In State vs. Out of State?

In State

College. For many of us the mere mention of this topic causes a brisk sweat, a spinning of vision, or even the classic open-mouth, blank stare.

   This decision we are told will pave the path of our future.

  In reality, there is no perfect decision. A person can go to the highest ranked college for a high profit degree and end up feeling discontent and misplaced.

  A way to avoid this is to realize that who you will be in the future is not going to be the same person as who you are today. For starters you will be on your own, responsible for yourself and possibly others.  

  This means that it is time to buckle down and become economically conscious. Attending an in-state college is the best decision you can make for your economic future.

  The cumulative price difference between in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition is beyond significant. For example, the tuition of an in-state student to attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill would be $8,834, but for an out-of-state student going to UNC would have to pay a whopping $33,916.

  Although $33,916 sounds large now, it will be unimaginable when three more years of tuition is added as well as housing, supplies, and living expenses. The undergraduate student could emerge from college owing $135,664 in student loans on their shoulders.  That would be  $35,336 for in-state students, or about the price of one year for an out-of-state student.

  The only difference between these two prices is the decision to stay in or out-of-state.

  The graduate school student would have to consider adding more years of tuition on top of the undergraduate expense. Saving money by attending an in-state school would be extremely beneficial to a student who is considering postgraduate work.

  In state colleges offer more than just a vastly considerable bargain.

  A common concern of college freshmen is the potential of making friends.  

  In-state college students have a better chance of finding familiar faces on campus. An out-of-state student would face the challenge of a new environment and lack the comfort that comes with knowing people in that environment.

  Essentially, attending an out-of-state college would be accepting at least temporary isolation. Not only would there be no familiar faces around, but also visiting friends and relatives at home would be unreasonably expensive and unrealistic. Gas and plane ticket money become concerns of the out-of-state student.

  Out-of-state advocates could argue that prospective students looking out of state have a larger variety to pick from. However, it is unlikely that these people have considered the full multitude of local options. For example, with 140 colleges in North Carolina, there is bound to be a school for every individual.

  Not only are the options open, but North Carolina offers colleges of impressive national rank. In the 2017 Top Public Universities in America published by Niche, UNC is ranked seventh, NC State is ranked twenty-sixth, and Appalachian State is ninety-first. For private colleges, Niche ranks Duke number six in best value, followed by Wake Forest at number 78 and Davidson at 88.
    Out of State

High School is over. The caterpillar graduates into a beautiful butterfly, and it’s truly a waste to start your new life in the same place you went to high school. Out-of-State schools are definitely important to consider when choosing a college because it allows you to explore a new area with other people from all walks of land.  While going out-of-state may not be for everyone, it certainly has its benefits.  


Perhaps the most obvious benefit of out-of-state schools is that it gives perspective college students complete freedom to be wherever they want, allowing them to pursue new activities and study what they’re passionate about.  While by no means is North Carolina considered boring, another pro of attending an out-of-state college is that all states are different and each state has its own culture even though the United States as a whole has a culture too.  Learning about other places’ cultures is an important part of finding commonalities with people who you think are different than you.  Whether you’re going only one state away to South Carolina or across the country to California, choosing an out-of-state option for college opens you up to new experiences which are important in your new life.


Another reason to leave the state for college is that it allows you to become your own person completely.  Instead of just looking at NC schools, this is the first time in many prospective college students life that they have full power to be where they want regardless of their upbringing.  Most teenagers don’t have major problems being near their parents, but being a state away or across the country lets them prove that they can survive on their own and actually forces them to mature faster due to the void in parental guidance.  Some students, however, still need or want that support from their parents, and if they only live a few towns away it’s much easier to keep that communication.  What’s most important is that students find the right college for them based on their personality.


Lastly and perhaps most importantly is that opening your eyes to the entire country allows you to pick a school, however far away it may be, that best fits your academic interests.  While in North Carolina you may be somewhat limited in choice of, out-of-state schools allow you to decide what you want to do before even getting there.  This option is ideal for the people with specific passions and goals because they can pursue what they like along with people who are interested in the same thing.  


While out-of-state schools are more expensive, in the long run it will be completely worth it.  Leaving North Carolina allows students to embrace a culture they may have not known before, be more independent, and study something they’re interested in without being confined to this state that some people have lived in their whole life.  What really matters is not going out-of-state just because it’s far away from your parents, but because you really think you’ll be happy and successful there.