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5 Advantages of Going to College in the City

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

“Location, location, location.” This saying usually refers to the importance of location when it comes to property value, but location is an essential factor in choosing the right college too. 

The location of your school shapes your college experience because it determines the entertainment, recreation and opportunities available to you. It also influences the weather, culture and overall “vibe” surrounding you. 

With thousands of colleges spread across the United States, it’s helpful to narrow down your options. Start by deciding whether you’d prefer to attend college in a city, rural area or the suburbs. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of going to college in the city.

If these benefits sound exciting to you, apply to several big city colleges when you submit your college applications.

What Is a City College?

A big city college, or urban college, places you in the hustle and bustle of city life. Some urban colleges have buildings spread throughout the city, making the city feel like part of your college campus. Others are more contained. Either way, you’ll live and learn in close proximity to a major city.

Examples of city colleges include:

Advantages of Going to College in the City

Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of going to college in a big city.


1. Increased Access to Opportunities

Big cities typically mean big businesses. Going to school in a busy, thriving city gives you access to more internship and career opportunities. Not only will you have more opportunities, but you’ll likely have higher profile opportunities too. 

In a big city, there are more people to meet and network with, which can also help you make valuable connections and jumpstart your future career. Plus, large and growing cities are home to innovation, creativity and new ideas, which generates a certain energy and excitement for ambitious and motivated young people.

Of course, opportunities exist everywhere. However, the frequency and diversity of these opportunities are greater in urban areas. Attending a big city college allows you to apply the knowledge you’re gaining in class to the context of real life. 


2. More Entertainment

Life in the city naturally provides more entertainment than life in the suburbs or in a rural area. Depending on where you are, you’ll live closer to great restaurants, shopping centers, theme parks and a buzzing nightlife. 

Big cities are also prime locations for festivals and concerts. If you value entertainment and having lots to do, you’ll enjoy attending an urban college. Exercise caution, however; this benefit can also prove to be a distraction from academics if you overdo it. 


Where Do You Fit: City, Suburban or Rural Campus?


3. More Cultural Events

Similarly, urban areas feature more cultural events, programs and activities. These include museums, historic sites, national parks, sporting events and more. If you’re interested in history and the arts, big city life is for you. 

Big cities are also more likely to hold a wide variety of cultural festivals and events that celebrate the diversity of the people who live there.


4. Diversity

Diversity is another advantage of living in a big city and attending an urban college. The student body is more likely to be diverse, and so are the people who live nearby. 

Your classmates will come from all over the country and even the world. They’ll speak many languages, have varied backgrounds and embody the melting pot culture of our nation. This creates a rich, inclusive learning environment that introduces you to new perspectives and worldviews. 

If you’re used to interacting with people who look and think like you, this exposure is important as you prepare to venture into the wider world. And if you’re worried that the other students won’t be anything like you or that you won’t fit in, you’re more likely to find representation at a big school in a big city. You’ll meet people who remind you of home, as well as plenty of people who bring something new and different to your life. 


5. Adventure of Living in a Big City

Ultimately, living in a big city is an adventure, especially if you haven’t had the experience before. With the hustle and bustle and increased opportunities, entertainment, culture and diversity, there are always new people to meet and new things to do. Big cities are eventful, energetic and exciting.

 If you prefer the adventure of big city life over a more classic college experience, then you’ll love attending an urban college or university. 

Are There Any Drawbacks to Attending College in the City?

All locations have both benefits and drawbacks, and the right atmosphere for you depends on your priorities and preferences.

Many of the advantages of going to college in the city can also make the experience distracting. If you struggle to prioritize academics over fun, you might have a hard time focusing on your exams and assignments at an urban college. 

Additionally, some students might feel anxious around so many people. While some love the hustle and bustle, others find it overwhelming. Do you enjoy being around a lot of people at once, or do you prefer a small, familiar group? Would you prefer the buzz of a big city, or the peace and quiet of somewhere smaller? Will it bother you if you have limited access to nature and outdoor activities?

Finally, some urban colleges lack the close-knit campus culture of suburban or rural colleges. Campuses are typically more spread out, and with so much to do off-campus, many students are living and exploring elsewhere. If the traditional college atmosphere, school spirit and tight-knit community appeals to you, you may feel disconnected at a college in the city.

Final Thoughts: 5 Advantages of Going to College in the City

So, is going to college in the city right for you? You’re the only person who can accurately make the call. It’s all about your personal preferences and what environment will make you feel the most comfortable, happy and inspired.

If you aren’t sure, try visiting campuses in various locations. Check out a city campus, a rural campus and a suburban campus. Where do you feel most at home? Where can you see yourself thriving for the next four years?

There’s no right or wrong answer; choose whatever location feels right to you.

Author: Jason Patel

Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion, a college counseling and career services company that provides mentorship and consulting on college applications, college essays, resumes, cover letters, interviews, and finding jobs and internships. Jason’s work has been cited in The Washington Post, BBC, NBC News, Forbes, Fast Company, Bustle, Inc., Fox Business, and other great outlets. Transizion donates a portion of profits to underserved students and veterans in of college prep and career development assistance.