The college you choose is the place that’s likely going to be your home for the next four years. It’s going to inform and shape you and lead to the kind of life you live after college. That’s why it’s so important you’re excited about the class offerings and environment and can afford the tuition comfortably with financial aid. However, even though you’ll spend most of your time on campus, the world at large around you – the state you’re in – plays a role in your success, too. Browse for colleges by state and consider why state choice plays an important role in your college experience.

Tuition Prices

Browse the college selections by state at local.petersons.com and you’ll notice that tuition can vary vastly from one state to another. There are two primary factors for this: first, the cost of living in the area informs the tuition. The more expensive it is to live there, the more expensive the tuition will be – and because the jobs in your area may pay less on average than the jobs nearer the campus, the cost of tuition may be insurmountable to you without financial aid. The second is breaks given to state residents and often residents of bordering states. When choosing a state college, your tuition will be far less if you’ve lived in that state or a nearby state for a determined period – either a certain number of months or years. This is due to the state residents paying taxes that go toward funding the school.

Internship and Job Opportunities

While it’s not impossible to get an internship in a state other than the state where your college is, you have a far better chance of getting it if your college is nearby, especially if you’re still attending classes while working the internship. Similarly, your prospects for getting a job post-college at a company increase when you attend a school nearby because you’ll have an easier time transitioning to work there, your professors may know people who work there and act as references, and the company is more familiar with the college.

The Political Climate

While colleges are often viewed as largely liberal, with a few conservative exceptions, the area surrounding the colleges can make a difference in the political climate of your campus. It may be more difficult to campaign for causes aligned with your political views in a state or city largely aligned with the opposite view – but your voice may be more needed in that area even so.

With online directories organized by state, it’s simple to compare and contrast all the colleges have to offer in the areas that make the most sense for you. Whether you intend to stay in your state to enjoy tuition breaks or you want to move to another state to better enjoy the intern and career opportunities nearby, your choice of state absolutely plays an essential role in your college experience.