Is Going Away to College Right for You? Three questions to consider before you select your school

Hey guys, the Study Mode team is back again! Here to give you some crucial food for thought as you make one of the biggest decisions in your life: where to go to college.

If you’re fortunate enough to have multiple acceptance letters – congrats! It’s great to know you’re in demand. But it can also be stressful deciding which school to choose, especially if you’re trying to choose between going away or staying close to home.

While we can’t make the decision for you, we can give you some important things to consider.

Here are three questions to ask yourself before you sign that acceptance letter.


How comfortable are you separating from your parents?

Bet you think we’re going to say that if you’re not comfortable separating from your parents then you should stay closer to home. Wrong! We’re going to say the opposite. College is an important growth experience. It’s a time not only for academic exploration but also personal development; a time to learn to stand on your own and make your own decisions. This experience is even more important if you’re currently tied to the apron strings, so to speak. If you’re terrified of leaving home, you probably really need to do just that.


How will distance impact your bottom line?

Consider this, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition for public (state) schools is $15,605. The average cost for a private institution is more than double that at $31,975 – and we’re talking yearly tuition here – not total cost for degree. Why are we telling you this? Because for many, staying home means going to their local state school, while going away means going to a private school or paying out-of-state tuition at another state school. And the difference can be big bucks. According to The College Board, average in-state tuition for four-year public institutions is $8,893 while the average out of state tuition is $22,203. Over the course of your degree you could be looking at an additional $53,000 if you choose to go out of state!


Where do you plan to settle down?

At age 18, it’s hard to imagine how the rest of your life will play out – but give it a shot. Do you think you’ll wind up settling down in your hometown, close to your family? If so, college might be your best chance to experience the differences a new city has to offer. Many people choose to study on the opposite side of the country so they can experience a different climate before they settle down.

There’s no shortage of things to consider when you make your final selection. But know this: your college experience will not be determined by the name on your diploma. It will be shaped by you and how you approach it. No matter where you choose to attend, college is a wonderful time. So relax, pull up a pizza, and follow your heart. It will lead you to the right school.

StudyMode provides a network of practical online learning tools and apps to help students succeed. Our flagship site,, is a library of research documents, book notes and AP notes. Other sites in the network include, where students can create, study and share flashcards. StudyMode’s global network features more than 15 tools and reaches 90 million visitors per month. 


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