Six Things To Consider When Choosing An Out-Of-State College

Out-of-state colleges provide a great way to expand your horizons. But if you’re planning to attend school out of your home state, there are several things to consider. Read through the following points to help you make an informed decision about attending college out-of-state.

Financial Demand

While some students have well-off parents to help them pay the bills during school, others aren’t as fortunate. Although many students qualify for helpful funding and scholarships, these sources shouldn’t make up your sole resources for paying for college.

The school you choose to attend should fit your budget, or at least meet the financial level you intend to attain once you’re there. Keep in mind that out-of-state schools have more costs than just tuition and books. Here are some common costs for non-resident students:

  • The average out of state tuition costs $15,000 more per year
  • A possible higher cost of living, depending on location
  • Definite relocation costs

Financial Aid Opportunities

With these difficulties in mind, plan and assess your finances before setting your heart on a school in another state. If you dedicate yourself to applying for scholarships and other financial aid, an out-of-state college experience isn’t beyond your reach.

Obtaining Residency

Many states offer temporary or eventual residency to students who have a local job, have signed a lease, or have lived in the new state for about two years. In order to maintain your new residency, you need to find a way to continue living in your new state, even when you aren’t taking classes.

Housing Supply and Demand

Student housing often varies in price based upon the time of year; if many students are looking for housing, the prices generally rise. If you seek housing during the less-busy summer months, the good news is that you’ll likely find something convenient and affordable.

Employment Opportunities

After you obtain housing, your first task involves long-term employment. Student jobs abound during the regular semesters, but it’s more difficult to find a position when school is out, particularly in a college town.

If you’re just coming to a new state, you probably won’t know where to start. Take time to investigate the larger companies in the area and what jobs are lucrative for students. That way, you’ll be able to start applying for jobs as soon as you arrive, if not before.

Campus Life

Each college or university provides a different social sphere of experience. Before you get too excited about going to the renowned “party school” one state over, stop and think about your future needs.

This school might have amazing fraternity parties to surpass your previous nightlife experiences. Despite the glamour of college drinking, it rarely creates a productive learning environment. The heavy drinking which often takes place at college parties can lead to high-risk behaviors, like driving under the influence. Attorney Ben Sessions says a DUI conviction can result in fines and even jail time, neither of which will improve your college experience.

Instead of picking a school based off of their party reputation, consider their academic rankings and extracurricular offerings. You only live once, but someday you’ll need your education to pay the bills, and four years of partying won’t help you do that.

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Emma Sturgis

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