If you want to get away from home for your college experience and experience the sweet taste of complete freedom, you might want to try one unorthodox move: ace the ACT.

Cue the crickets. And the head-scratching.

No, it doesn’t make sense, unless you know about a new study published by ACT (yes, the test people) that shows that students who did better on the infamous college entrance exam tended to attend colleges that were farther from home than those chosen by their lower-scoring peers.

For instance, for students who scored 33 or higher on the 36-point test, the median distance to their college of choice was 170 miles.

Students who scored between 24 and 36 on the test had a median distance of 113 miles to their college of choice.

Finally, those unhappy souls who scored 24 or lower on the ACT traveled a median distance of less than 50 miles to their college destination.


But what exactly does any of this mean? Perhaps students who score higher on the test simply feel free to broaden their search to other schools outside of their home community. An Arizona student, for instance, who gets an impressive 35 on the test suddenly feels emboldened to apply not just to his local university, but to far away schools in California, Texas, or even the East Coast.

Meanwhile, the student who scored a measly 24 might limit her college search to more local, “safe” choices.

Another theory is that students who earn higher scores also have the promise of more scholarships to cover their educational expenses. This might make it more realistic for them to move farther away for school and then financial protection of home. Students who don’t score high enough to get the big scholarships might feel the need to stay near home where parents can help to cover some or all of their living expenses.

A third theory is that students who prepare well enough for the ACT to earn a 33 or higher are also diligent enough to do an exhaustive study of their college options, not just within their local choices. In other words, they’re just more aware that there are other colleges away from home.

This class of far-traveling students is a rare breed indeed, according to a 2012 study by the University of California–Los Angeles. One impressive finding of the study was that only 14 percent of college freshmen elected to travel more than 500 miles away from home to go to college.

So what do you think? Why do high-scoring students end up traveling farther away for college? Tell us in the comments below!

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Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57595289/study-best-students-travel-farther-for-college/

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