Featured Image

Geographic Diversity as a College Selection Strategy

Location. Location. Location. We often hear this buzzword associated with the real estate market and marketing concepts. However, location is often overlooked as a strategic tool when students consider colleges.

Location. Location. Location. We often hear this buzzword associated with the real estate market and marketing concepts in general. However, the concept of location is often overlooked as a strategic tool when students consider their college short list. Many students (and parents) often overlook this significance as they are not aware of the strategic angle, “Geographic Diversity.” When strategically applied, the concept of geographic diversity might lead to a better financial aid package.

What is “geographic diversity” and how does it benefit you? Geographic diversity, as a strategic tool, refers to selecting college campuses that (a) are physically within a significant distance from your current residence and (b) not necessarily far from your residence, but are situated in a less-than-ideal location. These two factors can impact your college dollars.

For example, the students I coach live in the Central Valley of California. Some of the towns these students reside in include Holt, Patterson, Tracy, Parlier, Tulare, Hughson, and Gustine. Never heard of them? My point exactly. These are agricultural communities, in non-metropolitan cities—unique little “country” towns that most persons would not recognize on a map. If these students apply to a metropolitan city campus, they offer the new community geographic diversity. In the mix of all things being considered, a college applicant that brings geographic diversity to the table is stacking the deck in his or her favor. The student from the little town should view their residence as an asset. Cha-ching!

Now, let’s talk about geographic diversity as it relates to college campuses situated in less-than-ideal locations. For example, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (UIUC) is a selective college campus. However, the campus is located far from any major cities. They may have more of a challenge recruiting top students to their campus if they are competing with, say, students applying to the University of Chicago. In this context, UIUC may offer a more competitive financial package to lure the student to their campus.

But students beware! Make sure that great financial package coming your way via the geographic diversity is worth it to you. For example, if Joaquin lives in San Francisco or Los Angeles and chooses the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the cultural shock may be a distraction. It is always a smart idea to visit the campus and city and make an informed decision before enrolling at a particular campus.

In summary, when selecting a college campus, don’t overlook the value of location. Consider at least two campuses that might value the unique geographic diversity you bring, and consider campuses that may work harder to recruit you because of their location. Both of these angles may impact your bottom line, the financial package offered, and your overall college experience.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Anthony Vidal

Anthony Vidal

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress has helped me in a series of different ways when it comes to finding scholarships and learning information about different universities. I actually found my dream university through CollegeXpress and am working on getting there.

Caitlin Eaton

Caitlin Eaton

$10,000 Scholarship Winner, 2021

I first discovered CollegeXpress during my sophomore year of high school while researching colleges that interested me. My SAT prep class the following year further familiarized me with the opportunities available through the organization. CX has personally helped me by exposing me to a diverse selection of schools as well as scholarships and life tips that have provided valuable guidance in my college search.

This scholarship will help me adjust to college life without worrying as much about tuition. This gives me more room to truly explore and benefit from all aspects of higher education. I plan to study Conservation Biology and work protecting species/ecosystems. I’m looking forward to getting field experience and seeing firsthand the problems research is solving.

Wendy Thompson

Wendy Thompson

Owner, Westport Educational Consulting

I just discovered your site and LOVE it—fun, interesting, full of incredible information you can’t find anywhere else, and a godsend for those of us in the college counseling business. I am a fan!

Makiyah Murray

Makiyah Murray

High School Class of 2021

The college application process has been a stressful one, but CollegeXpress has eased some of that stress with its readily available college resources. At the beginning of the process, I frequently used the college search feature, and now that I’m almost done applying, I’ve started using the scholarship search. Both of these resources have made it easier to find relevant information.

Joan Franklin

Joan Franklin

Counselor

I love this website and have been using it for years with my students. I originally bought products through Wintergreen Orchard House and appreciated having key facts at my fingertips when advising students. Your site is easy to access and offers a wide array of topics I need as a busy college counselor.

College Matches