Imagine your dream college. Are you the type who won’t settle for anything less than ivy league? Or perhaps you’re willing to go anywhere as long as it’s far, far away from your hometown. If you hope to travel out of your home state to attend college, you aren’t alone. Its the dream of most high school students to move out of their childhood home and finally experience the freedoms associated with college.

Though for many students, having the financial stability to attend the college of their choice is not the reality. In recent years, college tuition costs have skyrocketed. Due to drastic price differences, many students will opt to attend college within their home state as this can be thousands of dollars cheaper.

331 students responded to a survey regarding their college plans. Of the 328 students who are planning on attending college, 264 of them would prefer to attend an out-of-state university. But when asked if they truly thought they would attend school out-of-state, only 183 students responded with yes. While this is still the majority, it is a smaller percentage of students. This data concludes that Upper Arlington appears to follow the current trend in choosing a college; while students would prefer to attend school out-of-state, financial aspects among others will only allow for some of those students to be able to attend their choice school.

Data from College Data shows that the national average for in-state tuition is $9,410. This price is thousands of dollars below $23,893, the national average for out-of-state tuition. Seeing as the cost of attending college out-of-state is 254% more expensive than attending school within your home state, one can see why students don’t venture far from home to attend college.

According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the average price of in-state tuition for Ohio residents in 2016 is $6,049. The average cost for out-of-state students, which is currently at $17,810, is over double this price. The average cost of tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students in Ohio is thousands of dollars under the national average.

While it isn’t difficult to see that attending college in-state can be drastically cheaper, the reasons behind this price difference might not be as obvious. Theoretically, one could obtain a solid undergraduate education at almost any university. But if this is true, why would it cost more to attend school out-of-state if the same quality of education could be obtained within your home state?

According to College Express, this difference in tuition is due to taxes. Most public universities are to some extend funded by tax dollars. Because these taxes are paid by the residents of that state, colleges argue that students who attend college in-state have already paid for part of their education through tax dollars.

So it’s finally here. It’s time to decide where you will spend the next four years of your life. Will you claim a prestigious spot at an Ivy League school? Or will you stay within the borders of your home state? The decision is yours.