It’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life: where to go to college. A lot of students-to-be simply choose the one conveniently located in their town, or at least in their state, to avoid out-of-state tuition costs, which can be pretty steep. However, if you’re considering attending a college outside of your state, there are several things you should keep in mind.
This is usually a big factor in the college decision, but don’t let the expense be the only factor. Remember, there are loans, grants, and scholarships available. Apply, apply, apply, and then, based on which types of aid you are offered, make your decision. Include transportation in costs too. Will you have to drive everywhere or is public transportation an option?
Is being close to your family important to you? If you tend to get homesick easily, consider choosing a college somewhat close to home. Some students like being able to drive home on the weekend, or being able to attend family gatherings.
A lot of people would argue that people are friendlier on the West Coast than they are on the East Coast. The East Coast is generally stereotyped as being stuck up and for the “rich kids,” while the West Coast is stereotyped as almost too laid back. If you like to spend your time outdoors, a West Coast college is perfect for you with more wide-open spaces for more outdoor activities. Recreation on the East Coast usually means city activities.
For those wanting four seasons, consider a college in New England. Like the laid-back, comfortable climate? Consider down south. Also, there tend to be less serious natural disasters on the West Coast.
There is going to be crime anywhere you live, but some areas have a lower level of it. Also, some colleges are more on top of campus security than others. If that’s important to you, make sure to research it.
If possible, try to visit the colleges you’re considering before making a decision. Also, to save money, consider community college for the first two years and then transferring to a university. There are great colleges everywhere – spend the time finding the one that best fits your major, your budget, and your lifestyle.