How to Convince Your Parents You're Ready to Go to College Out of State

The college conversation can be a difficult one, especially if you and your parents don't exactly see eye-to-eye.

For example, many parents prefer their kids go to state schools because those colleges are often less expensive, closer to home and give mom and dad an extra sense of security. However, there are tons of colleges and universities to choose from, so it's totally reasonable to set your sights beyond a state school.

If you want to convince your parents to let you spread your wings a bit, scroll down for a list of ways to convince them you're ready to go to college out of state.

Show Them You're Self-Sufficient

One of the first things you should do to help your parents see things from your perspective is show them you're independent. Though there are many reasons why your mom and dad might object to an out-of-state school, one of them probably has to do with the fact that they're not quite convinced you have the skills and coping mechanisms necessary to live so far away from home. It that's the case, prove them wrong by doing things like studying without their urging, which demonstrates you can stay on top of your own academic career; or doing chores around the house that show you can take care of yourself and your space; or putting money away that can be used towards a car or part of your tuition.


Make Concrete Plans to Visit Home

Another reason why you parents might have an issue with you going to a school far from home could be that they fear they're going to see you less. If you suspect that's the case, let them know you will make concrete plans to visit on holidays and special occasions. Though the distance might make coming home at the drop of a hat a bit more difficult, it's certainly doable to attend a school that's farther from your hometown and still see your family on a regular basis.

You can also ease your parents' fears by creating a Facetime and phone schedule that allows them to still be a big part of your life even if they aren't by your side. Simply knowing you've thought about the location factor and made a plan for how to address it, will likely ease at least some of your parents distance-related fears.

Lorelai and Rory on Gilmore Girls
(Gilmore Girls via The CW)


Check Out the On-Campus Job Situation

Many parents prefer that their kids attend state schools because they're typically much less expensive than colleges and universities that are private or located in a different state. If your parents cite money as a concern, it's really worth hearing them out on this one. Though they might have been able to put away some money for your college education, chances are those savings would go a lot farther at an institution that costs less money, meaning a state school is your best option if you don't want to either saddle your parents with debt or graduate with a mountain of debt of your own.

That said, if there isn't a massive difference in the cost of your dream school and the in-state school your parents had in mind, you can do your part to help fill that gap by promising to get an on-campus job or babysitting gig, or look into scholarship opportunities. If your parents' concerns are money-related, this could be a big help.


Research the College or University You're Interested in Attending

It's not enough to simply tell your parents you're interested in attending a school different from the state school they had in mind for you. Instead, you need to make a strong case for yourself. If you really have your heart set on a particular college or geographic location, do your research. That means talking to people who go to that school and learning more about exactly why you think it's a better match for you than whatever college your parents had in mind.

For example, if you're interested in studying law and the school you have your heart set on has a stronger pre-law program than your local state school, let your parents know that. If your mom and dad see that you're passionate about a different school, and have concrete reasons for your preference, they will be more inclined to hear you out.

Zoe Johnson in a College Class
(Grown-ish via Freeform)


Address Their Concerns Thoughtfully

Whatever concerns your parents may have about sending you to a school that's out of state, do your best to address them carefully and thoughtfully. Not only will this showcase your maturity and indicate to your mom and dad that you're taking this decision very seriously, but it might also allow you to see things from your parents' point of view, which could actually be helpful when it comes time to decide where you want to go. Sure, the school that's 500 miles away might have a good social scene and stellar music program, but if being close to your family is very important to you, that institution may not be the best choice.


For more college content, click HERE for advice on how to be both bold and brilliant when writing your college essay.