Higher educational degree has long been associated with higher earnings, independence and social status. Going to a college of your preference usually involves moving to a new place.
Something which is often neglected while selecting a college or university is the location. It is worthwhile spending some time investigating about the location of the college or university of your choice.
The vicinity of the university
Spend a little time to research on the surroundings of the university (especially the parents). Make sure the environment around is student friendly. Places like Clubs and Bars on the college vicinity could be a red alert warning.
This might sound like a trivial matter before moving, but poor access to public transportation system can prove to be a major headache and drain on your time & money. Do a detailed research on the public transportation of the area. There are few cities in America that do not have a good public transportation system. Houston for example is one among the worst cities for commuters. If the city has good transit facilities then find out the means of transportation available, pre-paid bus-cards, routes to your university, bus timings and so on.
Access to markets
I know of colleges located in the middle of nowhere. You will be wasting a lot of valuable time if need to travel for hours to buy even the stuff that you need on day to day basis. Make sure that access to market or stores like Wal-Mart is within maximum 30 to 45 minutes drive from your college location.
Distance between the university and the place you want to stay
If you are planning to stay outside your college premises, closer you are from the university, the better for your productivity. You will have access to the library and other facilities of the university most of the time. Plus, unnecessary traveling time is reduced.
Access to the airport, bus and train station
For students from across states, it is much more convenient if the airports, train or bus stations are within reasonable distance.
Places to hang out
I believe what you learn outside the class is as much important in life as what you learn inside. Check out for decent hangout places like movie theatres, art museums or recreational centers etc.
Always check the crime rate of the city or state that you are planning to pursue your further studies. This should be the major responsibility for the parents.
It’s always useful to have a decent knowledge about the laws of the state that your university is located at. Check for legal student working hours, driving laws and others.
Research if the new place has wider options for part time jobs. It’s always fun-to-earn-while-you-learn. Plus, you will get used to the working environment.
Cost of living
You wouldn’t want to live in a place where you are required to work extra even to meet your basic expenses. Choose a place where you can earn enough with a part time job.
Moving to a new place for higher studies can be exciting but moving with a little research and planning can pay rich dividends.