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Pros & Cons of Staying In-State for College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

Choosing a college always begs the question: in-state or out-of-state? Personally, I was one of those people that pondered this question long and hard. Originally, I never planned on staying in-state. In fact, that sounded like my worst nightmare. I didn’t hate high school, but I was ready to move on to bigger and better things. Then, I suddenly found myelf making the decision I never thought I would make: I stayed in-state. It was just easier. My best friend and I made arrangments to live with each other and everything was set. I was ready to have the best four years of my life with her and have an absolute blast in collge.

Come move in day, I found myself realizing in-state may have not been the best option for me. Sometimes, I wish I would have evaluated my options a little more, challenged myself, and picked a school better suited for me. I go back and forth between whether staying in-state was a good idea. If you are choosing where to go and need the advantages and disadvantages of staying close to home or moving to a new state written down, I am here to deliver. Keep reading for the pros and cons of staying in-state for your college years!

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Pro: You know a lot of people on campus already

A lot changes once you get to college and it is easy to feel lonely. Making new friends can be difficult and building strong connections seems impossible at first so seeing a few familiar faces around campus can be quite comforting. You probably already have a friend or two you can rely on, versus not knowing who you’ll ever be able to connect with and trust in a totally new place.

Con: You know a lot of people on campus already

If you wanted to start fresh and meet a bunch of new people, staying in-state is not the route for you. Even though you may think you’re going to a big school and you’ll barely ever see people you know out and about, somehow, they’re everywhere you go. It is highly likely you’ll see at least one former acquaintance every time you go out.

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Pro: You get to visit home more often

Let’s be honest here, adulting is hard. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to drive 30 minutes back home to eat a home cooked meal or do some laundry without worrying about your floormates stealing things. If you get homesick easily, staying close to home is probably the best option for you.

Con: Your parents constantly ask if you’re coming home

Like, every weekend. Without fail. Sorry mom and dad, I have a life in college too. Be expecting a call from them every Friday morning asking when you’re planning on coming home that weekend. Or if you can’t make it, they’ll just come and surprise you outside of your dorm instead. 

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Pro: It saves money

It is definitely nice to be paying in-state tuition; out-of-state tuition can be almost twice as expensive which can be hard to justify. If you’re not trying to break the bank during your four years of college, in-state tution is a huge money saver. 

Con: Less opportunity to experience new things

The money factor is definitely there. However, sometimes it is worth it to consider going somewhere new.  It is more of a challenge and can help you mature into your own person, forcing you to get out of your comfort zone and try harder to meet new people and experience new things. 

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Pro: You can stay friends with your high school besties if they also stayed in-state

If you had a really great group of high school friends, going to school together will allow you all to make new, more exciting memories together that can make everyone even closer. Staying friends with people who do not end up at the same college as you is still possible, you just have to put more work into keeping those relationships. 

Con: It still feels like high school

This is one of the biggest challenges of staying in-state. If you peaked in high school and wish that part of your life could last forever, going to the college half of your school decides to populate might be really fun for you. BUT if you do not want to be wrapped up in the same high school drama or surrounded by the same people you just spent the last four years with, going to school with a good majority of people from high school is difficult. 

Freshman at the University of Kansas