There is no simple answer to the question of whether a hometown could affect a student's chances of admission, but the state of residency certainly does. There are some private colleges which allot a certain number of spaces to its own state; Brown does that for Rhode Island residents, and many state schools establish quotas that clearly favor their own. Conversely, there are colleges which favor geographic diversity. I can say with certainty that here in the Northeast, admission can be mighty tough because of the great numbers of qualified students. Sometimes they do better by applying at a distance. There are also particular schools which have a good reputation with admissions officers (e.g., a magnet school in an inner city) and that could be a competitive advantage. Yet that is the school, not really the hometown.