Nearly every parent dreams of the day when their little angel leaves the nest to head off to school or a career, ready to face their life as an adult. They dream that their little darlings will study hard and graduate at the top of their class.
They fantasize that these new adults will find a job that allows them ample time to study and maintain their perfect grades while still giving them enough money so that they do not have to call home for an allowance. Yes, then the child reaches high school.
When a child is young, he follows you everywhere. There are days where you spend more time tripping over him and the dog than you do doing anything else. Then the teen years start and you see less and less of your child.
There are days where you have to remind yourself that the tall stranger scarfing down all of your food is in fact, your child. They want to stretch their legs, so to speak and they want to get away from their mother and father, and often, they go as far away from them as possible. Going to an out of state university allows them the freedom to be on their own while still getting their education, but there are several things to consider:
1. The cost for an out of state university will be higher. To encourage students to choose a college in their home state, most schools offer lowered tuition costs to the home crowd.
2. Out of state universities will include housing, food plan and other expenses. You have to remember your student will be away from home for several months at a time. During that time they will still need to eat and have their laundry done. Sending care packages will help out, but how long do you really want your child to live off of popcorn and cheese doodles? Meal plans can be pre-purchased- and you can help your student by teaching them how to budget the laundry money. (Do not be shocked if you find out that your child has used that roll of quarters to throw a small party and has been wearing the same pair of pants for a week or more. Trust me, they will learn.)
3. Factor in the cost of travel when doing your yearly budget for an out of state university. Your student will be traveling back and forth from school to home for breaks and during the summer month (at least, that is the universal parental hope), and that cost will need to be allowed for as well.