Choosing between staying in state for college or taking a leap and finding another state to call home during your college years is a big factor among many others to consider when choosing which colleges to apply to and ultimately attend. Some students jump at the opportunity to go far and live somewhere completely new, while others can’t fathom wanting to leave what’s close and familiar. Regardless of where you land in your thoughts about in-state and out-of-state schools, it’s good to look at the advantages for both.
- New Experiences: The most obvious advantage to going out of state for college is just that – you get to go somewhere new, experience a new culture, have a change of scenery, and possibly even a change of weather. This is one of the most common reasons students express wanting to go out of state. They want to escape the snow and cold, move somewhere that has more seasons, or live in a state they’ve always dreamed of living in. Of course these are valid reasons, but it shouldn’t be the only factor in choosing where to go to school.
- New People: In moving to an out-of-state school, there’s definitely a lower chance of running into all of your high school classmates around campus. For some, it’s an opportunity to be forced to put yourself out there and make new friends. Since your high school friends and family likely won’t be with you, it may give you that extra boost of encouragement to be intentional about making friends and finding people to create lifelong friendships with.
- New Families: In addition to finding new friends that feel like family, you may also have the opportunity to experience new traditions and family life with friends who do live in your college’s state. You may or may not be able to travel home for every holiday, as plane tickets can be expensive, but your new friend’s families may open their home willingly to you, helping you find a home away from home.
- Life Experience: Living further away from home will definitely help prepare you for adulthood. You’ll have to learn how to do more things on your own, such as getting around town, being comfortable with going to new places and meeting new people, or traveling on your own. You’ll also have to learn how to take care of yourself when you’re sick, instead of relying on mom and her famous chicken noodle soup. Now that may not seem like a pro, however, at some point it will be necessary and learning while you’re in college will help prepare you for when that time comes in adulthood.
- More Options: Considering out-of-state colleges does open up a lot more options for you to look at to truly find the best fit for you, especially if you come from a smaller state or a state with fewer colleges around.
- Financial Aid: Most students don’t think of out-of-state schools as the cheaper option for college because of the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, however, out-of-state schools can actually be comparable or even more affordable than in state schools sometimes. Private schools actually cost the same for in-state and out-of-state students, and though their sticker price can be higher than public schools, they often are able to award more scholarship awards. Some colleges even offer out-of-state tuition waivers for strong applicants to give students incentives to help bring more diversity to their student body.
With all of the benefits that out-of-state schools have to offer, you may be wondering why you wouldn’t make the leap, but again, it’s good to consider all of the options when looking for your future college. Stay tuned for part two to learn about the benefits of staying in-state!
Until Next Time,
Megan Bugarin, College Admissions Consultant