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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?

  • PearlioPearlio 7 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    My parents let me choose any college I wanted regardless of distance. The only one they advised me against was one good college that was only 30 min away. The majority of people from my high school attended that college and I really didn't want to continue college with them. Most of my college choices were 7-8 hours away out-of-state and a few in utah that were 29 hours. I ended up choosing a college that is a great fit that is about 8 hours away and out-of-state. My second choice was the state flagship that was two hours away. I really like my choice because I won't be returning home every week, but I can come down and visit for long weekends and holidays.
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  • smurfette99smurfette99 45 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Fortunately for my family, we do have relatives on the west coast and east coast. Therefore, if there is an emergency our S will have someone there for him if needed. But ultimately it is kind of scary because he is our only kid.
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  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom 2365 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Both S and D looked at schools primarily within a 3 hours drive from home. We never made any demands on where they should be, I suspect they just liked being in Southern California and there are plenty of good colleges to choose from. My D is at Scripps and my S will attend Harvey Mudd in the fall so they will be across the street from each other and only about an hour away from home. This is very convenient and keeps the cost of travel (whether for them or for us) way down (no storage, no airplanes, no hotels etc.)
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  • jym626jym626 55523 replies2894 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We put no distance restrictions on either kid. We looked at schools north,south,east and west. Each chose a school that was best for them. Period. They both happened to be a plane ride away. And both have moved several times since graduation. One lived in town for a while (job # 2), but job opportunities and personal choices (aka the girlfriend) pulled him in a different direction. We would have loved for either of them to be nearby. But it didn't work out that way. They are both on the other coast. But it isn't about what we want, its about what is best for them. I cant imagine thinking about it any other way.
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  • msd228msd228 112 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I had no requirements regarding distance and D ended up about 3-4 hr drive from home. She wishes she had picked a college closer to home as she has become very homesick. I, too, wish she could be closer so that I could visit more often. We were able to make the trip in the fall for Parent's weekend, which is not, IMO, such a good time to go (higher hotel prices, pricey football game takes up too much of the visit, mobs at the restaurants). I went alone for a second visit last weekend and really enjoyed our one-on-one time together, taking her out to eat in her college town, seeing her classrooms, meeting her friends, going to her new church. But driving that far alone is a strain for me (I left DH home with our younger child) and I do not look forward to doing it again, except for the connection with my D. Selfish reasons perhaps, but the search for our son is definitely going to include our perspectives as far as ease in visiting. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent college choices near our home.
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  • Roger_DooleyRoger_Dooley 6084 replies100309 threadsFounder Senior Member
    I suspect that *lack* of ease in visiting drives many students to pick a distant school, @msd228. :) Oddly, that attitude changes after some time on campus. Visits from parents bearing credit cards become quite welcome as they result in restaurant and shopping expeditions that would normally be out of reach. The embarrassment of being seen with parents that was so strong in high school nearly vanishes.
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  • jym626jym626 55523 replies2894 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    When we visited campus, we fed every one of DS's friends that could fit in his car and our rental car. It was like a clown car scene https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqjB2Yu87D0
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  • msd228msd228 112 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Absolutely correct @Roger_Dooley. My D and I are very close and she misses me terribly. And who doesn't like a good restaurant as compared to dorm food? She even spent the night with me in my room at the B&B.
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  • 3rdXsTheCharm3rdXsTheCharm 237 replies9 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My daughter is considering a college 500 miles from home even though (or maybe because) her other (higher ranked) option is only 100 miles from home. We think the one closer to home is probably a better school, it's certainly more well known, but we'd all (mom, dad, daughter) like to see her experience a new part of the country.
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  • SU88BFASU88BFA 323 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    We live on the east coast, and my son is a first year student at a conservatory in Scotland. He had state-side acceptances to choose from, but because of the feedback he received from this particular school and the opportunity to live & travel internationally during college-- it was just too good to pass up. Also-- the program he's in is only 3 years to earn his Bachelors, so when we crunched the numbers, it was actually cheaper than 2 of his other 3 choices. Granted he's only been home for Christmas break, but he's also done a lot of travelling and we FaceTime chat with him all the time....which we would have done if he were at any of the other schools. He loves his program and has never regretted his choice. (Nor have we.)
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  • lovesmathlovesmath 52 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My parents want me to go to the University of Washington, which is a 45 minute drive. It has good math and physics programs, but I want to leave home, which they surely will not allow me to do if I go to UW. If I stay at home, college is going to be an extension of high school (be home by 8 PM, not meeting friends on school nights) - which they are legally allowed to do as I'm going to be 17 for the first half of my freshman year.
    I'm going to apply to UW anyways, though, because I likely won't get accepted to any of my other choices... I'm hoping for a competitive college in California or on the East coast, both beautiful places where I love the weather.
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  • supahstressedsupahstressed 7 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    As far away as possible but not so far that an airplane ticket would make my wallet scream in agony.
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  • LumptyLumpty 25 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Kid #1 now in school decided on his own that he wanted to be no more than a long day's drive from home, basically having 15-16 hours in the car as a cut off. He ended up at a place just under that self-imposed threshold. We are from the northeast and he was only really interested in schools in the southeast. The closest he applied to with any interest in going to was 475 miles away. He generally drives the road trip to and from home, sometimes doing it in one shot or breaking it up with an overnight along the way. If he or we needed to be here or there ASAP, there are flights pretty much every hour from our local major airport to one 1:15 from the school. Home to school travel time including airports can be done in about 6 hours tops. For kid #2, now a Junior in HS, I just wrapped up a 2500 mile college touring trip, 6 schools in 5 days. She wants out of around here too, and has her possible school distance even further, with the limit just being "drivable", so figure 1200 miles. Zero interest in anything remotely close to home.
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  • LibbyTLibbyT 58 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My D wanted to go to a LAC but stay on the west coast. She wanted to go kind of far away, but not east coast far. She's now at a LAC 25 minutes away, because I told her that it wasn't my fault some of the best west coast LACs were so close. She's very happy at school, despite the proximity. And I tell people we rarely see her, but when we do it's so easy to do so. Sometimes I obnoxiously tell my friends, "it took 40 minutes to get there! That traffic!" But mostly I feel very lucky my daughter is so close, and that she's happy.
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  • dadof1dadof1 680 replies16 threadsRegistered User Member
    We have moved to three distant states since D was born, none of which were close to immediate family. Our most recent move was between her sophomore and junior year in HS. Because of this, she doesn't have strong emotional ties to any geographical location and certainly not our current location. Her one criterion for a college location was warm weather. She is excited to be going to her choice that is 1300 miles from home. However, she does have family within a two hour drive/train ride of this new location that will make it easy to go "home" during those shorter college breaks.
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  • jmek15jmek15 773 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    D has her sights set on a school that is completely across the country. It's a great school, highly ranked in her areas of interest, warm weather, etc. but so very far from home! Fortunately, we live within an hour of a major airport with direct non-stop flights offered by a number of major carriers. I have a sibling in that area, and although we are not close I think they could be relied on in an emergency. Also expect that there will be others from this area heading west, so hopefully she can find a few travel friends to share cab rides and make the airport experience a little easier, particularly if there are weather-related delays during holiday flights. Sigh. I just can't imagine not being able to drive a few hours to take her to lunch or attend a performance. I guess there's always skype...
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  • BelizemeBelizeme 214 replies21 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My mom has always wanted me to stay on the West coast. At first, that is what I thought I had wanted too, so I only looked at schools in California. Those places are all within driving distance (10-15 hours). But now that everything is said and done, my top picks are on the East coast and in the South. When I told her, she seemed displeased but I know she'll be okay. It is just interesting. I always envisioned myself in California and now, I won't likely be living there. Instead I'll be on the opposite side of the country. It's intimidating but quite exciting!
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  • above1960above1960 25 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @spacelover17‌ hey I know exactly what you're talking about. My story is a lot like yours. My father was against me applying anyhere in the US (I'm international) at first because he wanted me by him. So I applied here, UPenn and Univeristy of Miami as backup. I got accepted at Miami first, but I found out they don't give need based financial aid and was completely devastated. My self-esteem was in the sh*tter... Then I got accepted at Penn and was extremely happy as they only accept around 45 international students with Financial need every year. But when I told my father he just went blank. We were in the car and it was just silent. I felt like I shouldnt have told him.. And my mother too. They just don't wanna see me go, and it's been a very weird atmosphere at home where everyone's happy I got accepted but really sad that that might mean I'll leave home for 4 years...

    It's OK, it'll pass I guess :)
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  • stepaystepay 623 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    I stayed in Ohio for college, but that was mainly because I found a school with a program I liked. I would have been open to going out of state. My daughter will start at a school in the fall that is a 9-hour drive away. Would have been nice to have her closer, but the fit of the college was paramount for her and for my wife and me. We searched high and low, and the one she choose was so easily on the top of the heap, that we would have sent her across the country if necessary to go there. All kids are different though. She is an adventurous sort and will likely thrive in her new home away from home. Not every kid wants that.
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