City College vs. Rural College

There are pros and cons to attending a city college as opposed to a rural college. Both the pros and the cons are things that you should take into consideration when deciding if a city college is the right college for you.

Some pros for attending a city college are:

  • Off-campus activities: Going to a city college means you will be living in a city and have access to all of the entertainment venues that a city provides. It is common to find stores, bars, and restaurants within walking distance of the campus. If you get bored with the on-campus activities, you can simply leave and have the city to experience at your fingertips.

  • Public Transportation: Cities have many different options for taking public transportation that will take you just about anywhere you want. This means you can forget the financial issues of buying a car and the hassle of taking care of a car while you’re enjoying your college experience. Public transportation is generally cheap and easy to figure out. It is a great way to get around to everywhere you need to go with no worries.

  • Jobs: Many college students need to get part-time jobs to have spending money. Attending a city college means that you are close to many shops, offices, and restaurants, which provide you with many job opportunities. You are more likely to find a job off-campus in a city, and will have more options of companies and jobs to apply to.

  • Internships: Graduating college with some experience under your belt will give you a huge advantage when applying for your first post-college job. Going to a city college means that you will be surrounded by companies that offer a wide range of internships, so you will be much more likely to find an internship that fits with your career path. (There is also a lot more competition for students between the larger companies in a big city, and this can work to your advantage.)

Some cons for attending a city college are:

  • Safety: Rural colleges are almost always in safer locations than city colleges. If you don’t know the city where your college is located very well, it is easy to end up in a bad neighborhood by walking a few blocks in the wrong direction. You will have to be more careful when travelling around to make sure you stay in safe areas of the city.

  • Lack of community: Since a city college is located near so many different entertainment venues, there tends to be less of a community feel on campus. With most everyone spending their free time away from campus, there is usually less activity going on at the campus. This can make getting to know other students more challenging.

  • Cost of living: If you are attending a city college, you will be living in or near a city. The cost of living in these urban areas can quite a bit higher than living in a rural area. If you plan on living off campus, expect your rent to be much higher for a much smaller space. Shops, bars, and restaurants also generally charge more in cities.

  • Crowds: There are very few spaces at a city college to spend time in peace and quiet and away from crowds. Be prepared to not have very much time away from the noises of city living. People will often walk across your campus to get from one side to the other so there will not likely be many spaces where you can spend time alone there.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to going to a city college. Everyone is different, so city colleges are the best option for some and rural colleges are a better option for others. Weigh your options carefully, and decide which features of college living are most important to you.

Photo Credit: On the leftKatie Haugland and on the right William Warby

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