For many students, college is the time to try new things, explore your interests, and immerse yourself in a different environment. In some cases, that means moving away for college – sometimes even to a new state. Going to college out of state can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone and learn new things, but before you load up the moving truck, make sure you consider these factors!
Out of State Tuition
If you’re attending a public school, out of state students typically have to pay higher tuition rates for out of state tuition. The cost difference between in state and out of state tuition can be shocking. According to the College Board, the average in state tuition at public four-year colleges costs $9,410, while the average out of state tuition at public four-year colleges costs $23,890. Of course, financial aid can be a big help in covering these costs, so it’s important to weigh your financial aid packages between schools carefully.
However, many states and regions in the US have agreements that allow students to attend college in another state without paying out of state tuition. Some of the programs out there include the Western Undergraduate Exchange, the Midwest Student Exchange, the Academic Common Market through the Southern Regional Education Board, and the New England Regional Student Program. If you’re thinking about going to college in a neighboring state, talk to the financial aid office at the school(s) you’re interested in to see if they offer any discounts on tuition.
Being Far From Home
Moving far away from home might sound great, but it’s important to consider a few things:
- Handling the transition from high school to college
Everyone handles change differently. While starting college is exciting, it’s also a period of a lot of big transitions. Think about how you might handle being in a new environment, being surrounded by new people, and adjusting to college classes. It can be a lot for anyone, and doing it away from home can be difficult! Consider a time you had to deal with a big change. How did you adjust? This gives you a clue on how easy or difficult going to college out of state may be for you.
- Being far from family and friends
Suddenly, hanging out with your family or friends you’ve known your whole life is a lot harder when you’re far from home. Phone calls and video chats make staying connected to people a lot easier, but it’s not always the same as being there in person. This isn’t to discourage you from going to an out of state school, but it is important to realize that you’ll probably get homesick from time to time.
- More money on travel to get home
If you want to make a trip home for the weekend or travel home for the holidays, it’ll cost more money to get there. Gas money or flights can add up, especially during busy travel seasons. Make sure you factor in how much it might cost to travel home over these times.
Opening up your college search to other states can also open doors for new opportunities. Maybe schools in your state don’t have the program you’re interested in studying, or maybe you fell in love with the community at another school. Whatever the reason, widening your school search beyond just your state can be very beneficial to helping you find what you’re looking for.
Different State, Different Culture
Depending on how far you’re moving for college, going to a new state can come with a little culture shock! Say you’re from New York, but you decide to go to college in Alabama. People do things very differently than what you’re probably used to. It might take some getting used to.
You’ll Grow Immensely
Going to college out of state comes with its fair share of challenges, but one thing is for sure – you’ll grow from all of it! Learning how to adjust to new circumstances, make new friends, and handle things while being away from family and friends will help you grow tremendously as a person.
These aren’t the only factors worth considering. Check out our article on what you shouldn’t forget to think about when it comes to choosing a college here.