you guys make mammoth seem like its so far from socal.
Really, 4 hours isn't that bad especially when you are coming from Ohio. Trust me, the skiing in CA is going to be 100x better than what you have in Ohio or in Michigan/Vermont/other places that are drivable.
In the OC you have access to Snow Summit/Bear, Mt High, Mt Baldy, Mammoth, June, and if you want to party hard and maybe ski... Tahoe.
That, and if you live here a year, tuition is cheaper than Ohio. Even UCLA is like $9000 in state. A CSU is only like $3000 a year. It was cheaper for me to pay out of state 2 years and instate 2 years than stay in state in Minnesota.
Check out some websites. Look at the community on the mt high forum. Realize that you could go surfing, go to class, then go skiing all in the same day.
Or stay in Ohio.