As Walt Disney once said, “Our curiosity leads us forward through new paths, in new directions, making us open new doors, doing different things.” This saying aptly suits those looking to pursue their higher education in a different state, at an out-of- state college.
Research says that, out-of- state students account for about 17% of the total enrollment at any college. A report published by collegeexpress.com says, University of Vermont has close to 78% out-of-state enrollments, followed by University of North Dakota with 66%. As each of the 50 states follow a different system of education, students may find themselves attracted to education system of a different state. Students opting for an out-of-state college pay almost three to four times higher fees than they would have paid for studying at an in state college for a four-year degree program.
In addition, the excitement of experiencing new culture, exploring new places, meeting new people are some of the compelling factors that make students take such higher financial risks in studying at an out-of-state college. To enrich your experience, make your stay and studies in another state a success you need to consider various factor starting with selecting the perfect college for your intended major.
Selecting the Right College – Factors to Consider
Cost: A study reveals that about 43% of students cite pricing as an important factor in selecting which school to attend. Compare colleges against the net prices and not the sticker prices, prices published on a university website are sticker website, as these prices do not take into account your possible financial aid. Attending school in a state with regional reciprocity agreement with your state helps you with a discounted tuition fee. Additionally, institutes offer discounts on tuition fee for children of armed forces, etc. consider such factors when calculating the cost of your studies.
Programs: Availability of programs of your choice is another important factor that in selecting a school. Pick a university that offers the program you want to major in.
Place: The location of the university also plays an important role in deciding the right school for you. Consider factors such as availability of housing, entertainment options, and shopping facilities, availability of jobs, people, and climate to decide the right place! Taking a virtual tour of the campus helps in making an informed decision.
You may use online tools such as Cappex, College Navigator, College Insight, etc., to help you narrow down the search using different criteria as listed above. Once you have narrowed down the list, submit a well-written application essay as prescribed by the admission department to gain admission.
Managing Finances while Studying in a Different state
The average cost of education at an in-state institute is about US $ 9000 per year, as against US $ 20,000 at an out-of-state college. Well, to help students pay this heavy out-of state tuition fee the federal government offers more than $ 130 billion in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, financial aid, and more.
Scholarships are merit- based or need based; it is advisable to apply for need-based scholarships, as merit based requires academic excellence, test scores. Some of the merit-based scholarships you can apply for include essay contests, Coca-Cola scholars’ foundation, Davidson Fellows scholarship, Siemens competition, AXA Achievement scholarship. Work-study is an option that helps you cover your expenses while at college. Filling out the free application for Federal student aid will check your eligibility for Stafford load, PLUS loan, Pell Grant Perkins Loan.
You can also try for loans, but it is better to keep the debt minimal by living economically while in school. Fix a monthly budget and stick to it, track your spending, buy used books, or rent books, avail discount, sales. Many websites including http://www.educationcorner.com/ offer valuable tips on how to shop and save money.
Packing and shipping the essentials for your Out-of-State Education
You have to make sure that you pack all the essentials, by creating a recommended list of items, without having to buy stuff in the new state. It is better to pack in small boxes, as they are convenient to carry, or move. Additionally, you can have big items shipped later, prioritize your necessaries and ship the most important ones first.
Finding Things for Less
When it comes to buy things you can always resort for online shopping as it offers great promotional offers on stores like Target, Walmart. Another option to find inexpensive used items is local flea Markets, Habitat, ReStores, Goodwill.
Well, these are a few tips on how to stay within your comfort zone being an out-of-state student in a different state. You may also want to meet locals, explore the new place, and find out more info on the culture, weather of the place. Try to get a feel of the local language, slang, culture and more. Stay active, make friends on –campus and off-campus it helps you in finding part-time jobs, roommates, domestic help. Make sure you do not feel home sick. Keep in touch with family back home, call them or email them regularly, share your experiences in the new state with your family & friends.