With the opportunity to learn so much about colleges all over the country, there’s a chance that many of you have at some point considered a college that is located in a different state. Perhaps you’re a non-Pennsylvanian like myself and Grove City College is far away from home so these considerations are very real right now as you’re making your college decision! Regardless, I hope to dispel some myths about going out of state for college and share some advice about how to learn more about a school that’s distant from home.
Myth #1 – “going out of state for college….is more expensive”
Answer: NOT NECESSARILY
Look HERE for Outside Scholarship Search Tips!
What’s most important is to compare the sustainability of the financial aid you receive: what is it contingent on (GPA, holding a certain position, etc.), what other opportunities it may open up or limit you from, etc.
Myth #2 – “going out of state for college…will limit my career options to that state”
What’s most important is to learn about the resources available to you as a student, namely the career office and alumni support services on campus that can springboard you to any state/country you desire after graduation!
Myth #3 – “going out of state for college…will mean losing my friends at home”
Answer: NOT NECESSARILY
I’ll share a little of my story to demonstrate how going out of state to college actually strengthened a lot of relationships I had at home. I grew up in Southern California and as my college search became more refined, it was clear that Grove City College (on the other side of the country, in Pennsylvania) would be my college home-away-from-home. Throughout and after my 4 years at GCC, I definitely kept in touch with fewer individuals than I had during high school, but the quality of those specific connections increased. Even if you stay close to home for college, the amount of people you stay in touch with from high school will decrease regardless: simply because everyone is entering new stages of life. The time I spent at home over breaks or on the phone/writing letters/skyping while at college with friends or family was intentional, purposeful and meaningful. They got to be part of my new experiences and I loved being able to share it.
Going far from home had its challenges: I experienced homesickness and frustration with being 3 time zones ahead of family. However, the new experiences and opportunities –friends, culture, climate, lessons, activities—outweighed the convenience of being able to go home every weekend. Also, it was a wonderful growing opportunity: coping with challenges, rooting myself where I was, and looking actively for ways that God provided each day strengthened my faith that He would be faithful daily, and my resilience in being able to adapt and take on new challenges well.
How do I learn more about an out-of-state-college?
Since the college under question is out-of-state, it may be a little more of a trek to get to, to visit. That said, while nothing can replace visiting a campus in person, here are some ideas for getting to know a distant college:
- Get connected with a current student or an alumni of the college who is from your area. Colleges are more than willing to connect you to someone from your area who perhaps went through the same comparison of schools that you’re going through as well. They may not only be able to provide invaluable insight into transitioning to another state, but also may be helpful in learning about what set this school apart.
- Attend events in your area that this college’s admissions office is hosting or participating in: college fairs, visits to your high school, receptions, meet-and-greets and more. Explore the admissions page on the college’s website to see where a representative will be. Meeting someone face-to-face is invaluable!
- Take a Virtual Tour of the college (if they offer one! View Grove City College’s HERE. This is a great way to see as much of the campus as you can, if you can’t make it there in person right away!
- Ask to be put in touch with a professor or current student: Any sort of connection you can make to on-campus resources or individuals will prove to be instrumental in understanding the culture and offerings of a school.
If Grove City College is out of state for you, let us know if you’d like to be put in touch with any of these above resources: a current student, professor, alumni, etc. We’d love to share our home with you!