The College Debate: In $tate or Out of $tate?

Today’s high school seniors, engaged in the college quest, face many more challenges than students even ten or fifteen years ago. The recessed economy, lack of job opportunities, and rising tuition costs all pose serious obstacles for students. Yet public colleges, in search of more tuition dollars, are heavily recruiting out-of-state students. And more and more kids each year elect to travel beyond their home state in search of a quality education. But do the benefits of going away to school outweigh the costs?

Costs of going out-of-state:

The most obvious downside to out-of-state education is the added financial responsibility. State universities provide substantially lower tuition for in-state students. Students who travel across the country to school may find themselves paying almost twice as much as their in-state classmates. Private colleges and universities, however, generally charge the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Additional financial (and emotional) stress is added because of travel. Students who attend college far away from their homes must consider transportation costs. They probably will not get to visit home as often as their classmates who live closer, and the beginning and end of the year will be chaotic as they decide whether to store their possessions somewhere on campus or take them home for the summer.

Finally, attending college out-of-state can be a culture shock-inducing experiment. Different weather, food, and local customs can make you feel like you chose to go to college on a different planet rather than just a different state.

Benefits of going out-of-state:

A student willing to look across the country for prospective colleges obviously has many more options than one determined to attend school in his or her home state. There are liberal arts colleges, state universities, and career-focused technical schools in every region of the U.S., but if you know what you want to study or specialize in, choosing a college that is known for that particular program can go a long way towards getting you a job after you graduate.

Many students decide to go out of state in order to attend an elite college or university. This is one of the best reasons to go out-of-state. If you will get a better education at that far-away school, go for it! You may regret passing up the opportunity later on.

Finally, going to school out-of-state gives you a broader perspective of the world. You will become familiar with a new area of the country, meet people that you would never have met otherwise, and broaden your opportunities for employment and living situations.

What to do?

Ultimately, every student must make the decision about what is best for his or her situation. Talking to family, weighing options, then deciding what feels right. Whether the decision is to go to college 3,000 miles away or just down the street, students will walk away a few years later with a degree, a sense of empowerment, and the tools to be a successful and independent adult.

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Citizen G-Karl
Karl Heinemann5 years ago

If these state university campuses/systems are so eager to recruit out-of-state students to increase the size of their client base, I think they should consider offering those students ~the same tuition rate~ and other cost breaks that students with "in-state" residential addresses enjoy. This step might be perceived as a genuine "mitzvah", given the current state of "financial health", and the questionable availability of "good-job" opportunities even for freshly minted graduate of higher education programs. In other words, I'm probably questioning the the role of the "business greed factor", behind these initiatives. And yes, universities are in part "big businesses", even the publicly funded ones.

Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago This Documentary is VERY informative though I had to stop often & take many notes. Suffice to say: ALL States, towns, cities are run by corporations. It's THEIR JOB to tell ppl how BROKE they are so they can justify raising taxes without a public outcry. If you want to see the surplus's of Any State: Google:" Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports' then your state. This shows the profits, assets, holdings, pension funds your state brings in] People need to educate themselves when these politicians start slashing school budget funds, care for the elderly, school lunches ect~ There is a HUGE SURPLUS. There is a HUGE push to rely on casinos & lotteries, rather than generate income. This is how they fool people & this is HOW they get away with it~

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence6 years ago

Many times it IS cheaper to go out-fo-state! If you live in a smaller state or university town nine times out of ten the fees are more than if you do go out fo state ...

J C Bro
J C Brou6 years ago

How things have gone down!

Portland Neola
P. L. Neola6 years ago

I got the education I could afford. I got an AA from a junior college and a BA from a state university. Some people might look down their noses at me, but I enjoyed earning my degrees, and I am proud of them. I feel very grateful and happy to have an education.

A percentage of the 99% students or graduates are in greater than usual debt, because they did not make some sound decisions. Some went to prestigious private colleges, some just had to attend out-of-state schools, and some took out higher loan amounts than they really needed for each semester or year.

This is on the up-and-up!!! I ran into an athlete on full scholarship who was taking out loans for $20,000 each year, and he did not even need the money! He and his buddies were partying on it. Of course, he has been paying it all back the last eleven years!!!

Terri Lynn Merritts
Terri M6 years ago

In Europe where education and health care are provided, the citizens are better educated and healthier. We need that here instead of catering to the rich and war-mongering. I think it is great for students to shake things up some, go out of state if they live in some conservative area where they are not exposed to ideas and other ways of doing things, and to become more independent. That said, as I am from San Francisco, with UC-Berkeley and UCLA and Stanford University instate, why on earth would I go out of state when the best is already here? You can always move to a state and set up your driver's license, voter card, etc so to receive instate tuition.

Linda T.
Linda T6 years ago

Our educations system is broken. College should be free. After all just like k-12 we the tax payer funds it. College should not be a business but an extention of educational services for all.

Noel S.
Noel S.6 years ago

Some States are richer than others - some are more populated.

Is the student wishing to work inthe State that PAID ?

If not & they are seriously thinking of heading for NewYork /Washington /LA........I'd suggest a question as to why Wyoming ( just for example ) should pay for someone who doesn't intend to work there.

It's simply not an investment for the people of Wyoming to pay for a skilled person who's going to work hundreds of miles away. Why should they ? It's a 'brain-drain' .

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago


LAV M6 years ago

Thank goodness there are countries with excellent universities that are virtually free!