Opinion: Out-of-state college is better than in-state college


Gracie Warda, Online Editor in Chief

Last year, a Fenton InPrint poll found that only 18 out of about 200 seniors in the class of 2019 decided to go out-of-state for college. This statistic is close to the national average, according to Niche, which estimated that 72 percent of seniors choose to stay in-state for college. The 18 students, despite being a minority, made a worthwhile choice for their future. Going out-of-state for college comes with a plethora of benefits, including new experiences, oftentimes a better education and a sense of responsibility. 

First, the new experiences a student gets out-of-state pose the biggest benefit. Granted, students get new experiences in college regardless of location, but those in an out-of-state college are incomparable to those at an in-state college. Staying in-state, even if it’s a few hours away from one’s hometown, doesn’t give as much room for exploration. A new state or even country is essentially a brand-new home to explore, with brand new cities, hidden gems to discover and more people to meet. 

The people a student will interact with is also a huge part of an out-of-state experience. Because so many students choose to stay in-state, a student is likely to go to the same college as many high school peers. Of course, they’ll still meet new people in-state, but submerging someone in an entirely new environment out-of-state helps expand their social circle. In-state colleges can feel like a larger high school, but out-of-state schools are more beneficial college experiences, complete with entirely new people. 

Speaking of authentic college experiences, moving far away for college truly prepares students for adult life, more so than in-state college. In a day and age where technology connects people so easily, attending college in East Lansing when a student is from Fenton leaves them a little too connected to home. Going to college in another state, however, forces a student to solve problems and make decisions without their parents only a short drive away. 

On a more academic note, out-of-state colleges often offer a better education for specialized degrees. This is not always the case— but what are the odds that the best school in the United States for Astrobiology is in your home state? 1 in 50, it turns out. Oftentimes, you will get a better education in an obscure field out-of-state, depending on where you live and what that field is. 

The biggest factor preventing most students from attending out-of-state college is tuition; this is a valid concern. However, My College Guide explained in an article that “the cost for attending some out-of-state colleges may actually be less than an in-state college. For example, a California resident attending the University of California at Santa Barbara costs around $30,000. That same student may attend the University of Arkansas for around $26,000…” Of course, any college is a massive expense, but experiences are priceless. The costs of out-of-state college are well worth it for the experiences a student will get. 

All that being said, where to attend college is a student’s individual decision. They may have personal reasons for staying close to home, and out-of-state is not right for everyone. However, no student should write off out-of-state college, because more often than not, it proves to be more beneficial than in-state.