What Are the Benefits of an In-State School?

Attending an in-state school comes with a number of benefits, including lower costs, familiarity, and proximity to family members and loved ones. These benefits can help you enjoy your college experience more without feeling as isolated or worried about the financial burden. Even a school near your home that you pass regularly could be a good fit, depending on what you plan to study and what you hope to achieve during and after college.

Lower Costs

When you compare the tuition costs between in-state and out-of-state colleges, the difference may shock you. Lower tuition cost is one of the main reasons students choose to stay within their home states for school. This is especially true of state schools, but there is a logical reason behind the price difference. In-state residents pay taxes, which fund the state public institutions. Even if you have never had a job in the state, your parents have likely paid toward funding for the college to which you are applying, so you can enjoy the benefits of lower tuition costs.

In-state tuition fees typically only apply to those who have lived in the state for at least one year. Since state schools are operated on a state level and not a federal level, the tuition fees vary widely. However, the total average tuition and fees for an in-state school in the U.S. is $9,560, while the total average for an out-of-state school is $24,930. Over four years, this could amount to significant savings, whether you’re paying your own way or taking out student loans.


College is often a major change for first-time students. You might be living on your own for the first time, earning your own income, paying for your living expenses, and taking responsibility for your life. When you live with your parents, they often help with finances while also offering emotional and physical support. They might remind you to do your homework, wake you up in the morning for school, and prepare at least a meal or two per day. As a new college student, many of these responsibilities will suddenly fall on your shoulders.

With so much change in your life, it’s nice to have some familiarity. Attending an in-state college offers that since you’ll know where the nearest grocery store is and where to get gas. When you move to an entirely new city and state, the experience can feel overwhelming, especially when it’s added on top of the other changes you’re experiencing.

Proximity to Loved Ones

Staying close to family and friends can also make the transition to college life easier. When you have a break from school, it’s easy to hop in the car and head home to visit. Depending on how close you are, you might even be able to pop in for Sunday dinners with your parents and catch up on your laundry.

You might also find that it’s easier to get accepted to an in-state college, making it a great option for your undergraduate degree.