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Out-of-state and in-state college experiences can differ immensely


By Zamzam Ahmed, iLander Staff Reporter

Moving away from home and going to a college is, for many seniors, an exciting part of the process. But the question remains: How far are most students willing to go? For many, the costs and benefits that come with moving can be a deciding factor as to which schools are good matches. Tuition at out-of-state schools can cost significantly more than local schools, at least at public schools. Continue reading to learn why.

“I considered both in- and out-of-state schools when I applied,” said CHHS senior Erick Peralta, “but when I started to think about all the benefits of staying close to home and around a city I was familiar with, I decided to stay in Minnesota.” 

Peralta will be attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and is benefiting from the in-state tuition rates offered to Minnesota residents. One of the main perks of being an in-state student is the cheaper cost of attending college. Other perks including being around family, friends and an environment that students are comfortable and familiar with already.  

The out-of-state situation is different, at least for those looking to attend a public university somewhere else. If a Heights student attends a college out of state, there is a chance the tuition will be higher.

This is because state governments are trying to capture the extra money from an out-of-state person that in-state people already pay with their taxes. However, there is something called “reciprocity,” which means if a Heights student attends a school in North Dakota, Wisconsin or the Canadian province of Manitoba, that student will pay the same rate as a student who is a resident of those states. 

But for those who are attending private colleges in other states, the difference is more than just the cost of tuition. The benefits of going out of state outweigh those of in-state institutions. 

“I think going out of state, although more expensive, is definitely worth it,” said CHHS senior Jonathon Fuentes, who hopes to attend Brown University in Rhode Island, a private school. “The new experiences, friends and environment will really help me grow and mature.” 

Fuentes hopes that an environment different from home will push him out of his comfort zone. 

“I want to come back to Minnesota as a more mature person,” Fuentes said. “I think being around a place I grew up in and being around the same set of friends won’t allow me to do that.”

Although both in-state and out-of-state colleges, whether private or public, offer benefits and carry different costs, some students are finding their own balance.

Senior Sandra Fonseca will be attend St. Norbert University in Wisconsin, a private institution.

“St. Norbert is a perfect match for me both academically and distance-wise," Fonseca said. "I’m close enough to home that I can visit, and far enough away that I have some independence.” 

Choosing the right location is very important. It has to be an environment that a student feels comfortable growing, living, and learning in for the next few years of their lives. Whether the college for you is in-state or out-of-state, or whether public or private, considering all the options is best way to make the most informed decision. 

(Photo: Students catch some sleep before heading to class at a local university. Photo by Zamzam Ahmed.)