Close to Home vs. Far Away When School Quality and Price are Similar?

<p>I am currently trying to choose between two schools to attend next year. They are:</p>

<p>University of Tennessee (~$10k a year total) (My state school.)
Colorado State University (~$16k a year total)</p>

<p>I will be studying Environmental Engineering.</p>

<p>Of course, neither school really jumps out as higher in academic quailty than the other, and I would consider them close to equal on that front, with the edge going toward CSU. </p>

<p>The big issue is the personalities of each school. I am a competitive rock climber, and the allure of CSU of course rests in the climbing possibilities around the school (bike-riding distance) that would provide an outlet for my passion, and the type of kids that attend there (mostly outdoorsy types) seem to be a fit for me, as well as plenty other reasons (campus, dorms, etc.). UT is your typical SEC football school, located in the downtown of a big city. The typical student is not really "my type", though some do exist. Closest climbing is at least an hour and a half away. However, I know not a soul at CSU and I fear I would never enter the social circles of the Colorado natives. I know literally hundreds of UT students, and I am guaranteed close friends and comfort, even though these friends aren't quite "my type".</p>

<p>So the question is: Should I attend CSU, regardless of the risk and distance, for the potential reward in finding myself/experiencing life more fully? Or should I play it safe and go three hours down the road to UT, knowing I will have a worry-free, guaranteed-fun experience?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>I would consider the following:
-Is the difference in money an important factor to your family? If so that has to be a major consideration.
-If you want to settle in Tenn., would UT give you better opportunities/connections over the long term?
-Consider how often you would realistically get to climb etc. at CSU -- is it something you could do on a regular basis (I don't know)?
-Also consider your personality and what you would be up for. My S was happy staying close to home in a safer environment -- he would be running to UT, while my D loves to set out alone to new places and would likely want to go to CSU. There is not right or wrong answer.
-If possible, I'd really try to visit CSU so you can get a sense of the people and how you would fit in.<br>
Sorry, but in my mind, you are the only one who can really answer this one.......Best of luck.</p>

<p>CSU is more than 50% more expensive than UT. Not at all something that I would describe as a "similar" price. </p>

<p>That said, if your family is OK paying the difference, there is nothing wrong with giving CSU a shot. It is perfectly OK to choose the place that you feel will be the biggest adventure for you.</p>

<p>I always say this to these kind of threads. You never want to look back in life and say "What if...". </p>

<p>Sent from my SGH-T959V using CC</p>

...regardless of the risk...


<p>What risk? Nothing in your paragraph preceding that sentence can be considered a 'risk'; well maybe the idea that you'll be unable to find any friends at a school with 23,000 undergrads, but that seems unlikely.</p>

<p>If money isn't a factor, go to CSU, you can always transfer later if you hate it.</p>

<p>At Tennessee, would you major in something like civil engineering while doing environmental engineering as a minor? Tennessee does not have environmental engineering as a major.</p>

<p>Colorado State has a standalone environmental engineering major (with ABET accreditation).</p>

<p>Basically, you want to go to CSU but the finances say UT makes more sense.</p>

<p>Tell me, how are you financing your education? Are your parents paying, and if so how much? If your parents have the money to pay out of pocket and you can convince them CSU is worth it, go ahead and go there. If you're taking out major loans to attend school, then it's probably not worth increasing the debt.</p>

<p>"The big issue is the personalities of each school."</p>

<p>If that's all this is about, then go to CSU. Part of becoming educated is pushing your boundaries and exploring other parts of the world. When all those freshman arrive, every one of them is looking for friends who share their interests and you'll be one of them. If you spend a year at CSU and don't like it, you can always transfer in-state, assuming you keep your grades up.</p>

<p>It doesn't quite sound that all things are equal. But if they are, if you can't be adventurous when you're 18, when are you going to be? If you want to try someplace different, this it.</p>

<p>I was a desk potato, and I climbed rocks at CSU. You know you'll find other climbers, and I would be shocked if there isn't a climbing club. BIG CAVEAT: I'm finding now that my son is in an out-of-state school that an out-of-state life seems to go with it because of the companies that recruit there, etc. I'm sad to think he'll probably settle in California instead of in Colorado, where I still live.</p>

<p>You'll meet a whole new crop of friends whether you go to UT or CSU.</p>

<p>If your family considers $10K similar to $16K, and you wouldn't mind deciding that Colorado is home instead of Tennessee, go to CSU.</p>

<p>I can relate, I'm trying to make a similar decision. One thing you really need to think of is costs of traveling. Flights from tennessee to colorado will add up over the years man. Also it will be a major hassle trying to get your stuff to and from colorado. </p>

<p>I dont know the culture of colorado state, but if it is mostly in state kids you could have a hard time making friends there. But it seems to me that you would share a lot of common interests so I wouldnt be to worried about it. </p>

<p>Overall, this is a tough decision. I feel for you because I'm in the same situation. If I were you I would go to colorado state. Its an adventure going to a new part of the country to live. You dont get many opportunities in life to drastically change your location and college is one of them. Also, if you decide to live in colorado, it will be much easier for you having gone to colorado state, you will already have a network in the state and it will be easier for you to live there. It would be hard to move to colorado knowing absolutely no one as an adult, where the social aspects of college that put people together is gone. It will be much harder to meet people. </p>

<p>Go with your gut feeling though man. If it were me I would go to colorado state.</p>

<p>"One thing you really need to think of is costs of traveling. Flights from tennessee to colorado will add up over the years man. Also it will be a major hassle trying to get your stuff to and from colorado."</p>

<p>Some perspective on this (since we have 2 who are airplane rides away): The cost of traveling pales in comparison to the cost of your education overall. You'll also find that you are going home less often over time. In freshman year, we saw the kids at all the holidays. By senior year, we had to get in line if we wanted a few days at winter and spring break. Second child didn't even come home over the summers since she stayed on campus to do research. Life gets very full of work, friends and significant others. (Actually, for parents, this is one of the downsides of having kids who study far away). Thank goodness for Skype! </p>

<p>As for the hassle of moving your stuff - generally, you don't. You store your stuff on campus (they have storage facilities) and pack a suitcase to go home. Everyone helps everyone else move out their stuff out of the dorm into storage. Not a big deal.</p>