In-State vs. Out-of-State: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The myOptions Team

For any student’s college search, an important question to consider is whether to study in-state or out-of-state. Are you focused on the thrilling adventure or the affordability of staying close to home? Here we will delve into both sides of the debate, laying out all the advantages and disadvantages for both. As your college spirit guide, it is our duty to keep it real and assist you in evaluating which types of schools are best for you!

In-State Pro

There is no doubt that the student loan crisis in our country is nothing short of terrifying. (Cue creepy jump scare and horror movie music). The good news is that the rate of in-state college tuition is significantly less than that of out-of-state. In addition, if you commute from home, you could save money on pricey housing, dining, and laundry fees. Not only are the schools more affordable, but in contrast to their out-of-state counterparts, it may be easier to be accepted and receive financial aid. Plus, you get to stay close to the people you love the most, eliminating any chance of feeling homesick. We call that a win-win.

In-State Con

Though you may be saving a lot more money, you may not have the same opportunities as out-of-state students. Especially if you are living in one of the smaller states, you may not have as many colleges to choose from. And without a whole lot of options, study abroad and research opportunities within your major may be harder to come by. Studying in-state also means you won’t be exposed to a different environment where you can cultivate unique experiences and meet new people. It is also imperative to note that private schools tend to have the same price for both in-state and out-of-state students. So, if you are looking to reap the financial benefits of in-state schools, you need to make sure you are choosing a public school.

Out-of-State Pro

If you decide to study out-of-state, you are likely to be more self-reliant. Living in an unfamiliar place and making new friends allows you to refine your adaptability and interpersonal skills. You will also have more colleges to choose from, making it easier to zero in on the best schools for your degree. By finding a school that specializes in your major, you will have opportunities for study abroad, research, and internships. You may also find that there are more career opportunities in places other than your hometown, especially since some industries are only located in certain parts of the country. Some schools reduce the cost of tuition for people coming from neighboring states, creating ways for people to study out-of-state without the astronomical price tag.

Out-of-State Con

Tuition is more expensive. You also have to recognize the cost including pricey tickets for travel during the holidays and breaks, as well as other living expenses such as housing, food, transportation, and textbooks. Out-of-state schools may also be more difficult to get into and offer little to no scholarships or financial aid. Though homesickness is normal for all college students, those who go out-of-state won’t be able to visit home as often, making the change and transition a bit more challenging.

Things to Keep in Mind

Here are some important questions to ask yourself as you decide which colleges to apply to:

-What can I or my family realistically afford? Are there scholarships or financial aid opportunities at XYZ University?

-What are my preferences on location? Do I mind the change in seasons? Or do I prefer a milder climate?

-Is it important for me to be close to my family? Take our personality discovery quiz, “How Often Do You Have to Go Home?” to find out!

-Do I want to study abroad? Does this school have chances to study abroad within my major?

-Am I interested in research or internship opportunities? Does this school’s career center have the resources I need for my major?

To remain in-state or venture out-of-state, both have their benefits and prove to be great choices for different people. Now it’s up to you to decide!

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