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Branch or Main Campus?

My dad was relatively okay with the college he heard I was going to... until he realized I would be going to the branch that's only 15 minutes away from home, so I can commute, instead of receiving my education at the main campus of the school and staying in the dorms. I decided to go to the branch because we don't have a lot of money and I can get my whole degree there without the cost of the housing. But he's afraid that not only will I not get the same quality education, I will also not be considered for a job in a city like New York for a publishing company because it will look like a "knock-off" of sorts of the "real deal". Are these real risks?

#college #choosing-a-college #campus

Hi Madison, I noticed that you posted this in April so I am not sure if you still help. I was a commuter student myself, but it was to the main campus. I think there would be no risk in quality of education, but there could be in missing out on activities around campus. Find a club or an organization on the branch/campus you frequently visit, simply to get involved with your college. It's real easy to forget about all the opportunities that are offered on any branch of the campus when you commute and just want to travel back home to study. Remember to make time for those extra fun "college things" so you can feel like you are just as part of the school as if you were living on campus. Best of luck! Karina B.

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Laurianne’s Answer

Branch campuses are a great way to access education from a major university. You should not experience any difference in the quality of the teaching or access to any of the resources of the main campus. What you may gain is a greater sense of community due to potentially smaller classes and greater relationships with faculty and staff.

Internship opportunities are available to those who actively seek them out. You have just as much chance at obtaining a great internship as any other strong candidate. Again, you might have an advantage by having the ability to get to know your professors better and for them to be able to provide meaningful letters of recommendation.

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Janae’s Answer

Great question. Use the fact that you'll be commuting from home to your advantage by getting a low demand internship in your field. Truth is, people that have a degree don't get a job because they need experience. Those with experience need a degree to get a job. It's frustrating but it can be done. Make a plan for your life, do your research in your industry and find somewhere to get into your industry asap with a 15 - 20 hour per week internship. Also emphasize to your Dad that it's up to YOU to get what you need from your college, not what college you go to. Make a plan for your life and move towards that with strategy and consistency.

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Bonnie’s Answer

Madison -- I think it is really great that you are thinking about helping with expenses for your family by choosing to go to a branch campus. Most courses are of the same quality -- whether at a branch or main campus, as that is a requirement of the accrediting body. The key to look for is what institutional name will be on your diploma when you graduate. For example, there is a Penn State University campus in Erie, PA (where I am originally from) separate from the main campus in State College, PA. However, students who do all 4 years on the Erie Campus receive a diploma which is from Pennsylvania State University. No employer looking at that diploma would know they graduated from the branch campus rather than the main campus. I hope this helps.

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Ann E.’s Answer

I have worked in higher education for more than 20 years and I can assure you (or your father) that there is absolutely no difference in the education you will receive . All the professors at the "branch" campus will meet the same qualifications for teaching the course content as those at the "main" campus. Your degree will relect the name of this institution, not the individual campus it was earned from.

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Jeff’s Answer

No major problem with it as long as you find you are learning, growing and maturing with the experience. Get as much out of yiyr classes as you can abc you will certainly move on to great things afterwards!