2 answers

What should I know before going to out of state college

Asked Middleburg, Florida

I'm asking this because im thinking of going to an out of state college when i graduate. #california

2 answers

Andrew’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

Expect to pay out-of-state tuition if you plan to attend a school out of your home state. However, many schools in your geographic region provide tuition discounts for a wealth of academic programs. Based on your location above, the states that may offer a tuition discount include: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Please note, these discounts are typically, if not 100%, applicable to tuition only, which means that room and board, textbooks, and misc. items are not included. Good luck to you in your search!

Kellee’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

What a brave decision to consider! Oh the places you can go, the people you will meet, and the exposure you will have to the "new" and "different". It can be a great experience when you're aware of the challenges you may face. Differentiating factors in deciding to go out of state tend to be school cost and the environment. Here are some steps to help you prepare:

Kellee recommends the following next steps:

  • Understand the cost of attending. As the "out-of-stater", you may be paying higher tuition than your "in-state" counterparts. Especially if you go to a state school. Tuition is usually the same at private schools for in-state and out-of-state students. Check with the financial aid office and/or the school website for the break-down of tuition and fees for the out-of-state student. In some states, your status can change to "in-state" based on certain criteria. Check out the rules so maybe beginning your 2nd year or so, you could be paying the lower in-state tuition. Also, consider the job market, both on and off-campus if you find yourself needing to work to cover any costs, including the cost of fun. I stayed in-state because the out-of-state private school I got into, and really wanted to go to, did not offer enough financial aid. Better grades and a better score on the SAT could have gotten me a bigger scholarship. My in-state school offered me a scholarship based on my much better ACT scores, which the private school did not accept at the time. Food for thought. :-)
  • Factor in "home sick" costs. Yep, you may sometimes need a dose of time with family and friends you leave behind. Depending on how far away you are, the cost to visit home, including during breaks and holidays can add up quickly. Budget for these possibilities: Gas, tolls, and car maintenance if you drive back and forth. Plane tickets and fees (including for checked luggage these days) if you fly. Some costs you can share if someone comes with you, some costs you can't. Know the difference.
  • Check out the environment. If you're able, visit the school more than once before you commit. If you know your deal-breakers, you can test the rest when you begin classes there. Small city, big city or college town? What is the cost of living? (if you go from FL to let's say, NY, you'll have major sticker shock at the cost of apartments, food, and just about everything! :-))Warm weather or snow? On campus or off campus housing? Are there specific rules for freshman only? Do you feel safe, both on and off-campus? What is the schools' emergency response plan, especially for someone who is far from home? Diverse or homogenous student body? Do people seem friendly when you visited? Are activities conveniently available on or off-campus that nourish your passions (faith-based, sports-based, community service, etc.)?
  • Know thyself before you take the leap. If you were homesick everyday during a week at camp in junior high, you may need to take baby steps before you go too far. Consider starting school in the next county versus the next state, then transfer to a school further away from home when you're ready. College can be stressful enough, so know what you can handle both in and outside of your comfort zone. Get ready, get set, GO!