Keep options open: Students should consider both in, out of state colleges

Juniors and seniors are getting ready for the most stressful time in their young lives. Deciding on where they want to attend for college. The moment in life where they must choose the next path to walk down on in life after high school.

It is a subject that many of us would rather avoid, though there is a few who actually look forward to it. As students begin to make their selection and wade through the never-ending list of colleges they believe will best suit them, there’s an issue that sometimes pops up.

Do they leave home to experience a new form of independence at an out-of-state school, or stay closer to home at an in-state school and have the benefit of family and friends close by? At first glance, out-of-state can seem pretty scary, but it might not be as bad as it’s made out to be.

When students look into out-of-state-colleges, it shouldn’t be about whether the university’s sports team is the number one in the nation-not including athletic players- or how if there is a nearby beach.

A student’s primary focus when considering to apply to college should be based on if it’s the right fit for them, will it offer them the best learning environment, if it specializes in what they’re majoring in or if it will aid in their chances of obtaining a job. These are just the tip-of-the-iceberg questions all students must consider when choosing a university, but as students sift through and answer all these questions, they should always keep an open mind to out-of-state universities.

Although options can be very limited because of financial reasons or family support, students should still examine what help is out there for aid before completely eliminating the idea of an out-of-state school. Many colleges desire students from all across the United States. Being an out-of-state applicant could help make someone unique and set them apart from the thousands of other applicants.

However, if the price of tuition is still an issue, there is a method to reduce the frightening cost of out-of-state tuition which only requires a tiny bit of effort and a short amount of time. Opportunities such as FAFSA, government pell grants and other scholarly opportunities. Also some colleges offer financial aid to out-of-state students to help make attending their school easier and cheaper. I know many students would rather not waste the extra effort on an out of state college, but students should already be utilizing these plentiful financial opportunities.

Hopefully more students will be adding at least one out-of-state to their plentiful list of potential colleges. Because if they are accepted then they will have the chance to step out on their own and experience a new independence.