What are the benefits of attending college in state?

What are the benefits of attending college in state?
When narrowing down where to attend college, some students have a pre-set choice. This may be factored on where a parent attended, whether they are receiving an athletic or academic scholarship, and/or if the college or university offers a specific program of interest to the student.

Another big determining criterion for many, though, is whether the educational institution is in state or out of state. And, while there may be many arguments for either side of this decision, there are some definite benefits and drawbacks to each.

The Issue of Cost

This refers not just to the price of tuition, but to a variety of other factors as well. For example, because most in state schools are closer to the student’s home, it is easier and typically far less expensive to travel to and from. And, because college is usually a student’s first away-from-home experience, it may be comforting for both the student and the parents to know that they are not that far apart.

Price is definitely another factor. When it comes to public state colleges and universities, oftentimes the cost for in state students can be less than half that for students who attend from out of state. Just one example is the University of Florida, for the 2010-2011 school year, had a price tag of approximately $4,860 for those in state. But, students coming to the university from other states paid closer to $23,744 nearly five times more!

There are, however, some cases where going to an out of state college or university is not more costly or at least not that much more. Today, there are some states that offer a program called tuition reciprocity. This essentially means that students in those states may go to school in a “reciprocal” state and pay the amount of in state tuition.

In addition, cost will also depend upon any financial aid that is received by the student. For instance, if an out of state school offers a student a financial grant, scholarship, or loan, then it may make sense to bypass the in state institution as the out of state school could quite possibly make more financial sense.

Other Factors to Consider

There are other factors that should be considered in addition to cost. For example, students who attend in state schools are more likely to find others who attended their high school in their college classes and activities. Certainly, while this could be considered an advantage to some, it could also be a drawback to others!

In fact, because an out of state school is likely not very close to one’s home, it could be considered a new adventure, as well as an opportunity to meet new people and explore different areas of the country. This can help a student to quickly learn self-reliance as well as force them to network a skill that is essential when they enter into the “real world”.