If you are planning to attend college soon, then you should think of joining an out of state institution. This will give you the opportunity to widen your horizons by interacting with people who might share different viewpoints and lifestyles than your own. However, be sure to keep the following points in mind when looking to join an out of state college.
Contrary to popular belief, there are colleges that do provide scholarships for out of state students. And one of the main reasons this is done is to increase the diversity of the college campus since multiculturalism is seen as something to be promoted by such institutions. As such, if you find a particular out of state college interesting, be sure to inquire about the scholarship options available to you as a student of another state. And if you belong to an ethnic or cultural minority group, then your chances of getting such a scholarship becomes very high.
Check The Staying Location
When you find an affordable place to live off campus, make sure to check out the surrounding regions. Ideally, the place should be close to the college so that you don’t have to waste too much time traveling between them. In addition, the region should also be very promising in terms of part-time employment opportunities if you plan on earning money by taking up odd jobs. Plus, if you do have hobbies like dancing, art etc., make sure that there are interest groups located in the area where you can join in and meet like-minded people to improve your talents.
Always keep some money aside that will allow you to quickly travel back home in case of any emergencies. Many students make the mistake of using all their monthly earnings and never saving anything. While saving a big amount is not at all necessary, you need to understand that there will be situations when you will have to travel to your home state. And if don’t have money on hand to make the trip, then you will have to borrow it from someone else. This is obviously not a good habit since you must try to keep your borrowings to your minimum. So, put some money in your bank account and don’t touch it until and unless you need it for such types of emergencies.
Regional Reciprocity Exchanges
You can also take advantage of regional reciprocity exchange agreements to attend an out of state college for the same tuition you would pay for a college in your state. For example, the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) will allow you to attend an out of state college for just 150% of in-state tuition even though such colleges will generally charge up to 300% of in-state tuition to students who come from other states. However, such programs do have very strict criteria as to who gets selected for the benefits. But if you have excellent grades, then you must definitely look into the reciprocity exchanges.
If you are from the military or have a family member who has served in the military, then you are eligible to get in-state tuition for any out of state public colleges across the US. This facility was only available in a few states until 2014. But then the HR 3230 was signed into effect, widening this benefit and making it applicable on all states. Check with the college how you can benefit from the program.
Get Out From Nostalgia
Never get too nostalgic about your home state in front of people who are from a different state. Remember that it was your decision to move to a new state. If you keep reminiscing about your home state in an idealistic manner while making negative or derogatory comments about the current state even in the form of sarcasm or a joke, then the people who hear you will slowly start to dislike you. And you will find it incredibly tough to form any long-lasting friendship. So, remember to respect the qualities and quirks of the people of the state you move into and try to accept it as their culture and lifestyle.
Sometimes, you may not be able to visit an out of state college to decide whether to join there or not. And even if you do visit, you might still have doubts as to whether you will end up liking the college or hating it. In such situations, it is better to hear out the opinions of any alumni of that college who lives near your place. If you are unable to find anyone, contact the alumni office of the college and they should be able to get you in touch with someone near you who has attended the college.
Another way to lower the tuition of an out of state college is to become a legal resident of that state. So, if you wish to go to a university in California, you can be eligible for in-state tuition if you do become a resident of California. Normally, you are required to have lived in a particular state for about a year to be considered eligible for resident status. So, if you think that a particular state offers more employment opportunities, then it may be in your interest to start looking at becoming a resident of that state before you apply to college.
Finally, be sure to make your application look as exciting as possible. Colleges will mostly be trying to get the best students they can when they accept out students from out of states. As such, the best way to get an admission in an out of state college is by highlighting your skills and differentiating yourself from the regular applicants. One way to do so is by showcasing your extra-curricular and academic achievements. And if you can find instances where you have done community services and displayed leadership qualities, then your chances of getting an admission into an out of state college will increase vastly.