It is not a secret that almost 90% percent of high-schoolers dream about being an out-of-state college student. They want to leave their family’s home and the towns they grew up in so that they could become a part of something different, bigger, and unfamiliar. However, it is important to mention that doing that is not as easy as it may seem. Many things could go wrong, and if you are not prepared well, you may end up in a lot of trouble. But, do not worry – we are here to help you prepare for being an out-of-state college student by telling you all the pros and cons that come with this step. Make sure to evaluate each pro and each con carefully in order to find out whether this relocation will make or break you.
The Pros of Being an Out-of-State College Student
Let us begin by telling you all the good things that come with being an out-of-state college student. For instance:
- Independence – Being away from everybody and everything you are familiar with will force you to get out of your comfort zone and teach you how to be independent.
- New friends – College is all about meeting new, same-minded people. And, trust us, making great friends after moving to college is inevitable.
- New places – Studying in a different state means not only being surrounded by new people but also being surrounded by new cultures, languages, climates, and of course, places.
- More academic opportunities – If you live in a small town, the chanses of studying and working what you love are relatively low. But, in other, bigger cities where some of the best colleges are located, the chances of doing the same thing are very high.
- More student activities – Larger student populations simply come with more activities. Either facultative or extracurricular activities, you will certainly find ones that suits your needs and preferences.
The Cons of Being an Out-of-State College Student
Everything that has pros must have cons as well. It is just the way things are. So, just as studying abroad can have many advantages, it can also have many disadvantages too. So, let us mention some of those cons:
- Less financial aid – Unfortunately, when you are an out-of-state college student, you are not eligible to get any state grants, scholarships, nor financial aids. So, relying on that money to pay for your college tuition and your student life, is not an option.
- Harder to get in – Academic requirements differ from college to college, and from state to state. You may find completely different set of rules for out-of-state students that may cause you difficulties getting in.
- Living in a tiny place – It just goes without saying that as a ‘foreign’ student, you will have to live either in a dorm room, a tiny apartment, or in a fraternity/sorority house. All those options offer tiny living arrangements and possibly roommates. This also means that you will have to pack wisely and leave most of your belongings back home.
- Homesickness – Leaving everything behind – your friends, family members, pets, and even your precious belongings can be extremely hard for most people. Even though college students do not want to admit it, they all feel homesick, especially in the first year.
Get Your Documents in Order
Another thing you should definitely check is whether you can gather all the necessary documents for being an out-of-state college student. Different colleges require different paperwork – have that in mind before applying. You would be surprised by the number of people who were not able to enroll just because they didn’t know what documents to gather, or because they were late when submitting them. You can talk to college advisors about that, you can do your own online research, or you can visit the college you plan on joining and ask questions in person.
And, remember, there are no wrong questions here – it is normal to have a lot of strange and confusing questions when preparing to study abroad! Thus, ask away – better to be safe than sorry!
Assess Your Financial Situation!
As you have seen, there are many pros and cons to being an out-of-state college student. But, that is not all! The truth is that there are many more pros and cons ‘out there’, but we cannot mention all of them because they are mostly individual. That is, what is a pro for you may be a big con for somebody else – and vice versa. Thus, really think about all the things we have mentioned above before you make any decision.
Moreover, talk to your parents or guardians about your family’s financial situation! College tuition and college life itself are big expenses for out-of-state college students. For instance, if you choose Florida for your relocation and studies, you will have to pay for the following:
- College tuition for out-of-state college students – $15,494
- Rent – $500
- Utilities – $157
Besides these basic costs, you will also have to have money on the side for food, water, books, stationery, personal hygiene, entertainment, etc. Thus, take everything into consideration before you start applying to out-of-state colleges.
We have probably ‘bombed’ you with a lot of information about becoming and being an out-of-state college student. But, we didn’t do that to scare or stop you. We did it so that you can know how to prepare properly for this amazing, life-changing step. At the end of the day, everything depends on you. If you really want to move to a certain state and start studying at a specific college, you should do everything in your power to move and enroll. But, if you have second thoughts and if you are not really sure what you want, it might be a good idea to also consider enrolling in some colleges closer to home. Thus, once again – take everything into consideration and carefully weigh all the pros and cons of being an out-of-state college student before doing anything else.