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Finding the College Campus Setting That’s Right for You

a student sits on a hammock on the beach reading on her phone

Colleges and university campuses take every form you could imagine, from compact city buildings to spread-out rural campuses. Living in an entirely new environment is thrilling, but finding the campus setting and location best suited for you takes time. Here are some tips for finding the right campus setting with a few popular school ideas mixed in for you. 

Do You Want to Stay Close to Home?

Some high school graduates want nothing more than to leave their hometown and live the next several years in a different location. Others prefer the convenience of staying close to home. Which are you? Weigh your options carefully before deciding on your ideal campus setting. Since you'll likely visit home at least once a year for the holidays, remember that travel costs add up.

Do You Want a Campus Setting Near the Coast?

There's nothing quite like feeling the warm sand on your toes as you gaze at the bright blue ocean. For a good reason, beaches are one of the most popular spots for students to hang out. Whether it's near an ocean, river, or lake, close proximity to water is something many prospective students look for. Some students even find being landlocked can make them feel uneasy.

So consider touring campuses like the University of California Santa Barbara or the College of Charleston if being near a major body of water makes for your ideal campus setting.

Do You Want a Campus Setting in the Mountains?

While some students love being by the water, others need to smell fresh pine and open mountain air to be happy. If that's the case, maybe a school like Boise State University or the University of Colorado Colorado Springs would be your perfect college match based on the campus setting. You can ski and snowboard in the winter and hike, camp, and fly fish in the summer. 

Do You Want a Campus Setting in a Big City?

There's something to be said about excellent public transportation, great food, plentiful internship opportunities, and diverse entertainment options. Those are just a few reasons why some students love a campus setting in a big city. Plus, it's a lot easier with a major metropolitan airport right there if you want to fly anywhere. The University of Chicago or Loyola University in Chicago are great schools if you like bigger cities, as are the University of Arizona in Tucson and SUNY Buffalo State College in Buffalo. 

What Sort of Weather Would Enhance Your College Experience? 

The climate of your school is a hugely important influence on your experience. Frigid winters can be a deal-breaker for some students. For others, winter sports and living for getting out and snowboarding or skiing is all there is. High temperatures can also be harsh for some students to take. But others can't wait to spend a weekend at the lake (we're thinking of you, ASU Colleges at Lake Havasu City).

Take your preferences into account, but also consider the cost of moving to an entirely new climate. Winters can require new warm clothing and snow tires for your car. Arid environments require thinner layers, lighter shoes, and breathable fabrics. Either way, you need to feel comfortable wherever you are. 

Campus Settings and Your Perfect Match

Now that we walked you through some of the essential considerations for the perfect campus setting, you'll want to work on your college list. Start by looking at photos online, taking virtual campus tours, and then consider in-person tours. Be sure to ask the right questions when talking to each of the schools, and take advantage of any fly-in and diversity programs to offset the cost of in-person visits if you're eligible for them. 

Of course, in this article, we just mentioned a few of the many outstanding colleges and universities in the country. To get a curated list of perfect-match schools based on what's most important to you —from budget to majors to style, click the link below and create a free Cappex account. 

Take our quiz and find your perfect college match!

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