With so many great colleges and universities in Texas, the idea of going out of state sounds silly to some people. However, let’s not forget that there is a wide open world, and the Lone Star state is only part of it. A pretty big one, but a part nonetheless.
While there is nothing wrong with choosing a college within the state, there is also nothing wrong with leaving the state. They both have pros and cons. The following is a brief breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of attending an out-of-state college this fall:
The list of academic options expands once out-of-state schools are on the table. You can enroll in an online MFT program in California, take an advanced analysis course in Illinois, or go to film school in New York. No one needs to feel limited by the course options and degree specializations offered by nearby colleges. While the number of options may seem overwhelming at first, the freedom to choose deserves the responsibility of choosing.
Houston was recently named the most diverse city in the United States, but the diversity is relative. Plus, it goes beyond people to include architecture, weather, geography, and more. Going to an out-of-state college gives Houstonians a chance to see even more of what the world has to offer. By doing so, those who call Houston home can put the diversity of their own city in proper perspective.
Going to college out of state takes us out of our comfort zone. Unable to depend on family support and too far away from friends to hang out, students have no choice but to fend for themselves and meet new people. By doing so, they develop the independence necessary to thrive in the adult world. Those who stay close to home need to be more proactive in leaving the nest, which is easier said than done when faced with the stress of school and uncertainty about the future at the same time.
Most colleges offer financial incentives to state students, and most states offer financial aid to their own citizens. These options are not offered to students from other states. Also, many colleges charge students extra for tuition. Those considering an out-of-state college will need to weigh cost comparisons before making their final decision.
Getting accepted to a university is usually easier for students in the state. That’s because most state schools prioritize the citizens of their own state over others. Test metrics, academic achievement, and extracurricular activities carry more weight for them when it comes to someone trying to enroll from another state. Also, many schools are more particular about the ability to pay tuition if you are from out of state and expect a guaranteed payment for the semester before the first day of school.
Far from home
Feeling homesick is a real experience for many college students from other states. These emotions, especially when academic challenges are at their peak, can be a lot to process for freshmen. It’s essential to factor nostalgia into the equation before choosing to exit the state. Lastly, the travel expenses required to visit the home from time to time will also be a factor in the cost.
To go or not to go
Attending an out-of-state college can be an exciting prospect at first glance. However, many conditions and requirements are attached, so prospective students should be aware before blindly choosing one option over another. For most people, the decision will require the help of counselors, consultants, parents, and others who have the experience to provide helpful guidance.
If you are still undecided, there is always a third option: take a year off. It’s called a gap year, and many people do it as a way to step back and reevaluate their future. But keep in mind that sabbaticals also have many advantages and disadvantages.