5 Reasons You Should Consider Out-of-State Colleges

Application Strategies
December 23, 2019
When Students Are Deciding On Which Colleges To Apply To, They Must Consider Many Factors...

Of these factors, location and tuition are two of the most important. Based on these two factors, you can break colleges into two categories: in-state and out-of-state. Both options can present students with great opportunities for growth and experience depending on what the student wants out of their college experience.

Whether you’re looking to expand your options, save some money, or start fresh in a new environment, going to an out-of-state college may help you grow to your fullest potential. Of course, you’ll first have to weigh in-state versus out-of-state college with what you’re looking for in a college experience. To learn how to best consider all your options, keep reading and see if out-of-state college is the best college for you!


What Are Out-Of-State Colleges?

The terms “in-state” and “out-of-state” can only be used to refer to public universities; these are colleges that rely on a share of their state’s tax earnings to support their programming and operations, meaning most in-state colleges give discounts on tuition to state residents.


An out-of-state college refers to a college that isn’t located in your state of residence. If you live in Florida, the University of Florida is an in-state college to you, and the University of Georgia is an out-of-state college.

For many students, location won’t seem to matter, especially for students who know exactly what kind of college experience they want and exactly which college is their dream school. However, if you’re unsure which college is right for you, the location of different colleges will begin to matter much more, especially when you’re weighing in-state versus out-of-state tuition and the various other benefits that come with each.


Beyond just location, attending an out-of-state college will also affect your tuition. Out-of-state colleges have significantly higher tuition costs than in-state colleges. In 2018, in-state public colleges cost an average of $12,000 less than out-of-state colleges.

Public universities use their financial support from their government to lessen tuition costs for students from that state. Because of where public universities receive their funding, tuition is more expensive for students who don’t live in that state. Students who are residents of the state that they go to college in have been indirectly funding their own college education by paying their state’s tax. Therefore, out-of-state students must pay the full price of tuition since they haven’t been paying taxes to that particular state.


While location and tuition are the two biggest factors that influence the in-state, out-of-state debate, there’s a less discussed element you need to consider: opportunity.

Depending on the part of the US that your dream school is located in, they may be able to offer a more diverse range of academic programs than your local colleges. Out-of-state colleges may also offer more focused programs that require a certain environment, or offer more job opportunities that will help you transition into the professional workplace.

For example, if you want to study Marine Biology, it might be difficult to do that if you live in Kansas. If you want to study Marketing in a city that has plenty of opportunities for internships but you live in a small town with little to no marketing opportunities, you may have to consider applying for out-of-state colleges.

So, if your career goals require specific skills and connections, then the question of whether an out-of-state college is right for you shifts, becoming more about opportunity than location or tuition.

The Biggest Drawback Of Out-Of-State Colleges

Out-of-state colleges can present a handful of issues for students, and these usually revolve around convenience and cost.

First of all, going to an out-of-state college means that location will be a large factor in your future. The location of your college could be inconvenient for traveling, especially during holiday breaks. During the school year, you may not be able to go home as often as you could if you went to an in-state college.

Students may also avoid out-of-state college if they grew up in the same state all their lives. Leaving for college is a shock all on its own, and moving too far away from home can cause students to become homesick. If you’re really worried about homesickness, the best way for students to combat the transition into college when they’re not ready to move far away from home is to take classes at a community college or choose an in-state public university.

While these factors are relevant, probably the biggest reason that students avoid going to college in a different state is due to the significantly higher cost of out-of-state tuition. While there are some colleges that are known for their affordable out-of-state tuition, students might not receive priority for financial aid compared to in-state students.

If tuition is your main reason for not considering out-of-state colleges, don’t be afraid to do your research and find out if going to an out-of-state college would be feasible for you. It’s important that you don’t cut off all your options based on the generalization that going to an in-state school will be cheaper. There are so many benefits of attending an out-of-state college, and the investment may be well worth your time; plus, there are still ways to make out-of-state tuition affordable if you’re willing to do some research!

The Many Benefits Of Out-Of-State Colleges

Despite the drawbacks of out-of-state colleges, the advantages can easily outweigh the negative factors. Whether or not going to an out-of-state college is a good choice for you completely depends on your goals and what you want out of your college experience.


Going to an out-of-state college opens more options for you. When you’re confined to the choices within your state, it can be difficult to find a college that has the perfect campus culture and academic programs for you. By expanding your options beyond your state line, you instantly open up a world of opportunity, and the sky’s the limit.

With these options, you now have a greater chance of finding the college that you’ll thrive in and grow to your fullest potential.


Considering out-of-state colleges can be helpful if you’re interested in pursuing a specific academic program. While your in-state options may provide programs that are similar to your ideal program, there could be an out-of-state college out there that has exactly what you’re looking for.

This means that, if you know exactly what you want out of your college experience, you may have to venture past your state line to find it. Don’t let the worries of tuition stop you from finding the place that could define your next four years. With all the available financial aid options today, you’ll pay for school somehow; you might as well make the investment in a program that is perfect for you and your future goals!


The transition out of college is just as important as the transition into it. The way a college can provide its students with networking opportunities and career options is crucial to a student’s transition into the professional workplace.

Some colleges have more career opportunities than others, so if your in-state options are sub-par in their career efforts, you may want to check out some out-of-state colleges that offer more opportunities for jobs in your chosen career field.


If you lived in the same town your whole life, going to an out-of-state college could be a great opportunity to start a new life somewhere else. You can meet new people, and have a brand new experience that you can’t get in your hometown.

If you find yourself stuck in a mundane routine, and you’re itching for a new environment, your choice of college could be a great opportunity for a fresh start.


Going to an out-of-state college can also mean greater independence, which is a vital part of every student’s growth. This new-found independence is a result of being farther from home more often, breaking your normal routine, and being away from the people you’re used to. All of this will amount to exponential growth for you as a person.

Pushing your boundaries is an overall positive experience, but it can come with some negative growing pains like homesickness and difficulty adjusting. Going out-of-state can literally push your boundaries which, despite the potentially difficult adjustment period, could be one of the best decisions you ever make.

In-State Or Out-Of-State?

Ultimately, out-of-state colleges have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether or not the positive factors outweigh the negative factors depends completely on what you want out of your college experience.

Consider factors like location and tuition; what are you willing to sacrifice in order to go to a college that will help you grow to your fullest potential? Ask yourself whether you want more options than the colleges in your state provide. An out-of-state college may have your ideal programs and job opportunities, making it worth the higher investment.

At the end of the day, if you’re aware of the benefits of out-of-state colleges but you’re unsure of the financial implications, reach out to one of WeAdmit’s professional counselors. We can look at your academic goals and financial situation and help you determine whether or not going to an out-of-state college is the best choice for you.

College is about growth, so you might as well go big or go home! Don’t let any financial woes or fears of homesickness stop you from considering an out-of-state college.

You May Find That It Was The Best Decision You Ever Made!



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