Opinion: Colleges should get rid of higher out-of-state tuitions

Hannah Armenta is a senior journalism major and the editor of The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Hannah Armenta

To all of my out-of-state friends, I’m sorry. We drew the short end of the stick deciding to come to a college in a different state than we call our own. We pay more than $8,000 more per year in tuition alone than our native Ohioan friends — that is, unless we become a resident.

I’m from California (I know, why did I move from California to Ohio?) My parents were gracious enough to pay for my first degree, but for my second one, I was on my own. Since I decided to come to Kent State — an out-of-state school­ — I wanted to make it as cheap as possible. I decided I wanted to become a resident of the great state of Ohio in order to someday pay cheaper tuition.

I can still remember the day I went to go change my residency. It was January. After living in the snow for three days, I already decided I hated it and wished I was walking the lovely 60 degree streets of San Francisco again. 

The lady behind the counter asked to see my California driver’s license. I gave it to her, thinking I was going to get it back. When she came back, I asked where it was. She shredded it. My heart broke, and it was the first time I realized that yes, I was now officially living in Ohio, a state I didn’t really know much about other than it had cows, seasons and Amish people.

I’m now a resident of Ohio and reap all the benefits any Ohio student would have. But was it really necessary for me to officially become a resident of the state in order to go to school at an affordable cost? I don’t think so.

Out-of-state residents receive the same education as our other peers and receive no special benefits for coming to an out-of-state school; in fact, we are penalized with a higher tuition.

On one hand, it’s smart for schools to charge students out-of-state tuition. They get more money, and there is a higher chance the student will stay in the state and help to grow its economy. On the other, it drives away students from out-of-state who don’t want to give up their residency in their home state to make college cheaper. 

I think universities should have equal tuition for everyone, regardless of where you come from.

Contact Hannah Armenta at [email protected].