This is your sign to move out of state for school
For many moving out of state is a no brainer, you gain freedom and get to be in a new environment. To others, moving away is their only option. However, no one ever talks about those who want to stay close to home and are afraid of moving too far away from their friends and family. I was one of the latter, afraid of leaving home and limiting myself to a few options because I thought being out of state was not for me. Now, two years later I am 1473 miles from home writing a blog post on why you should move out of state. My reasons might not be good enough, but I think they are good to think about when you are applying to school:
With only about 31% of all college students leaving their home state to attend college, most of the student population actually stays in their home state. This is fine and all if you come from a well off household, but if you are a first-generation student you are likely to hurt yourself if you stay home. A study found that “first-generation students who attend colleges at a greater distance from home are more likely to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree.” This is what my advisor told me to convince to apply to Penn and I am telling you this so you can broaden your options and not limit yourself to schools close to home.
I think it is obvious that by limiting yourself to one state, you only have a few universities to choose from. But when I say options, I speak for those who are first generation, low income. I am from Texas, so the only school in the state that was 100% need-met was Rice. For those who do not know, A school that provides a 100% need-met offers financial aid that equals the family’s demonstrated financial need, therefore if you are low income there is a high chance that these schools pay for all of your tuition.
Lots of schools offer financial aid like this, but they are all scattered across the country, so if you limit yourself to one state, then you would not have the chance of diversifying your options in schools that would be paying your tuition. Therefore, if you are low-income then consider applying to these schools, regardless of their location because they are known to offer resources to make you feel right at home.
The United States is a very diverse country and the state of Texas is completely different from the state of Florida which is completely different from the state of California. The people you will meet will bring value to your life and being in a new area will allow you to see the world around you in a different way. I know that as a Texas girl in the northeast I have been able to experience new things and learn about certain behaviors that I had never experienced back home. Something I have enjoyed from being in the tri-state area is having really good public transportation. This might seem negligible but small things like this add up and can make a difference in your experience.
I think the biggest reason that comes to mind for people when they advise others to move out of state is independence. Being able to go out whenever you want, not having to worry about explaining yourself and having control over your own life is exciting. It teaches you to grow up and think twice about your actions. Even if you're not the one to go out and party, being alone helps you mature and take responsibility for your actions. You no longer have your parents cook for you, nor drive you around. You have to find things through your own means and I think there is a lot to gain from that.
You might read all of this and still think to yourself that there is no way you are leaving your family behind. That is completely fine, I understand personally how hard it is to be away from your parents but as someone who goes through it every day, I can tell you that it’s worth it. I do have moments where I am sad I can’t go to my nieces soccer game or to my cousin’s birthday or just hug my mom, but I always remind myself of where I am. I have made my own family while at Penn and most people who move miles away from home also make their own home while at school.
So yes there are many good reasons to move out of state, and some cons as well. At the end of the day each family takes it upon themselves to decide what the best choice is. I just want those who are questioning moving away from home to not limit themselves because of money, or the fear of being alone.