3 Things to Consider Before Going to College Out of State


As your high school career nears its end, you may be left with several questions – what college should I go to, what should I go to college for or should I go to college out of state – to name a few. The answer to these questions is not so easy, and as college acceptance letters trickle into your mailbox, time may be your biggest challenge.

Let’s focus on the “Should I go to college out of state”  question. If you’re facing this dilemma, you’re not alone, and as a college professor, I hear stories for and against going to college out of state. The important thing is you’re going to college. So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

1. How much more is it going to cost?

The cost of going to college rises each year, and it will continue rising. In 1981, the cost of going to college was $3,489 compared to $19,339 in 2012, which includes tuition, room and board for attendance of an undergraduate degree. If you’re blessed with an academic scholarship, the college/university you’re attending will pick up these costs, which makes going to college out of state an easier decision.

If you’re left paying for college tuition, find out how much out of state tuition is and how long it will take to receive residency. Moving out of state to attend college is more than out of state tuition costs – you need to factor in housing, food, transportation, entertainment and everyday expenses.

2. What relocation expenses are there?

Whether you’re college tuition is paid for or not, you will incur relocation expenses. These relocation expenses may include:

  1. Will you drive, fly, take the bus or train to your new home state?
  2. If you don’t drive your car or have way too much stuff, how will you get it to your new location?
  3. If you’re driving, does your car need service? Is the tread on the tires? Do the brakes work? Is there water in the radiator? Do you have an emergency kit, tools and/or roadside service?
  4. If you’re driving, where will you to rest? Do you know the route your taking?

And these are just the costs of traveling to your new home state. Assuredly, you’ve visited the college before making the decision to go to college there. If you decided to in an apartment off campus, you need money for the deposit, first and last month’s rent, appliances, groceries and furniture.

3. Adjusting to life without family

You’re decision to go to college out of state may hing on costs but one things for sure, you’ll shed tears on moving day. Everything you’ve known growing up will be a memory lodged in the recesses or your heart and mind. When you arrive, you may find life the first few months without friends and family members difficult.

Emotionally prepare yourself before going to college out of state because returning back home will cost more than money, it will cost time and stress. You may even lose the desire to attend college altogether, thus propelling you into a career you may not desire.

Think long and hard before making the decision to go to college out of state. You may be blindsided by emotions that hit you when you’re at your new location, so develop a plan to connect with family and friends through whatever media available to you and your loved ones.

It’s not if but when the storm of emotions hit you, how will you cope with your studies, home life and feelings?



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