Does my state or geographic location play a role in the admissions process?

December 14, 2012

Your location may improve, diminish or have little effect on your prospects for admission. It depends upon where you live and to which institutions you apply.  A number of public colleges and universities give preference to in-state students, so for example, if you are a resident of North Carolina and seeking admission at UNC Chapel Hill, you are likely to have better odds of earning admission than a student with similar credentials who lives in Florida. In contrast, a number of selective private institutions seek geographic diversity and may give a slight edge to someone living far away or in a less populated region of the country. For instance, Columbia may accept a student from Billings, Montana over a student residing in Newark, New Jersey, all else being equal. Finally, in other cases, your hometown may play little role in the admissions process.