Staying in the same place to attend college after you finish high school might seem like the logical, easy choice – but attending an out-of-state school comes with its own unique list of benefits. You can start fresh in a new place, look for schools that specialize in the program or field of study that you’re interested in, and get outside of your comfort zone.
An out-of-state school means starting with a clean slate
When you finish high school, you might have a core group of friends with whom you have spent the last four years. If you’ve had the same friends even longer, such as since middle school or grade school, your pals probably know just about everything about you.
Starting fresh in a new situation with different people can give you the chance to reinvent yourself and become whoever you want to be. You’ll also experience the atmosphere of living in a different state where cultural and lifestyle differences can make a difference in the way people live.
Attending an out-of-state school gives you the ability to find the right school for you.
If you know what major you want to pursue or the subjects that appeal to you most, you can pick out a school that specializes in these areas. For example, the college in your home city might not offer a great pre-med program, which could make it more difficult to get the undergraduate education you need to get into and succeed in medical school.
Certain schools offer specialized degrees, such as veterinary medicine, zoology, nuclear physics, or contemporary music, while others do not.
When you focus on the programs offered rather than the location of the college, you can find a university where you can excel and get the best possible education.
Get out of your comfort zone
Sticking around in your home city is certainly the easier choice, but making this decision won’t always help you to grow and mature. The college experience represents the first time that many students are out on their own, supporting themselves, and taking more responsibility for their lives.
When you stay close to home, you’ll likely stay friends with the same people who have also stayed in the same city. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can lessen your desire to make new friends and form relationships with people outside of your core group. Going out of state for school can also help you build confidence in yourself since you won’t have your friends or family to fall back on when you need to figure out where to go grocery shopping or how to get to the library.
Out-of-state schools generally offer scholarships and lower costs
You might think that in-state tuition is the cheapest option, but state schools in other areas might be cheaper than the state school in your home state. For example, in-state tuition at the University of California schools is higher than out-of-state tuition at schools in the Midwest or South.
Students coming from other states might actually qualify for scholarships and grants that in-state students aren’t eligible to receive.
When you’re making the big decision about where to attend college, broaden your horizons and look at options outside of your home state. You can enjoy a number of benefits that come with going to school away from home.