Hoping to cross state boundaries when you cross into university life? Your wanderlust may come with a dose of sticker shock.

Because public schools typically favor in-state applicants — and because private schools advertise $45,000 tuitions like it’s something to boast about — for many families, schooling out of state doesn’t seem like an option.

But it’s a mistake, experts say, to strike those faraway, big-ticket schools off the list.


“It’s a myth that out-of-state schools are always more expensive,” explains “The College Solution” author Lynn O’Shaughnessy. “College price tags are meaningless.”

“Don’t exclude a college by looking at the sticker price in the guidebook,” agrees “Bound For College Guidebook” author Frank Burtnett.

At the very least, entertain the application fee.

“Let them take a look at you while you take a look at them,” Burtnett suggests. “They may be able to put together a package that looks better in the long run.”

“Basically, you need to know the school’s financial fingerprint,” O’Shaughnessy agrees.

You need to know yourself, too — like why you’re looking to flee.

“An out-of-state experience is going to look appealing to a student for one, two, possibly three reasons,” posits Burtnett. “It might be the location of the school, its size or its type. If it’s going to be that much more expensive, the student should truly look in the state.”

And remember, he adds, that you will know less about that distant university on a greener grass hill than the local campus. A visit is always in order.

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