Attending College In-state vs. Out-of-state

By Coach Trish   I’m positive that several of you cannot wait to leave your hometown and explore new cities or even states. I want to first say that I get it. I, much like a lot of you, wanted to leave my dusty old town for the bright lights of a big city. But guess what happened? I ended up attending a college in my hometown, only 15 minutes from the house I grew up in. The struggle was real! With a few tips and some careful planning, my story won’t become your story. So if you are ready to “fly the coop,” this blog will help you better understand the pros and cons of attending an in-state and out-of-state college.   First, the cost benefits of staying in-state. 

USA Map CAA 100915

  Cost is one of the biggest concerns for college bound scholars and their families. State residency significantly affects your cost of attendance at public universities and colleges for two reasons. Reason #1 – As a resident, you pay the lowest tuition rate offered. Reason #2 – You could qualify for state grant money awarded only to qualifying state residents. In short, that means a lower sticker price for your education and free money to help pay for it. Cha-ching, dear friends.   Second, the price of leaving your state. 

For students with their eyes on schools beyond their states’ borders, things can get a little tricky. There are three main factors that could affect your family’s pocket. Factor #1 – Tuition increases for out-of-state students at public institutions. Factor #2 – Public institutions tend to focus their financial aid toward in-state students. Factor #3 –Travelling to and from home increases your cost of attendance. Even though public schools are generally cheaper than private schools, these three factors can drive the cost of attendance close to that of a private college. Oh and state aid? You can forget about that. Your state is not interested in funding your education if you leave it blowing in the wind. Your state is just sensitive like that.   Third, control what you can with a plan. 

So, what can you do? Now that you know what you’re up against, it’s time to strategize. CAA recommends that you apply to at least four colleges, and be sure to mix things up a bit. Apply to an in-state public and an in-state private school. Do the same for your out-of-state options: one public, one private. If you are having trouble finding additional schools, research your top choices to see which colleges they are in direct competition with for students. Check to see that the school fits your preferences before applying. As always, it is wise to review each college’s financial aid pages to see what you need to score on the SAT/ACT in order to qualify for merit aid. These four hour tests could be the determining factor on whether you remain in your home state for college. So, how bad to you want it?   Your CAA coaches want to empower you! We want you to have a plan that puts you in the driver’s seat. We can help you find college options that excite you, not ones that you have to settle for. So if you want a little guidance or you just want to make sure your plan makes sense, we are only a phone call away.