Transfer out of state for affordable rent

Andrea Arriola

For many Los Medanos students, applying to a college outside of California is illogical due to the expensive cost of out of state tuition. According to the Heath Resource Center at the National Youth Transition Center, on average, it costs $8990 more for students to attend a college or university in a state where they are not a resident. I am a transfer student graduating this fall, and like many others, I have been doing some research on universities I’m interested in attending next year. Knowing how much more out of state tuition can be, I restricted myself to only apply to schools in California. My first choices were San Francisco State University and San Jose State University mostly because I see myself living in either city and still close enough to family in the bay area. I then decided to broaden my horizons and thought, “Why stop there? Moving to SoCal wouldn’t be too bad,” and I got comfortable with the idea of applying to schools in San Diego and L.A. I mean why not enjoy all of what California has to offer right?
What I failed to consider was cost of living in the cities I am debating applying to. A few Google searches and a minor anxiety attack later, I was shocked to see that each of the cities I had mentally just got comfortable living in made CNN’s list for the top 10 cities that have the highest rent in the country. L.A. came in seventh place, San Jose in sixth, and beating New York, San Francisco is officially listed as the most expensive city to live in here in the United States.
I always knew the west coast was the best coast but the ridiculously high rent in California proves the state is in high demand of housing. This is unfortunate for college students who simply cannot afford to live near campus.
Although discouraged at first, I realized that even while paying out of state tuition, attending a university in a state with a lower cost of living can potentially be equal to or even cheaper than attending some universities in California. With this in mind, and with the right circumstances, transfer students at LMC should not feel obligated to remain inside the state borderlines. Instead, we can consider applying to schools that meet our standards from all over the country.