If your first-choice school happens to be in your home state, you’re lucky. Studying in an in-state college is so much more affordable than attending a college in another state. It can be tempting to stay.
But what happens if you’ve set your sights on a college in another state? The cost of tuition, room, and board can quickly add up making this option seemingly unaffordable for you. Fortunately there are a few things you can do to make your out of state tuition more affordable.
Look Into the Good Neighbor Policy
When looking for affordable out of state tuition, one option to look into is to see if the school has what is known as a “good neighbor policy,” in which students who live within a specific radius of the state’s border may qualify for in-state tuition rates. Though this may be more difficult to qualify for in larger states like Texas, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia, it can be done.
Fill Out Your FAFSA for Work-Study
One of the best ways to make your out of state college choice more affordable would be to, first and foremost, fill out the FAFSA. Every year, college students lose out of receiving aid simply because they don’t want to be bothered with filling out and filing their FAFSA paperwork. Though this is hardly a “one and done” prospect, if you don’t fill out a FAFSA, you’re missing out on all sorts of grant and scholarship opportunities.
Most schools require FAFSA applications for work-study programs. These work-study opportunities can be a great solution if you are looking for a way to lower the cost of your out of state education.
Actively Seek Out Scholarships
Many students who choose to apply and attend a school away from home may want to consider looking into specific scholarship opportunities from the school they wish to attend. If you are academically eligible and you apply early, you have a better chance of applying for and receiving a scholarship, which can seriously cut down the cost of your out of state tuition.
Work and Save Towards Your Out of State Tuition
When all else fails, you can still opt to work at a part-time job while enrolled in your out of state school. It can take a bit of juggling to handle your course work and a job but with some time-management and perseverance you can do it. Working while studying also gives you the opportunity to get valuable work experience that will make it so much easier for you to land a job after you graduate.
Just because your dream school is out of state doesn’t mean it’s out of reach. Speak to your high school advisor and explore ways that you can make out of state tuition more affordable.