It often boils down to location, location, location. Taylor County High School seniors are graduating soon. All four have chosen Florida to attend colleges and universities.
Joey Jarvis, who will attend FSU, says, "I wanted to stay pretty close to familiar territory."
Matthew York adds, "It's a lot easier to stay at home."
Keith Stewart, going to Jacksonville University, says, "It's closer to home, and plus I know the land area."
Statistics show only about one quarter of students attend schools outside their home state.
Joe Andrews, Director of Guidance at Taylor County High, says, "In a rural community, most of our students at Taylor County High know each other from kindergarten on. There's a camaraderie, there's an association there, and to break that is difficult."
Lauren Everett, who plans to go to TCC, says, "I'm going to TCC for at least a year. I want to go there for a year and finish my AA because it's close to home. I want to see how college works out, what it's like, and I think my first year I need to be close to home to do that."
Being near friends and family isn't the only benefit to staying local. The average cost of out of state tuition and fees for four-year public universities is more than $12,000.
Joey says, "My parents wanted me to stay close to home, and out of state tuition is way too much to try to do."
So for these students, staying close to home was a no brainer.
Fifty five percent of Taylor County's seniors are going to college, 40 percent to a community college, and a significant number of students have chosen vocational centers and the military.