Pros and Cons of Going Out-of-State for College

While you’re putting your list together of potential colleges, you may want to consider adding a few out-of-state colleges and universities. There are pros and cons that come with going out of state for college, so it’s important to weigh all your options before making a decision when you receive those acceptance letters. Here are some that you should be thinking about.

Student picking a college on a map

Pro: You’ll Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

One of the biggest benefits of going out-of-state  for school is the experience you’ll gain from it. This is especially the case if you’ve lived in the same home or same state your entire life. You’ll get new perspectives and perhaps even a new culture if you go far enough. It’s quite possible you’ll meet quite a lot of people that are different from you, which can be valuable lessons when it comes to empathy, diversity, and life in the United States in general.

Attending out-of-state will also give you independence from your family. You will be able to experience life on your own while still being able to head home for holidays and breaks.

Con: You May Feel Isolated

For some, being far away from their family and friends isn’t always a good thing and even if you want that extra independence, you may still end up feeling isolated and alone. It takes time to make friends, even in college, so those first few weeks can be rough for freshman who are attending college far from home. If you go to a state far away from your home state, it may be extremely difficult and expensive to see your family on a regular basis.

If you want a new experience but don’t want to go too far away from your family, you should consider going just a state away rather than across the country.

Pro: You Won’t Be Limited on Choices

By considering colleges out of your own state, you can broaden your horizons as to what’s out there education-wise. You can apply to colleges that are top in your intended major, explore niche majors you are considering, or just find a school that offers things schools in your state don’t.

There are countless colleges and universities out there and if you’re not finding a school that fits your wants and needs in-state, out-of-state may be your best option.

Con: Tuition Will Most Likely Be Higher

One of the biggest benefits of attending a college in your state is the lower tuition costs. Once you head out-of-state, tuition costs will almost always be higher for you. This could be a tie breaker for students considering an in-state and out-of-state school.

You may want to explore the financial aid packages the out-of-state school offers, which could include need-based aid, scholarships, and grants. Some colleges also offer regional discounts. If you’re looking at colleges in New Jersey, but live in New York for example, there may be some schools that will grant you the in-state price or at least a discount. Every state and school is different, however, so it’s essential to do your research. Large region programs include

  • New England
  • Midwestern Region
  • Southern Region
  • Western Region

Are You Going Out of State for College?

Going out-of-state for your college can be an amazing experience, but it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and your wants and needs, including how far you want to go from home. And remember: If you find you’ve gone to a college too far from home during your freshman year, you can always apply to colleges closer to home.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US–for FREE!