The 'worth' of any college experience is very much up to you! A little cliche, I know, but the worth you get out of higher education is very dependent on the particular experience you're looking for. With a little research, you may be able to find an in-state school that checks the right boxes for you in terms of programs, campus life, city and cultural surroundings, and so on. But going out of state to a potentially new environment can be a broadening experience as well.
A few things can help you make some decisions: if you're able to, try to schedule campus visits to some schools that interest you, both in-state and out-of-state (if traveling is an option). You can also speak to your guidance counselor or advisor and see if there are any alumni from your high school that are attending a school of interest and if they'd be willing to give you some feedback on the overall experience and it's value. There are also many organizations that provide scholarship and grant opportunities that could help lessen the cost or cover it all together, so keep that in mind. I've included a link I used when applying to schools as a starting point for financial and institution advice and resources.
Overall, look for what feels right to you. If you can find a program in your home state that provides what you're looking for, that's great! If there's a school out-of-state that seems to be more in line with your college goals, then consider those cost benefits as well! Hope this helps and good luck!
Financial Aid and College Resources
This professional recommends the following next steps:
- Schedule campus visits or phone appointments with college advisors
- Speak to alumni and current students at schools of interest
- Research scholarship and grant opportunities
- Make a list of goals and desires for what you want your overall college experience to be and find schools that meet those criteria