Going to College Close to Home vs. Far Way
In the article, “Going to College: Close to Home vs. Leaving the Nest” Emily Driscoll describes three important factors students should consider before deciding whether to go to college far away or close to home. The first factor that a student must consider is the cost of tuition. Going away for college can be expensive but Driscoll noted that there are ways by which students can reduce accommodation costs. Additionally, Driscoll identified the importance of family, friends and job connections while selecting colleges. Therefore, Driscoll provides some useful insights in helping students make the decision on whether to stay close to home or go away for college.
Driscoll notes that staying at home while attending college is cheap and one could save more than $40,000 in four years including food and laundry expenses. Additionally, in-state colleges offer students free or reduced tuition in contrast to out of state schools. According to Driscoll, out of state schools are expensive but there are cost effective options available. Driscoll further notes that, though it is impossible to get 100% tuition aid in out of state colleges, most schools offer 60-85% tuition support depending on the level of need.
On the other hand, Seltzer (2017) in the article “Turning Down Top Choices” states that, 40% of students who fail to go to their college of choice cited cost related reasons. According to Seltzer (2017), 39.9% of students turned down their first-choice colleges due to cost related reasons making the cost factors to be the most influential driving factor in enrollment decisions. Similar to Driscoll, Seltzer (2017) noted that in-state colleges used reduced tuition cost as an incentive to attract in-state students but added that students of low income families are more likely to be sensitive about the cost of tuition while selecting college than students from high income families. However, most students often misunderstand confuse grants with loans thus fail to understand the reduced tuition costs available at out-of state schools and consequently miss out on good college.
Driscoll further discusses that it is possible to get financial aidon tuition costs when attending out of state colleges. Students who are good for a particular college can get merit-based aid and financial aid inclusive of travel costs while students who present real financial need can get institutional funding. It is rare for out of state students to get 100% funding, butthere are scholarship options available to add to the financial aid (Driscoll, 2013). In his article, Driscoll focuses on getting merit-based financial aid and scholarships as means to reduce expensive out of state tuition costs.
Meanwhile, Farah (2014) in “what You Need to Know About Out-of-State Tuition” states that acquiring state residency can be used as a method to gain reduced in-state tuition rates. Unlike Driscoll who mainly focuses on academic merit grants and scholarships, Farah notes that living in the state of your college of choice for 12 months can result in acquiring reduced in-state tuition fees. Students can acquire state employment records, driver’s license, bank accounts, voter registration, car registration or tax records to serve as proof of residency in order to receive lower rates of tuition like in-state students. Unlike Driscoll who stated that it is impossible for out of state students to get 100% aid, Farah states that in certain schools, students with exemplary performance and those whose parents are alumni are allowed to pay in-state tuition.
Driscoll illustrates that family ties and home comforts such as being able to do laundry at home are among the privileges of going to college close to home. Parents often limit their children’s college options because they are afraid of their children studying in faraway colleges especially if it is the first child to go to college in the family (Driscoll. 2013). However, parents should understand that though colleges close to home may help nurture close family relations and offer students an easy transition into college life, they may not offer the best environment for the development of the student. As a result, Driscoll urges families and students to discuss college options thoroughly including far away college options to avoid last minute panic.
In “Should you go to college close to home”, Trudon (2013) states that location is one of the biggest factors when selecting a college and students should consider the pros and cons of living close to home or far away. According to Trudon, students who go to school close to home can do their laundry at home, enjoy home cooked meals, be nursed to health by their parents when they are seek and most importantly are able to see their families more often (2013). On top of it, in-state college students are less likely home sick thus are able to adjust to college life easily. However, Trudon noted disadvantages associated with going to college close to home which included: lack of privacy when parents visit all the time, missed opportunity to make new friends, inability to be independent by closely relying on family ties and missing out on diversity (2013).
Above all, Driscoll provides some useful insights in helping students make the decision of whether to stay close to home or go away for college. The cost for tuition is an important factor when deciding which college to go to and in-state colleges are less expensive than out of state colleges. However the tuition costs should not serve as a limiting factor while selecting college options since out of state colleges also offer merit-based grants which are beneficial to academically oriented students. Apart from merit-based financial aid, students can acquire in-state residency in the state where their college of choice is located so as to receive reduced in-state tuition fee. Additionally, children of alumni are treated like in-state students in some colleges. On the other hand, going to college close to home helps maintain family connections and students who attend college close to home are less homesick as they can visit home every so often. However, students should consider all their options and seek the college option that allows them maximum personal and academic development even if it is miles away from home. Academic excellence and personal development are the most important elements when selecting a college. While staying home might offer a smooth transition into college life, it might serve to limit the development of a student. To ensure that students make the most informed decision while selecting colleges, students and there families should review various college options before hand. This way, students will not be limited by tuition costs, financial aid and family connections while selecting a college.