Big City vs. Small Town Colleges

Weighing the location, what’s right for you?

Lighthouse College Planning Big City vs. Small Town Colleges
When you picture yourself at college, are you walking to class among the crowded streets and tall buildings of a big city or walking through the quieter streets of a small-town? During your search for the perfect college, you might be weighing the pros and cons of urban vs. rural, but what’s right for you? In this blog, I will discuss some benefits and drawbacks to college locations. When it comes down to it, each student’s personal preference and their idea of their own college experience play a vital role in weighing the location.

First, let’s start with the pros of attending a college in a big city:

Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity

Students who are going to school in a big city may have access to more opportunities during their college experience and thereafter, including internships, networking with large companies and job shadowing.

Things to do

With big cities come lots of things to do: museums and parks to name a few.

Access to Transportation

Attending school in a big city often provides easy access to public transportation to not only get around campus in all types of weather, but to travel to and from.

Big cities also come with drawbacks:

Lack of Community “Feel”

Students may live scattered around the city in apartments and may spend a lot of their time off campus.


Cost of living and attending activities/attractions in a bigger city will likely cost a lot more than attending college in a small town.


When you picture yourself in college what do you see? Attending football games? Throwing a frisbee in the quad on a nice day? Big city campuses may not have the traditional feel or activities of a small town college.

Is a small-town college campus for you? Let’s discuss some pros:

Community Feel

Smaller towns tend to offer student’s a more connected feeling, living close to other students and can offer the traditional college experience of attending sporting games and reading in the quad.


In comparison to a big city, the cost of living and activities are often more economical in a small-town.

And now for some of the downside:

Fewer Social Opportunities

A college in a small-town might have a lot to get involved in on campus, but fewer things to do off campus, for instance, shopping, food choices, museums and theaters.

Fewer Career Opportunities

Students may have a more difficult time, especially with certain majors, finding internships and resources to further their career goals.
The best way to narrow down what’s right for you is to visit as many colleges, big and small, urban and rural, as possible to find the perfect fit!