In-State or Out-of-State College?

IN STATE – Matt Allen

As an upcoming college student, the biggest thing that I had to consider was the location of the school. Most people from Nebraska would want to get out of here, but I really do not think it is that bad. Being close to home and family, being less expensive, and being in a more familiar environment make it worth staying here. 

When one departs from their hometown to attend college, they leave behind one of the most important things in their lives: family. Being close to home provides the ability to go back whenever needed for any reason. Free laundry, warm meals, and being able to see a familiar face are all beneficial things that being close to home offers. For some kids, college can be a big change in life, and staying near family is the best thing that they can do to make the transition as easy- and stress-free as possible. If anything bad happens, family will be the closest and best at helping.

Probably the biggest benefit to staying in-state for college, though, is the price. If money is no issue, then this is not a problem. However, for most, college can be difficult to pay for. The cost differences vary by both the state and by the schools within the state. The cost for out-of-state tuition can sometimes be  doubled or even tripled than what in-state students pay. According to CollegeSimply, the University of Nebraska Lincoln tuition for in-state students is around $8,000, while tuition for out-of-state students is around $25,000. This major change in price plays a huge role in picking a college. 

I love to travel and to explore new places as much as the next guy, but I feel like college isn’t the best time to do that. Staying in-state provides the opportunity to save up money in order to explore new places in the future, instead of spending your time in school exploring the surrounding city.

Most of the Nebraska in-state schools also give students  the opportunity to study abroad. This provides a chance to learn in a new environment but not permanently. It is important to remember that college provides opportunities to learn throughout the world and not just wherever the college is located. And if you think that Nebraska is boring and that there is nothing to do, then maybe you need to do some more exploring.

Whether someone decides to stay in-state or out-of-state really depends on the person and what they are comfortable with. Some don’t have a choice and have to stay home for financial or family reasons. It also depends on what a person wants to do career-wise. Either way, it is important to do what you want to do, and not just what others are doing.

Out of State – Colin Eich

When it comes time to pick a college, one of the biggest factors in my decision-making is the location of the school. I have spent my entire life in Nebraska, and to say I’m ready to leave the nest would be an understatement. Going to an out-of-state school is the move for college because it widens your choices for what school you want to attend, allows you to meet people from across the nation, and gain loads more new experiences.

Picking a college is arguably one of the most important decisions someone can make during senior year. With that comes a lot of pressure to find the perfect fit. Going out of state drastically increases the amount of schools that fit your criteria for the perfect dream school. The U.S. is home to hundreds of diverse colleges that are bound to be someone’s exact match. I like to think of it as finishing a puzzle: the more colleges, or pieces, that someone looks at, the more likely they are to find the precise piece they were looking for.

Out of state colleges are also great for meeting new people. While I will always cherish my friendships at Mount Michael and plan on still keeping close with them, I also want to broaden my number of friendships. This is entirely true for in-state schools, however, there is a lot of value in relationships with people from other states and countries. Going to an in-state school, such as a state university, means the majority of students going there are from that state. Going to an out of state college allows you to meet people of all walks of life and from all corners of the nation. These can provide you with entirely new perspectives on cultures within the U.S. like the South’s  hospitality or the laid-back lifestyle of people on the West Coast. 

The biggest reason to go to an out-of-state school is the wide range of new experiences and activities available. I love Nebraska, but I am sick and tired of the lack of exciting things to do around here, not to mention the weather that feels like it’s based off of flipping a coin. Going to a new state means experiencing that state’s unique culture, like wild rodeos down in Texas or the cajun lifestyle in Louisiana. College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, and I don’t want to spend mine somewhere I already know like the back of my head. 

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you go to college as long as that’s the best fit for you. However, I can’t recommend enough the value and benefits of seeking an out of state college. They were enough to make me only consider going to an out-of-state school. So for now, see ya Nebraska!