The Benefits of Attending College in Your Hometown


By Jacob Jewell, Courier & Press, March 1, 2016 –

After two semesters away from home while attending my first year of college, I decided to move back to Evansville to take a shot at being a commuter student. Now that I am attending one of Evansville’s local universities, I am thoroughly convinced this is the way to go.

This is partially because college is pretty competitive and a home court advantage adds real value to any competitive endeavor. According to statisticians from the University of Pennsylvania, any given NBA team is roughly one and a halftimes more likely to win a home game relative to the away team.

With all of college’s tests, assignments, and job interviews, I’d much rather play with this well-documented force on my side and succeed with the help of a lifetime’s worth of rapport, connections, and the comfortable familiarity that comes with staying close to home. These advantages are worth leveraging.

Another big benefit of attending college in Evansville is the Tri-State’s relative abundance of internship opportunities for fledging professionals. The typical college town cannot compete with our numerous and noteworthy hospitals, factories and other sizable businesses. There’s an opportunity here for just about every major.

Upon transferring to school in Evansville, I immediately started scheduling numerous interviews with local firms, which came as a complete surprise to me based on my observations while away from Evansville last year.

Local companies constantly demand interns for fall, spring and summer positions. By my estimate, this gives the Tri-State’s local students about three times the number of internship opportunities that I was exposed to while away last year. This is because the small college town I used to live in had to export its students to more industrious cities for summer positions.

Internships during the academic year are extremely rare in most college towns despite their prevalence in the Tri-State. Should a student at my old school pursue an internship during the academic year, this student’s position was largely peripheral and involved monotonously-long weekend commutes.

Moreover, rebasing my education offered me more national opportunities than I had at a well-known, nationally-recognized school, much to my surprise. By moving to a smaller academic institution, my internship applications had a higher probability of floating to the top when the giants of the accounting world asked for applicants, leading me to interview with two of the big four public accounting firms. Based on my graduation date and the comparative flood of applicants at my former institution, this most definitely would not have happened to me at my old school.

For many parents, a strong motivation to send their children off to college is a sense that numerous and quintessential experiences must be given up if the student studies from home. I personally disagree with this.

According to the College Board, the average cost of room and board at a public university was $9,804 last academic year. Being a commuter student alleviates these expenses. This opens up a floodgate of opportunities for around $9,804 worth of college experiences, which sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

To top it all off, you should drive through one of our local campuses sometime. To my untrained eye, it doesn’t look like the students are missing a thing.


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