A new measure of freedom is expected as we enter adulthood, but sometimes these possibilities and the pressure to choose wisely can overwhelm us. Choosing to attend an in-state or out-of-state college for the next four years is an especially difficult decision to make. Although this choice is ultimately a personal one, attending a college in state may be the most practical option.
It is no secret that attending an in-state college is the cheaper route, and for many, the college decision primarily comes down to finances. Most state residents qualify for lower in-state tuition rates and state education grants, favoring their own taxpayers’ kids but excluding out-of-state residents from the same treatment. According to the Washington Post, the average cost of a public university for students paying in-state tuition is $15,213 per year versus the out-of-state costs of at least $25,000 without financial aid. These costs coupled with the price of traveling between states may cause more than a little financial strain.
Some say the college experience is priceless and worth the extra costs to experience the full range of freedom an out-of-state college provides, but no matter where you go, living out of your parents’ house will already enable you to have that golden college experience, and staying in California has the added benefits of being close to home in case of emergencies and illnesses, including homesickness.
With graduation season imminent, seniors may soon find themselves either shipping off away from home or staying in state to attend college. While there are financial benefits to staying in the state, experiencing a new area that isn’t California may prove extremely powerful in shaping your character, as well as your future.
Leaving for college is already in and of itself a big journey. For the first time, you have to fend for yourself without your guardians to guide you. While staying in state provides some of the comforts of home, leaving California may help develop confidence in the ability to provide for yourself. There may not be a restaurant that sells boba at every corner, but by pushing your own limits, you can establish your own independence as you interact with new people, new cultures and a new environment and learn how to live on your own.
Furthermore, out-of-state schools can open up students to more programs and opportunities. Different colleges have different programs and consequently, the program that would best suit you and your future interests may not be in California. Establishing connections somewhere other than home may also lead to new career opportunities, as staying in one area limits the job market one is exposed to.
It is evident choosing an out-of-state college will prove immensely beneficial, even if it initially seems like a foreign and scary experience. After all, home is where you make it.