Going to College Out of State

Hello! Deciding whether or not to leave your home state or country for college is a huge decision which I remember so vividly. At this time last year, I was a high school senior in New Jersey who had only applied to one college on the West Coast – Scripps! My other options were all located somewhere in the Northeast. I had always been fine with going to college in a neighboring state, but the thought of college across the country scared me. There are definitely a variety of factors to consider when leaving your home state for college – I’ll detail some below.

  1. Your relationships at home: Consider the connections you have with your family and friends at home. Personally, I am close with my family and especially very close to a few friends from high school. Now that I’m in California, I definitely take for granted the time we had where we all lived within a 10-mile radius of each other! I feel like the general thing people say is that most people drift away from their high school friends once they go to college. For me, I did not have this experience at all, because I’ve still been able to stay very close with friends from home while also making great, new friends in college! If you’re in a similar situation to me, know that leaving your home state for college doesn’t mean you have to give up all of the great relationships you already have. However, you will definitely need to put more effort into keeping up with those connections if that is important to you.
  2. Differences in culture, lifestyle, and environment: There may be a few lifestyle/culture differences between your home state and the state you move to. Scripps, Claremont, Southern California, and the West Coast as a whole all have things that took time to get used to. Scripps is a very small community and a non-competitive environment, and the town of Claremont is an upper-class and mainly white suburb. I came from a place that was more diverse and competitive. There are also major differences in climate, food options, common activities, and more. All of these environments have benefits and drawbacks to them, and change of any kind takes a bit of patience and resilience to get through. It’s important to think about the environment you perform best in and would like to be in for your college years.
  3. Cost: Affordability is a big factor in considering your college experience. Most of the time, attending a public college in your state is cheaper than an out-of-state school. However, cost is dependent on the financial aid that you receive as well as any other scholarships. Scripps meets 100% of demonstrated need – please schedule a meeting with the Scripps Office of Financial Aid to discuss how your specific situation affects the cost of attendance. Additionally, Scripps considers all applicants for merit scholarships ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 per year that can be renewed annually.

I hope some of this information is helpful for you in deciding whether to attend a college out-of-state or not. Know that even though leaving home can be scary, it can also be a liberating experience that helps you grow and learn things about yourself you wouldn’t have otherwise known. If you want to talk things through or ask me more specific questions, feel free to send me an email ([email protected])!