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College Advise: Home or Away?

  1. Nov 12, 2006 #1

    Here's my situation. I am currently going to Ohio State University. The tuition here is about $11,000 a quarter. I am going to engineering, which is ranking around the 15th in the country. However, lately, I've been thinking of going to college in my hometown of Toledo. I have been thinking of switching to University of Toledo. The following reasons are making me lean towards going back home:

    -It's free because my mom is a professor there
    -I could live at home for the first year, which is nice (I don't mind living in dorms, I love the social life, but home is just better in my opinion)
    -University of Toledo's engineering program is ranked just a few below OSU's
    -I am in a long distance relationship right now and I would be closer to my girlfriend (this is not my deciding factor but certainly adds to the appeal).

    The thing that I am worried about about moving back home is that I will not develop my independence skills as much as when I am away.

    Any thoughts or wisdom on this matter? What would you do?

    Thank you very much,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2006 #2
    What I would do is probably fairly different then you based on the fact that I am in a different set of circumstances, but perhaps you can benefit from my point of view.

    There are really quite a few plus's to residence life which you haven't considered (according to your post of course. :) )

    Depending on how far you live from the University, travel time can take a large chunk out of your life. Thinka bout it, for me personally it would take 50 minutes to bus each way. Thats almost 2 hours a day! Over the course of a school year thats a crap load of studying time, and if your taking engineering, study time is worth more than gold. Also, I think that you would tend to be more focused on schoolwork while in residence since everyone is in the same position as you and it encourages you to study. Although of course there is a downside if you hang out with people whom would rather chit chat the night away then study :P.

    Although you are right that you will save money, in Canada we have pretty big bursaries (remissions) at the end of the year if you are getting good grades and that lowers the cost of post secondary immensely, do you have the same thing in the states? Also realize that when you are an engineer, the student debt won't seem as big as it seems now (in my oppinion.)

    Is this your first year in uni? I think it's common to miss parents and miss home, but it's part of life and I think you will be able to adjust. Long distance relationships are tough as well though.

    In the end it's up to you, but for me, I am choosing residence away from home.

    Although on second thought... free education might sway my decision a bit. lol
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2006
  4. Nov 12, 2006 #3
    It's always difficult to develop independence at home.. and at university when a parent is faculty there (and I think this would be the case at a school the size of Toledo).

    But I'll agree that Toledo's undergrad programs are fine... my sister went there on full scholarship for chem/bio and later did an Md./Ph.D. program (this are quite competitive to get into) at the University of Michigan. Her husband also did his electrical engineering B.S. and M.S. through Toledo... and I believe he lived at home the whole time. He had no trouble getting a job (at Toledo Edison) later on, and eventually he broke away and is now part of a consulting firm (designing lighting, electrical, and security systems for companies).

    I also had a lab-mate in Physics grad school (at one of the top schools in Atomic/Molecular Physics) who did his undergrad at Toledo and is now considering going back there for a post-doc, since his family and his wife's family are in the region and apparently the area is going to have large growth in photovoltaic research, which is an interest of his (and might be good for you to know about).

    Now people around the country (and even globe) will KNOW the name of Ohio State more than Toledo. It's just fact. So if you decide to go to a little school, you have to have sure to "be a big fish in a little pond" to make your recommendations and resume/CV impressive (perhaps even do internships or research somewhere else)... in big schools you can get away a bit easier with "being a little fish" (although I'd say anywhere you go you should try to build yourself as much as possible... that's what attending a university is for.
  5. Nov 12, 2006 #4
    What about home is appealing to you? Are you sure you aren't just homesick?
  6. Nov 13, 2006 #5
    if your getting free tution than it probably wouldn't hurt you to much to pay for a dorm, that would certainly allow you to be more independant.

    Also is your girlfriend still in high school? or is she going to a nearby university? keep in mind that if its the former she will be going off to college soon anyway, and you'd be back to a distance relationship.
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