holidays.

    I don't know why 6 hrs flying is not realistic. My kids are 20+ hours away flying time (involves at least one change of plane in a 3rd country, with the shorter flight segment being 10 hrs), and they fly "home" overseas for Thanksgiving, winter & spring break. Usually one of us parents will fly to see them at their U.S. boarding schools between their breaks, so there is nearly monthly child-parent face to face.

    edited March 2015
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  • InfoQuestMomInfoQuestMom 274 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We are on the West coast. Our daughter applied to in state, South West and East coast schools. In the end, she decided to stay in state, an hour and a half from home. For her, this was the right decision. She has lived in one foreign country as a child, and we lived on the East coast most of her childhood. She has also visited my home country as well as my husband's home country. Also, the only family we have in the US is located in state too. We have the agreement that we would not visit unless expressedly invited and we have held to our word. She has been home a couple of weekends other than breaks. Logistically and financially, what is there not to love?
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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5330 replies90 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    GMTplus7, Many families would be unable to afford the money needed to fly across the world. Others would not have the time available to do so. 20+ hours is a lot of time to spend on a plane-and it is 20 hours that you are not together with your son or daughter and not at work or school but simply flying. Good they fly home for thanksgiving but if 40 hours (both ways) how much time do you have to spend together? Many schools have classes through Wednesday. So if a student left on Wednesday morning, arrival would be Thursday and the student would have to begin the trip back to school on Saturday. That would entail 40+ hours in transit for 2 days together. Seems pretty bleak to me. I'm not sure what families have that amount of money and time available but if you do, that is great. Most don't. For those lacking in time, money or both, having a son or daughter 6 hours away by plane is not realistic.
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  • dfbdfbdfbdfb 3864 replies24 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Speaking as someone who has to fly nearly 4 hours to get pretty much anywhere, I'll just note that the prices of 6-hour flights are often pretty much the same as those for 20-hour flights, unless you're blessed with a particularly cheap connection between your local airport and the 6-hour-away one you're flying to.
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  • giterdonegiterdone 1398 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Personally have flown several times, 20 hours ++ for business. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
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  • as9934as9934 122 replies23 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited March 2015
    My mom just said that I should go to a school near where some family lives, and since I have family all up the atlantic I can go pretty much wherever as long is its on the east coast. She says that its is good in case I got really sick or wanted to get away for awhile.
    edited March 2015
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14270 replies297 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2015
    @lostaccount‌
    Many families would be unable to afford the money needed to fly across the world. 
    I was not addressing financial feasibility. My only point is that it is certainly logistically feasible (albeit painful if it's in economy class).

    I thought the intent of this thread was to collect a diverse range of experiences, to show that one size doesn't fit all.
    edited March 2015
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  • lavvie13lavvie13 9 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I'm a Canadian and although I had many good options to apply to within my own province and neighbouring provinces, I applied mostly to American schools, one of which I have enrolled at in Georgia. So I'll be across the entire continent in a different country than my mother, who I'm very close to.

    However, my mother put no limits because she wants me to explore and make my own decisions and be independent.
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  • heckaradheckarad 126 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think at the end of the day- at least for me- it's a cost thing. Leaving California financially just isn't a option when the goal is to be a veterinarian, which means grad school. But tbh I wouldn't leave California even if I had the choice.

    The one thing that us Californians are just so fortunate to have is that the differences between Northern and Southern California are so great they might as well be different states. You can stay within the same state while still getting a COMPLETELY different environment and experience- and if you don't believe how much I'm stressing these differences, you've obviously never been to California. :-)

    However, in the big picture, I still think cost is a huge factor. Being happy and gaining new experiences in college are fantastic but at the end of the day OOS tuition just isn't feasible for many families.
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  • JAM113JAM113 128 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I just reminded our kids that if they chose a school an hour or so from home, they could come home just about any time something they wanted to come home for came up. Five hours or so was more likely to be scheduled breaks, unless it was something really important, and eight hours or more was pretty much semester breaks. Both are in performance-based majors, so I was hoping for something close enough that we would be able to make the occasional trip to see them, but chose not to include that in their decision process. Sure enough, the original scenarios played out a few weeks back. D1 is closer to home, about 4 hours, and was able to come home for a death in the family and make it back for a performance requirement. D2 is 6 hours away, and due to the timing, could not swing coming home. A life lesson for sure, but both girls chose the school that was right for them.
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  • albclemomalbclemom 229 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We really encouraged our kids to use college as an opportunity to go wherever they needed to in order to get the curriculum and advancement opportunities that best suited them. Before we let them go, they had to demonstrate how the chosen school was different from others closer to us and that, from an economic standpoint, their choice was rational. It made for some interesting discussions. Both will use their college time to experience geographic areas very different from the one in which they were raised.
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