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One of the many questions you’ll be asked by friends and family during your college application process is whether you want an urban school or a rural school. And this questions is extremely important to consider. I mean think about it. If you’re in a city, you live a much more  individualistic lifestyle, you have the world at your fingertips. Anywhere you want to go, you can get there in 15 minutes max. And those who enjoy a rural campus, the environment is more centralized around the campus and the students. You’re tucked away in a campus and while you don’t have as many places to go, you’ve got your friends, the dining halls and your comfy and cozy dorm. Could the lifestyles sound any more different? Nope. And if you’re having a difficult time deciding which lifestyle better fits you, heres a list of the pros and cons of living in both an urban and rural campus.

Urban School

New York City

(photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc)


1. Endless amount of things to do…You’ll never be bored.

When you’re in a city that never sleeps, you have no excuse to feel bored ever. Walk out of your building and you will find dozens of restaurants, movie theaters, shops, museums within a 10 block radius. You can go anywhere and do anything you want. The subways can take you anywhere as well!

2. Internship and job opportunities are right outside your door.

What’s great about going to school in a city is that you can get an education and have an internship simultaneously. Not only that, your options for work are nearly endless. Whether you’re searching for your dream internship or a part time job in retail, you can find it all in the city.

3. City schools offer a more diverse student body.

When you’re attending college in a city, typically the students are more diverse. With this is an excellent opportunity to meet people that grew up in different places around the world. While they may not act like your friends from high school, their story is probably very interesting and can offer really interesting stories about their life. You’ll probably find that they’re not much different from you at all.

4. The city offers excellent nightlife.

On the weekends especially, the city never sleeps. So after a long week of classes, you and your friends have the about 10,000 options between restraunts, bars, clubs and shows that are offered that weekend. And what’s more? These places are open all night, most bars are open until 4am on the weekends.

5. Urban areas tend to offer more social and cultural opportunities.

There’s no shortage of museums, theaters, music venues, comedy clubs, parks, assorted bars and restaurants, street festivals, etc.


1. Tons of people…everywhere, all the time.

What can get a little annoying when living in a city are the large amounts of people everywhere you go. Whether you’re just walking on the street, you’ll be slowed down by a slow walker, or you’re on the subway during rush hour you’ll slowly start to realize what claustrophobia really feels like, the amount of people in cities can feel overwhelming sometimes.

2. There are higher crime rates in cities.

The news makes it look a lot worse, people are not getting shot on every corner, but typically there is more crime in cities as they are more populated than rural areas.

3. You aren’t going to have a campus with beautiful lawns and trees.

The buildings will most likely be on different street corners and you may have a bit of walk to get to your classes during the day. But since you’re in a city, you won’t have the typical college campus with brick buildings and perfectly green grass.

4.Cities (and everything in them) tend to be more expensive.

As a student in NYC, I would say this is the most inconvenient con on the list. With so many places to shop and eat and see, you start to realize that your money is getting eaten up much quicker than you would like. Make sure you have a plan to either make money while you’re here or learn some cheap ways to survive in the city without going out to eat every night.

Rural School

College Campus


1. The huge sense of school spirit.

Since all students are living on campus (or in apartments right outside campus), there is a greater sense of school pride when it comes to sports and events on campus. You may live next door to a kid on the bastketball team, and you and your friends after eating at the dining hall walk right over to watch the game. You become friendly with kids on campus much easier since you’re all on campus together 24/7

2. A maturing experience.

Lets face it, most 18-year-olds aren’t ready to go to school in a city. Being in a safe rural area without parents could be the perfect way for students to grow and mature. Jumping from living at home with your family to going to school in a big city could be overwhelming and unenjoyable for some.

3. Closer relationships with professors.

Professors that teach at more rural schools typically live around the area where campus is, so they are more flexible and open to meeting with students after classes.

4. It’s more safe and secure.

Since rural campuses are typically in small college towns, the crime rate is very low.

5. A more tight-knit experience.

Rural campuses are much more communal, you start to view your fellow students as family when you’re on a college campus. Whether you’re at a sports game, or meeting people at a party, you can’t help but like everyone you meet. You all picked the same school and all live together in the same area, students really enjoy the “tight knit” element of these campuses.


1. Limited choices for work experience (unless you leave campus for a semester and go to a city).

Being in a small town, your options for work are limited.

2. With very few destinations near campus, boredom may ensue.

After going to the local mall and the few restraunts near the center of town, you may feel as if you’ve done everything and you’re not sure what else there is to do. It may all start to feel repetitive.

3. You may feel isolated from society.

When you’re tucked away in a small town, you may forget that there is a real world out there. Be sure to keep up with the New York Times or a major newspaper so you don’t feel totally alienated (even if that’s what you want).

4. A car will most likely be needed.

Gas can get pretty pricey, so be sure to ask how students can get around on campus.

5. Seeing the same faces everyday.

To some, this may be exactly what they want! But to others, spending every day with the same people may make you get more annoyed with them more easily. Be sure to have friends in classes, in your dorm and in your clubs that you want to join. You want to make sure you have a good balance of people in your life.

Ultimately, the best thing for you to do is explore your options. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so as long as you take into consideration what’s best for you and what will help you get the most out of your college experience, you’ll have an incredible experience in either location.

Do you go to a city school or a rural school?

Featured photo and uncredited photos via Thinkstock