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In-State Colleges versus Out-of-State Colleges 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The age-old dilemma of in-state vs. out-of-state... stay close to home or venture off away from your family... save some money or go to the best college possible.

Many of you are going to grapple with this question, and it's not always an easy one to answer. We're going to share a few thoughts on the benefits of both staying close to home at an in-state college and going off to an out-of-state college.

The Benefits of In-State Colleges

In-State Colleges Make Financial Sense

So the main reason most high school students opt for an in-state college is the cost. You typically get a really good deal on tuition when you go to a public school in your home state.

Easier to Get Into In-State Colleges

You'll typically have an easier time getting into the state schools in your home state. For example, the bar is much higher for a New Yorker to get into the University of California, Berkeley than a Californian.

There May Be Money In It For You

A number of scholarship opportunities at public colleges and universities are reserved for in-state students. Many states want to encourage top high school students to stay close to home, figuring that they are much more likely to work in that state after graduation.

The Benefits of Out-of-State Colleges

See a New Place

One of the biggest benefits of venturing off to a college far from home is your newfound independence. You'll experience a new place that may open your eyes to new ways of looking at things. Going to college in Massachusetts is likely a very different experience than going to college in Florida (if nothing else, the weather will be dramatically different).

Meet New People

You'll also meet a whole new set of people. That was a big draw for me as I looked at colleges. I lived within a 2-mile radius my entire life and I wanted to meet people from all over the place. That's not to say there won't be a diverse crowd at most in-state schools, but it's likely that the majority of students will be from that state.

Go to the Best College Possible

You may have to venture out of state to find the college that has the best program for you. If you're an engineer, you probably can't beat MIT or Cal Tech. If you want to study visual or performing arts, Juilliard or RISD may be the best colleges for you.

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