Your College Planning Specialists

When students begin thinking about their future and career path, one of the biggest decisions they will need to make is choosing where they will receive their education.

Some students don’t consider moving out of state and prefer to stay near their friends and families.

Still, there are many students who want to leave their hometowns, experience a different culture, and live independently.

There are many factors to consider before deciding on a school, such as tuition and fees, how to pay for college, location, and personal expectations.

Read more about the differences between in-state and out-of-state colleges, the advantages and disadvantages of both, and how a college planner can help you make the right choice.

Differences between in-state and out-of-state

While attending a school out of state and far away seems exciting, it’s important to look at the differences and what to expect.


Students who attend a college near their hometown will pay in-state tuition which is often cheaper than out-of-state tuition.

Students who receive an undergraduate degree in in-state will generally spend half the costs they would if they received the same degree out-of-state.

In-state tuition is cheaper because students and their families have paid taxes in that state.

Enrollment size

The size of a college may have more to do with it being a public or private school, or University or community college.

However, some colleges are more popular for students wanting to leave their hometowns.

You can look here to see in-state and out-of-state enrollment statistics.

Distance from home

Attending an in-state college means visiting family and friends will be easier, cheaper, and quicker.

Going to an out-of-state college will make it more difficult to make last-minute plans and maintain some friendships.

Cost of living

Students will likely be familiar with the cost of living in their state.

Moving away from home means students must figure out new ways to live and budget if the state they are moving to is more expensive.

Not everywhere will be more expensive, but if a student plans to live in a bigger and more popular city or attend a highly sought-after college, the cost of living will increase.

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Advantages and disadvantages of attending an in-state college

There are both benefits and drawbacks to attending an in-state college.


When you attend an in-state institution, you will spend less on tuition, room and board, and transportation.

Staying near your home can feel comfortable, safe, and reassuring. You will already know where everything is located and the area’s demographics.

With your family and friends close by it will be easy to make plans with them and maintain the bonds and relationships you already have.


While staying near home can feel more comfortable, it can also hold you back from new experiences and seeing new things.

Depending on where you live, you may have fewer schools and programs to choose from, which can be a problem if you are interested in a major those schools don’t offer.

Attending a school just because it is in-state rather than choosing it for its rankings can hold you back from reaching your full potential.

Advantages and disadvantages of attending an out-of-state college

Looking at the benefits and drawbacks of both in-state and out-of-state colleges can help you choose what is best for you.


Moving out of state can be exciting and allow you to experience a different lifestyle and culture.

When you are out on your own, you will learn to be more independent and responsible and learn how to make decisions for yourself.

It can be refreshing being somewhere new, around new people, and making your own choices.

When you consider moving out of state, there are more schools to choose from. This can be helpful if you are interested in a unique program that is not offered everywhere.


Tuition for out-of-state students is more expensive than in-state tuition.

However, if you have your heart set on an out-of-state school, and tuition is the only issue, there are scholarships and loans you can apply for.

It will cost more to visit your family and friends, even if you only visit on the holidays. You will need to factor in flights, a train, or the cost of gas.

If you get homesick easily and are uncomfortable only seeing your family a few times a year you may need to reconsider moving out of state.

How a college planner can help you pick the right choice

Students have a lot to think about before choosing a school and beginning their educational journey.

For a student who has never traveled far from home or been away from their family long, it can make their choice even more difficult.

This can make students either hesitant to pick a school far from home or excited to go off independently and experience new things.

Students may also struggle to make a choice if they’re worried about letting down their family or friends.

A college planning specialist can help a student decide between an in-state or out-of-state college, fill out their college application, find scholarships, grants, and loans, and act as an unbiased observer.

Ultimately, it will come down to personal preferences, expectations, needs, and what is most realistic for a student.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to register for one of our free virtual workshops.