The pros and cons of attending college out-of-state


Photo credit: Lauren Kaled


Many students arrive at college with the intention of making new friendships and gaining independence for themselves. Attending college out-of-state can help students find this independence, experience a fresh culture and provide new career opportunities. There is no denying that out-of-state college can be frightening, as it can be difficult adjusting to a new environment without your family or old friends around you. But, branching out to new places when you can is an opportunity that is important to take advantage of. 

Broadening your options of schools allows you to consider different institutions and programs that may not be offered at a school in your state. A school in your home state may not have the right combination of size, surrounding area, majors, professors and other preferences specific to your liking. If you are not able to find what you are looking for near your home area it is best to branch out and widen your search for options. 

Along with more career opportunities being opened up, independence and facing a new environment are other factors that are a pro of attending college out-of-state. College out-of-state can change an individual and force them to develop more maturity because they are far away from home, which creates a sense of independence, and a new area can open the door to new cultural experiences for yourself. 

By considering colleges out of your own state, you can broaden your horizons. You are able to apply to colleges that are top in your intended major, explore different majors you may be considering or just find a school that offers differing aspects than a school in your state.


Many people dream of escaping their hometown to experience new places and people, but staying in-state can keep you connected to your previous emotional support system during the tough transition to college. 

The struggle with social anxiety and homesickness that college brings is not as easy to overcome when you are outside of your home state. However, staying local and going to a nearby college may be a better choice for those who want to stay near their support system during the difficult transition from high school to college.

Staying in-state is also a good financial choice for those who would like to graduate debt-free. For example the average out-of-state tuition of University of Michigan per year is $72,153 vs. the $33,555 price tag for in-state students. Staying in-state allows you to experience different parts of your state, and graduate with less debt. Out-of-state prices leave students who already have a tight budget to sink into debt over a four-year degree.  

Staying in-state can provide similar experiences to those living out-of-state with a reduced cost. You will meet new people, have new experiences and graduate with less debt than out of state students. So in the long run, you will be just as successful as everyone else, and be able to start your post-college life instead of working to pay off your student loans.