the ever-popular debate: going far away from home to college

<p>well, i'm basically wondering everyone's opinions on whether or not it's worth it. for instance, i live in New Jersey and my parents are reallly reluctant to even let me look at schools in Maine (colby, bates..) which would be about a 7-hour trip driving, let alone letting me look out in minn. at Macalester which I am REALLY interested in. is it really too much of a hassle to go to a school so far away? is it actually a big financial burden to come home, or a really isolated feeling being there??</p>

<p>anyone with any experience in this "subject", input here and now!</p>

<p>Contrary to what one might think, I've read that most students stay within 250-500 miles of home. </p>

<p>That said, I tried to have a nice blend of colleges. I had Duke, Wake, etc. in-state and Yale, Chicago, Hopkins OOS. I suggest you make up a similar list. That way you'll have plenty of options without having to decide one way or the other. Once your financial aid offers come in, you can decide whether you can afford to go OOS.</p>

<p>I absolutely refuse to stay in SoCal. I absolutely adore it here--so much so that I plan to move back. Which is why I've got to take what could be only chance to get out, just for a little bit.</p>

<p>I've never lived in the snow, never seen fall colors, never experienced any other part of the country. I've lived on the beach my whole life, so I've never experienced real seasons. It's really important to me to go to school somewhere with a real summer, fall, winter, and spring.</p>

<p>Money isn't a concern, so I don't have to consider what kind of financial burden travel would be. I don't really imagine it would be TOO expensive. I'm independent and I'm not worried about being far away from my mom and brother. That's what cameras and telephones were invented for. </p>

<p>So to me, it's not only worth it, it's one of my requirements.</p>

<p>I guess I have gone thousands of miles away from home.....first to summer camps at the age of 9....then to boarding school and now to college. I have found it to be a fine experience and my family has enjoyed traveling to visit me.....or meeting me in a city for fun that is not where I am. All good things come to stretching as much as you are able during your educational experience. I have benefitted, others of my acquaintance have benefitted....I would not be afraid or worried. Is your concern for ease of traveling for you or your family? I have had little or no trouble in all of these family has come and loved their visits. I cannot imagine that your family cannot make an adjustment....remain positive. I have always found cheap flights....believe me it works out.</p>

<p>My dream school was in NYC which is about 1400 miles away from home; the first few weeks may be harder if you're far from home, but definitely by the end of first semester, I don't think distance from home will be a real problem.</p>

<p>From one parent's point of view, my Daughter is 6 hours away, and it's a hassle. Taking her to or from college requires either a motel stay or driving 12 hours in one day. Her brother will probably get a lead in the high school musical, and I have no idea how I will get her back here for a show. And even worse was last Spring. She's an actress, and wanted to audition for the elite semi-professional theater in the area. So we picked her up on Friday and took her back after the audition on Sunday. She got the part, and rehearsals started the week before finals. Which meant another round-trip. Then the following weekend, we picked her up. Two and a half round-trip in five weeks. The only way we survived was my retired parents did some of the trips.</p>

<p>From her point of view, she has no problems being so far from home. She's very independent and is very happy. But I am thrilled her brother is looking at a college 30 minutes down the road!</p>


<p>Unless you are like semiserious and are seeking the experience of a different geographical location, I don't think it is necessary to go far from home to have a good college experience. Although, I would not be afraid of a longer distance either. My only requirement was that visits home for schools more than a 5 hour drive would be few and far between, and by bus or plane. I personally didn't want to spend 2 days driving more than 20 hours for a visit.</p>

<p>Just think of this. You local schools that you may be trying to get away from have distant applicants that would love to attend.</p>

<p>My son did apply to distant schools, but ended up choosing a school about 30 minutes from home. He lives there and we talk about twice per week. I think he's getting the full experience. Also, if he does want to come home, or if he needs something, it's not a big deal.</p>

<p>You have so many excellent choices near you. I mean, check this out:</p>

<p>Amherst College (5 hours)
Brown University (5 hours)
Columbia University (2 hours)
Cornell University (4 hours)
Georgetown University ( 3 hours)
Harvard University (5 hours)
Haverford College (2 hours
Johns Hopkins University (2 hours)
Princeton University (1 hour)
Swarthmore College (1 hour)
University of Pennsylvania (1 hour)
University of Virginia (5 hours)
Wesleyan University (3 hours)
Williams College (5 hours)
Yale University (3 hours)</p>

<p>I know I am missing a couple, but you have a bunch of great universities at your fingertip...including 7 of the 8 Ivies!!! </p>

<p>Personally, I do not think distance is a problem. I have lived over 1,000 miles away from my parental unit since I was 14! LOL Financially, tickets should not cost more than $500 over continental US unless you buy the tickets last minute.</p>

<p>This is an issue that you and your family need to discuss openly and thorougly. If the reason that they don't want you to be so far away is financial, you need to respect that unless you can help them with the expenses. (It is a hassel, and it is fairly expensive to travel these days.) If their reasoning is that they don't want you so far away for their sake, then you need to state your case about why it might be good
for your development to leave for a while. Good luck.</p>

<p>yeah I'm heading about 1800 miles west. my mom's not ecstatic about it, but the schools I've found I like the most are there. if you really really feel like that's the school you want to be at, I think you'd be able to cope with the distance. you might feel lost for a while, but stay in the game. you'll be better for it. I think that separation might help you grow up faster, than if you always had your folks to rely (you can always phone them up if need). anyway I think I'm done</p>

<p>A lot of high school students start out thinking they want to get far away from home or they want some cool-sounding location. Most students have very little time to enjoy the recreational opportunities while they are in college. It is not a vacation. From inside a classroom, library, or dorm room, you could be anywhere. It's all the same. I happen to like the four seasons and had no desire to go south. Many fail to understand the implications of being far from home until Mom and Dad drop them off and wave goodbye. Most adjust but some do not. On the other hand, some parents have a harder time adjusting than their kid.</p>

<p>I have heard that graduation rates drop as distance from home increases. I know of one college where that is definitely true. As distance increases, satisfaction decreases, other things being equal.</p>

<p>It is really nice to be able to come home for special events. Air travel is very expensive for people like me. Traveling is also time-consuming and tiring. </p>

<p>My family is very close and it is nice to get together on weekends once in a while, especially when you might be away summers for summer classes or internships.</p>

<p>I say go to the best school you can get into. But, if there is more than one school that feels like a good fit, go to the one closer to home. If there are plenty of good fit schools within a 6-8 hour drive, don't even bother to apply to the more distant ones.</p>

<p>I cannot imagine that my undergraduate experience will take place only on the campus......or in the dorm. I go many places other than my campus.......went to the beach a week ago. I find your attitude about not mattering where one is to be a bit small minded. Perhaps for you it is workable but NOT for me. I chose a location where the off campus opportunities were just as attractive and interesting as the on campus ones.</p>

<p>I totally disagree with collegehelp. College is all about recreational experience!! People go out every weekend and whether you want house parties or bars matters. At Dartmouth I would snowboard before class, swim in the river in summers, etc. The overall location/ ambiance of the school was so important to my experience. In college you have a ton of extra time, so make sure you're going somewhere you will enjoy. I personally found among my friends that the ones who left home have been the most successful, they have been risk takers not afraid to explore new places.</p>

<p>My friends who have gone away are way happy and successful. It makes you appreciate where you are.......the diversity of opportunity and experience. I am sooooo greatful that my family has supported my long journey and thought that is was a necessary part of education.</p>

<p>Most students have very little time to enjoy the recreational opportunities while they are in college. It is not a vacation</p>

<p>People go out every weekend and whether you want house parties or bars matters. At Dartmouth I would snowboard before class, swim in the river in summers, etc.</p>

<p>I think how much extra time you have must depend on your school, your major & how well you organize your time.
FOr students that are going to very academic schools, with time intensive majors, I would agree that while you will have time for recreation, it may not be as much as you originally think.
My daughter is attending Reed college and majoring in biology.
She originally thought she would have time to both ride and to use the art studio facilities. So far she has done little in either area.
She hasn't even taken the time to go to the ski cabin that the college owns on mt hood :(</p>

<p>We live in Virginia. My son is in LA. What with cells phones, the internet, and Jet Blue California isn't as far away as it used to be.</p>

<p>Many people feel it is not how far you are, but how far you are from the airport and ease and $ with which to buy plane tickets. </p>

<p>I think it is worth it if the school is a much better fit than the schools that are closer to you. The furthest that my son is looking is about 6-7 hours away. I see the 6 hour trip as inconvenient, but well worth it for a wonderful match. I will let my son make the decision. The closest school that he is considering is 2.5 hours away.</p>

<p>Have just dropped my DD off, 1300 miles away. We supported her desire to go away, far away. As my husband put it best - "This is what we raised her for, this is why we gave her the experiences that we did".</p>

<p>That being said, it would be a lot easier and a lot more fun if she was within long weekend driving distance. We still have a ninth grader at home, and 2 jobs, so we would not be intruding on her space at college - just able to go to a football game, or take her out to dinner. It also doesn't help that she picked the school that is the hardest to get to, though not the furthest away.</p>

<p>I hope she loves it, I think she might have gotten the same away feeling closer to home.</p>

<p>We have really enjoyed having our daughter within a 4-5 hr drive.
We don't really see her that much- although a bus trip home for thanksgiving & christmas is a lot more affordable than plane fare.
Her sister can take the train with her friends down to see the campus, friends from our city stop and see her when they are in the area, and friends from her school like to come up and visit as well.
We did encourage her to look in other parts of the country, but she has traveled already quite a bit in high school and wanted to have a familar base I think for college.
There are disadvantages to some.
One girl from our city, insisted on driving home every weekend sophmore year to see her boyfriend. Junior year she transferred to the local university, but now she is back at the LAC senior year.
One advantage that I appreciate- the climate is similar so no need for completely different wardrobe!</p>

<p>I'm in favor of a reasonably distant college for several reasons. First, the environment is likely to be quite different than where you are coming from - climate, social environment, etc. In particular, at a distant school you are unlikely to encounter many people from your home area - that's a good thing in terms of broadening your experience.</p>

<p>Second, I think some distance from parents is healthy. College is the place where young men and women learn to fend for themselves, albeit in a fairly safe environment. First year students have to learn to do their laundry, deal with bad roommates, handle medical problems, etc. without Mom or Dad around. Too close, and at the first report of sniffles Mom will be on campus armed with chicken soup and an array of pharmaceuticals. Far better that the student learn to deal with these things on his/her own.</p>

<p>If you must stay fairly close, though, I'd encourage you to attend a school that will be as different as possible from the environment you are used to, and that has a strong, self-contained community. You may still be within easy driving distance, but most of the time it won't seem like it.</p>