As you go along comparing colleges in your college search, one factor you may be looking at is whether or not to attend an in-state college or university. This is a question that combines two big factors in the college search criteria of cost and location.

In order to help narrow down selections in choosing a college it is important to examine the pros and cons of going to an in-state school.

Benefits of Going to an In-State School


The most obvious reason to attend an in-state school is that the tuition is cheaper for students residing in the state where the college is located. These colleges want to keep students in their home state, so they offer them a lower tuition than those students who travel from other states.

Grants and Scholarships

Students attending an in-state school may also receive more in grants and scholarships. There is usually more money given to students who stay in their home state for school. You may be surprised at the amount of grants and scholarships available to in-state students.


If you attend an in-state school, then chances are you are going to be attending school close to home. That makes traveling home for the holidays and weekends easier and cheaper. If you attend a college or university really close to your home, you could even commute to class, which would save you a lot of money on room and board fees.

Of course as with any decision, you need to consider the downsides as well. There are some reasons why you may not want to attend an in-state school.

Disadvantages of Going to an In-State School

Academic Programs

Of course, you may have a college a mile from your home, but the school two states over may have the exact major you are seeking. If you are thinking about majoring in a subject that is not too common and not offered at many schools, you may want to think about colleges outside of your home state.


Sure there may be many schools available to you in your home state, however there may be ones with a better reputation out of state. If you have your heart set on going to a well-known school, then you may want to consider alternatives other than those in your home state.


While it's true that the tuition is generally lower for students attending in-state schools, you may find yourself with a scholarship to an out of state school. Sometimes schools out of state offer partial and full scholarships to students. If this is the case, then of course you should consider the college where the cheaper tuition is.

If your number one school is out of state, then by all means go for it. However, it is important to remember that attending an in-state school may be more beneficial to you in some ways as well.