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Articles on Living in Small Town America

Introduction to Small Town Guide

Why Move To A Small Town?

Financial Advantages

Quality Of Life Advantages

Choosing a Small Town

Making the First Impression on the Family

Shopping For a Home

Looking At Schools

Looking At Amenities

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The Art of Commuting

Finding a Mover

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First Days in Town

Expanding Out

Leveraging the Town Advantages

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In small town U.S.A., just like the big city, you normally have two school options -- private school or public school.  But if you have school age kids, this is a huge part of your selection process for a small town.

All towns in the U.S. have a public school system.  And many small towns have one or more private school options.  Unfortunately, some of these are only available to grade eight.   

In Frank’s opinion, the easiest adjustment from the big city to the small town regarding school is the private school option.  The class sizes are smaller and the parents are often more involved.  It also makes play dates initially more satisfactory, since you do not have to worry as much about the supervision.

Often, the private school is church-based, such as a Catholic private school.  Normally, kids of all denominations are freely admitted, regardless of the denomination.  Another plus on the small town private school is that unlike the big city, they don’t have ten applications for every spot, so they really want your business.  Additionally, the price is often 75% less than the similar private school in the big city.

Be sure to tour each school, and visualize if your child would be happy there.  If the school option doesn’t look good, then you may need to examine another town.  It’s unlikely the school system will change much if you are unhappy with it.


If the school year is on, you may also want to go to some sporting events.  This will give you a good chance to see the parents and how the other family units function. 

You can also compare test scores between schools, to get an idea of how they rank versus your child’s current school.  Frank was amazed at how high the rankings were in his small town.  The scores were actually better than at the expensive private school his daughter attended in the big city. 

Another consideration you should make in choosing a small town, particularly in choosing a state, is what college choices there are.  Some states have many college options offering huge in-state discounts that are enormously attractive.  Other states have very few colleges and the tuitions are not attractive.  It’s a huge plan to have a great college in-state that costs under $10,000 per year for tuition, room and board -- and they do exist!


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