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For many, going to college offers the opportunity forself-discovery and growth. While some would argue that going toschool far from home is the best way to become more independent andself-reliant during college, attending school closer to home hasadvantages, too.

Not every Midwestern kid will find what he’s looking for incolleges in NewYork or Los Angeles, just as Long Island colleges could offersomeone who was born and raised in Queens the perfect collegeexperience. Here are five reasons why choosing a college close tohome might make a lot of sense:

1. Cost savings. The truth is, not everyone can afford to strikeout on his own and pay for rent while attending school in a newcity. If the cost of living someplace else will have you worryingabout how to make ends meet, it may distract you from your studies.If your folks or other family members are willing to provide aplace to live while you complete your education, you could save alot of money that will come in handy once you are on your own forgood.

2. Familiarity in networking. Since you will already have somebuilt-in connections and some knowledge of businesses in yourcommunity, you could have a leg up on others when looking for aninternship, and eventually, a job.

3. Working while in school. If you already have a job and itgives you the flexibility to attend school while working, it maypay to stay near home to take advantage of it. Some schools, suchas the Briarcliffe Collegelocations in Long Island, offer flexible scheduling to allowstudents to continue working while they are enrolled in school.

4. In-state tuition. Most state institutions offer lower tuitionrates for residents. Your state may also have reciprocityagreements that allow you to attend school in a neighboring statefor the same tuition.

5. Proximity to family. College allows you to get out on yourown, but if you’re the type of person who wants to see his familymore often than a couple times a year, staying close enough todrive home on a weekend might be the best option.

If you decide to stay close to home, try to get involved withgroups and activities on campus so you’ll still have theopportunity to develop relationships with others at your school.That way, you can still gain the same valuable experience as youwould from attending school farther away from home, where you areforced to explore and meet new people.

Information in this article was provided by Briarcliffe College.Contact Briarcliffe today if you’re interested in developingmarketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with anindustry-current degree program. (Briarcliffe cannot guaranteeemployment or salary.)