Embracing Your State University

Chloe is an undergraduate at the University of Washington majoring in biochemistry, economics, and mathematics. She is working towards going to medical school in the future and is the President of MEDLIFE and a sister of Sigma Psi Zeta. In her free time, Chloe enjoys hiking, volunteering with children, and exploring/learning new things.

When I was applying to universities as a high school senior, I wanted anything but to go to an in-state college. After receiving my decision letters and assessing the pros and cons of every university, I decided to go with the University of Washington, a university that is only 40 minutes north of where I live.

Many students want to go into out-of-state universities so that they could travel and be far away from home. Although this will certainly give you a different experience than going to a state university, there are still many benefits of going to your state university.

Lower Tuition Rates and Less Debt

State universities have immensely lower tuition rates for their state residents compared to their rates for out of state students. Private universities have high tuition rates for all of their students, regardless of whether you are a resident of their state or not. Private institutions have well over double the rate of tuition of state universities.
Many of my friends who attend out of state institutions have also taken out extensive amounts of loans. Taking out loans can be saved for later, especially if you are planning on attending graduate or professional school.

There are also many scholarship opportunities that are only available for students who are planning to attend a university that is in-state. For example, the KFC Colonel Scholarship only offers scholarships to high school seniors planning on attending their state university. I am currently receiving the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, which gives me $14,500 over four years to graduate with a STEM major in a state school. There are opportunities like these available in your own state!

Close to Family

There is truly no place like home. There is also nothing like my mom’s cooking. Living only 40 minutes away from home, I am able to visit my family around once a month on a weekend that I am not busy. This may sound like something undesirable to some, but once you go far away from home, you begin to miss some things about home that you wouldn’t have expected to miss. I know a couple of my friends that can’t even come home for Thanksgiving because the airfare is too expensive and not worth the four days of break that they have. It truly is a blessing to be able to see my family virtually any time I want.

More Resources

State universities are usually huge research institutions and have immense amounts of funding for their programs. If you’re looking into getting a research position, a state university will have plenty available for you to apply for. State universities also generally have much more student amenities available such as more libraries, gyms, dorms, etc. There are also usually more students hosted by state universities, leading to more student organizations, activities, and more!

There are obviously pros and cons of attending a state university vs. attending an out-of-state university. Weigh your options and make the best decision for you, but remember that ultimately your college experience is what you make of it!

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