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Is it even worth going out of state if you're very poor?

grigg02grigg02 Posts: 404Registered User Member
Hi, I'm trying to decide whether going to an out of state school is even worth the $$. I am a pretty average/decent student, lives in Washington, and I applied to schools like: Western Washington, University of Washington, University of Missouri, Penn State University, University of Wisconsin - Madison, and Boston University. I know BU is a private school so I probably wont end up going if I did get in. I'm not sure if I can even get in University of Washington since my grades are like borderline (same goes for PSU and UW-Madison). I got accepted into University of Missouri but I'm not sure about the aid yet. I know for sure that I will get a TON of aid from Western, my sister goes there and only pays about 5K per year.

My family makes under 5k and it worries me thinking about that HUGE load of debt I will get myself into. My dad is really pushing me to go Penn State or University of Wisconsin IF I don't get into University of Washington. I just don't think it's really worth going like 100k+ in debt especially since my family is extremely poor. My dad says it's fine and a degree at those schools will get me good money but I honestly think going to a state school like Western Washington will be just as good as long as I put my effort into it. I'll only consider going to an out of state school IF I have to pay near 15k a year, but no more than that. What do you guys think? This is so frustrating.
Post edited by grigg02 on
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Replies to: Is it even worth going out of state if you're very poor?

  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,078Registered User Senior Member
    Absolutely not worth getting into so much debt to go out of state. As a student you are only eligible for $5500 a year in Stafford loans your freshman year. Any more that that your parents would have to borrow in their names, or cosign for you.

    You should try and avoid anything more than about $20-30,000 debt in total for the whole 4 years.

    Western sounds like a great idea to me.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 64,229Registered User Senior Member
    My family makes under 5k and it worries me thinking about that HUGE load of debt I will get myself into. My dad is really pushing me to go Penn State or University of Wisconsin IF I don't get into University of Washington. I just don't think it's really worth going like 100k+ in debt especially since my family is extremely poor. My dad says it's fine and a degree at those schools will get me good money


    sorry, but your dad has NO IDEA of what he's talking about.

    Graduating from UWash or Penn St or UWisc will not mean that you'll be earning more than if you graduated from Western Wash U.

    NOT AT ALL.


    Newish grads from even the TOP schools do not earn enough to pay back large debt. Borrowing even HALF that much will severely affect your adult life.

    And, you would need co-signers to borrow that much (which would be crazy), and your parents would not qualify to co-sign.


    This is going to sound harsh, but I feel it must be said...In general, do not take financial advice from people who are earning $5k per year. Typically, they are not going to have the wisest perspective on these matters.
  • PhotoMacPhotoMac Posts: 131Registered User Junior Member
    As a student I agree that it's not worth the debt for that and to travel far, but I have to friends who have received EXCELLENT aid packages. One was $0 for MIT or $0 for a Calif. UC (all need based). MIT's been his dream, and at that point, there's only transportation. The other received about $50k of $58k at a fairly local private LAC. (Some of his was merit based, but most of it was need based.) What's your case about getting aid from other schools? I would think you would at least get a good portion.

    So, if you get a good aid package -let that guide you. But if cost is near equal, go were you think you'd be happy.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 64,229Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^

    In general, out of state publics do NOT give much aid to OOS students. Typically, they have to reserve their very limited aid to help their own states' students.


    GPA Unweighted: 3.4 flat
    weighted: ?? school doesn't give it out.
    Rank: top 35%
    SAT: 1760 E:10
    ACT: 26 E:10 (27 superscored. Does suny bing superscore?)
    -WA state resident
    -Competitive Public...



    Unfortunately, your stats aren't high enough for any chances for merit at these schools.
  • charlieschmcharlieschm Posts: 4,282Registered User Senior Member
    Penn State is not generous with financial aid for either in state or out of state students. It definitely is not worth taking on an extra $100K or more of debt (which would be high interest rate debt) vs. what you would pay for a good public u. in Washington.

    As noted above, try to find a college where you can go with at total of $21K or so of Federally subsidized loans, which will not be too burdensome to pay off.

    Also, carefully consider your own state college grants. They often are not available for out of state colleges, or are greatly reduced if you go out of state. In my state, that can often make a $10,000 or more difference over 4 years, which adds up.

    Also consider travel costs, particularly if the college and your home are not both near an airport with discount airfares. I imagine airfares go up around Christmas and Thanksgiving time.
  • invader71invader71 Posts: 1,502Registered User Senior Member
    I agree I do not think it is worth the debt unless you get substantial aid. Also since your in washington do u really want to have to pay for plane tickets throughout the year when u need to come home for breaks or if u get homesick.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 38,521Registered User Senior Member
    My family makes under 5k

    How does your dad think HE is going to qualify for enough loans for you to attend college. YOU (the student) could get the Stafford loan and maybe a Perkins loan in your name. Anything beyond that would need to have a cosigner or be in your parents' names altogether.

    With an income of $5,000 a year, I would guess you would also qualify for a Pell grant (another $5000 or so).

    All of the aid you would get would NOT cover the cost of attending an out of state public university.

    But the real issue is how you will pay for college. The Pell, and Stafford loans will pay for you to attend a college within commuting distance of home (so no housing/board costs). Beyond that, someone will have to pay the bills.

    Does your state have any guaranteed grants for low income students? You need to find out.

    Your parents could apply for a PLUS loan and if denied YOU would be eligible for additional Stafford loans. BUT even that additional Stafford will not cover the cost of attending an OUT of state public university at OOS costs.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 64,229Registered User Senior Member
    Also, carefully consider your own state college grants. They often are not available for out of state colleges, or are greatly reduced if you go out of state. In my state, that can often make a $10,000 or more difference over 4 years, which adds up.


    Excellent point. The state of Washington does give grants to its resident students who are low income. Take advantage of that!


    Also consider travel costs, particularly if the college and your home are not both near an airport with discount airfares. I imagine airfares go up around Christmas and Thanksgiving time.


    VERY TRUE....My sis lives in Calif and has kids going to college in Boston and Nashville. She has to pay a LOT for airfare flying her kids home during pricey holiday times, spring break, and to and from school in the fall and spring.

    Also, low income parents do not usually have the means to ever be able to visit the school themselves. Coming for Move in Day, Parents Weekend or even graduation can be out of the question if such trips cost $1500+ for airfare, hotels, rental car, restaurants.
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    If you live in Washington, you're eligible for Western Undergraduate Exchange tuition at a number of Western public universities - 150% of in-state cost.

    Their Web site is down right now, but it's at http://wue.wiche.edu.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 64,229Registered User Senior Member
    does financial aid ever include the cost of travel to and from the university?


    Yes and no.

    On one hand, schools often include an amount for travel in their COA, but most schools do NOT meet need, so in reality, there's no money for that.

    Also, if a school does meet need, that doesn't mean that the COA will cover the 2-4 airplane trips a year.... Christmas, Spring Break, trip to school in Fall, trip home in Spring. And, you also have to include an estimate of about $75-100 in shuttle costs per trip. It all adds up.

    Also, transportation estimates are also supposed to include any tranportation costs a student will include while at school...using subways, etc.


    However, you can see from below, not much is often included for transportation in COA.


    Penn State OOS Cost of Attendance.

    Out-of-state tuition and fees: $27,114
    Room and board: $9,030
    Books and supplies: $1,264
    Estimated personal expenses: $2,916
    Transportation expense: $594


    Wisconsin-Madison has a similar transportation estimate...

    Transportation expense: $580

    As you can see, it the above estimate, $594 would not cover more than just the one-way trip to school in the fall, and a one-way trip home in the spring.

    More to the point, since Penn St doesn't give much aid to non-residents, this wouldn't be covered by aid anyway.


    For schools that "meet need"...

    It appears to me that the combination of "Student Contribution from Summer Earnings" and Work-study is roughly the same as the amount that a school estimates for "Personal Expenses" and "transportation". So, I imagine that the thinking is that schools don't want to pay for those things...they expect the student to earn the money for those expenses.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 25,370Registered User Senior Member
    It is worth a try to apply to any school. You just should be aware what your chances are. Unless you have some special talent that a school wants, and will pay for, you are not likely to be able to afford to go anywhere with high costs. As long as you have a safety school that you know you can afford on your list, you can shoot for the moon. There may be schools out there that have some merit money and financial aid and want you enough to give you a sufficient package. You just cannot count on it. You can look at your chances by researching if a school does meet 100% of need and/or if there are merit scholarships for which you have a chance of qualifying. That means being in the upper echelon of applicants for that school.

    OOS public universities rarely meet full need so unless you qualify for some merit award, it is highly unlikely that you will get a package to bring the costs down substantially. An athletic scholarship or merit award would have to be in the works to do this. Or some outside program like ROTC.

    It seems as though you have yourself covered with your Western Washington app. So see what happens with the other schools. Your father can see what the costs would be if you are accepted at some of those choices. My opinion is that you should not borrow large amounts of money for college. Your family is not able to help you repay those loans, and it is not likely that you will make so much more upon graduating from those schools, or any schools to repay such large amounts.
  • teemo321teemo321 Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    Honestly I don't think that you should let something such as debt stop you from living your dreams I mean I know that sounds irresponsible but its just my opinion
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    Your opinion doesn't have to pay a $1,000-per-month student loan bill for the next 10 years.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 25,370Registered User Senior Member
    ^^ I love that .
  • kela10kela10 Posts: 172Registered User Junior Member
    Being in debt stops thousands, if not millions, of people from living thier dreams every single day.
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