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Pros/Cons going to an out-of state SLP grad program


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Hello everyone,

I've been fortunate enough to have been accepted to multiple SLP graduate programs where I have the option to choose whether I want to go out of state (as far away from home as 15 hours) or stay in the state where I received my undergraduate degree. After finishing my master's, I hope to move back to the area where I finished my undergraduate degree. I figure this might be my last opportunity before starting my career where I am able to get a "once in a lifetime experience". 

I was just wondering if there are any of you who are currently attending an SLP grad school out of state OR are planning on attending an out of state program? 

What are some pros/cons of attending an out of state program?

Edited by SLPgeek
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Firstly, congratulations on your acceptances! 

I was born and raised in California and decided to move to Texas for college (undergrad). A con to this and to going to grad school out of state as well, is paying out of state tuition. If you're not well off OR don't want to take out a considerable amount of loans, this can be a deal breaker. Each state is different in their rules for out-of-state (Texas is very strict about theirs) tuition. I was fortunate to receive a waiver during my time in school in Texas and was granted in-state tuition but this won't happen for everyone. So long story short, out of state tuition is a big con.

However, a pro is, like you said, a "once in a lifetime experience" and can be really fun--especially if you like exploring new places and opportunities. If money isn't too much of an issue or if you're able to secure a scholarship, I'm all for going out of state!!

For grad school, I decided to stay in Texas because I worked hard to earn in-state tuition and didn't want to deal with that again somewhere else.

Hope this helps!

Edited by Caitzilla
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Hi there! Congratulations on your acceptances!

I currently attend an out of state graduate program, and it has really been working well for me. My situation is a little bit different, as my home state does not have any graduate SLP programs, so I had to go out of state no matter what, but it has been an amazing experience. Like you, I want to go back to my home state to work once I've completed my masters, and I feel like my school has been very supportive of that decision and has even helped me secure externships in that state so that I can build connections there in addition to the connections I'm building at school. As Caitzilla said, the out of state tuition can be a real bugger, but if you can get scholarships that makes it a lot less daunting. I definitely experienced some home sickness which I wasn't necessarily expecting, but I definitely feel like it's worth it. For me it really comes down to the program. If you feel like the out of state program can give you the life and academic experiences you need as well support you in your plans to return to your home state then it is a valuable experience to have. You're right, this is definitely the time in your life to have those "once in a lifetime" experiences so if you feel like that makes sense to you I say go for it! 

Hope this was helpful! I'm always happy to talk about my experience as an out of state student if you have any questions!

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One thing to keep in mind is that some states have different requirements for licensure, and if you go to school in a different state than where you want to eventually practice, you might need to jump through extra hoops. For instance, New York requires the TSSLD certificate to work in schools, and it requires multiple courses that most out-of-state programs don't make a part of their curriculum. Do your research before deciding to make sure you don't end up with an unpleasant surprise later on!

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5 hours ago, bibliophile222 said:

One thing to keep in mind is that some states have different requirements for licensure, and if you go to school in a different state than where you want to eventually practice, you might need to jump through extra hoops. For instance, New York requires the TSSLD certificate to work in schools, and it requires multiple courses that most out-of-state programs don't make a part of their curriculum. Do your research before deciding to make sure you don't end up with an unpleasant surprise later on!

For the most part, as long as a school is ASHA certified and nationally accredited you are able to get your CCCs and thus you can work in virtually any state. :)I've seen that disclaimer on every university's website but if you look into what each state is asking for specifically to grant you a health license/teaching certificate they generally go off of whatever ASHA uses to qualify you to be a certified SLP. I think NY is the only state that I've noticed makes it more tricky to work in the schools even for regular classroom teachers. Possibly because everyone wants to live/work in NY lol... 

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On 2/23/2020 at 10:51 AM, SLPgeek said:

Hello everyone,

I've been fortunate enough to have been accepted to multiple SLP graduate programs where I have the option to choose whether I want to go out of state (as far away from home as 15 hours) or stay in the state where I received my undergraduate degree. After finishing my master's, I hope to move back to the area where I finished my undergraduate degree. I figure this might be my last opportunity before starting my career where I am able to get a "once in a lifetime experience". 

I was just wondering if there are any of you who are currently attending an SLP grad school out of state OR are planning on attending an out of state program? 

What are some pros/cons of attending an out of state program?

Go for the cheaper tuition! 2 years will fly by and then you'll have to pay all of those loans back. Biggest CON that outweighs ALL pros in my opinion is having to pay out of state tuition which can be almost double the price. I wouldn't be able to sit in a program knowing that other people in my cohort are paying practically HALF of what I'm paying for the SAME degree/education/experience simply because I wanted to go out of state. I've been itching to go out of state to explore a new city and live on my own but to be honest, after I get my masters the opportunity is always there to complete your CFY in another city or to take a short-term contract/position to explore other cities. Calculate any undergrad loans you have, then calculate the tuition of the out of state school you are interested in... THEN calculate living expenses (monthly rent/food/gas etc. for two years of not being able to work) and add it ALL together. That total is what will be looming over your head when you graduate and for the next few decades if it's an insane amount. THEN look into what your average SLP makes in the city you plan on working in (I've been in the field for 4 years and have worked as an SLPA and as a bachelors level SLP in the schools, I have met and asked TONS of SLP's questions about salary) and it's typically no where near 6 figures or more than $50K starting out regardless as to what pops up on google when you search SLP salaries. Rule of thumb is to try your best to not graduate with more than what you will expect to be making your first year out of grad school. I think it's easy to be swayed by emotions but your future self will thank you if you make the smart decision to pick a program where you will obtain in-state tuition. 

 

I feel strongly about this as I have friends that are paying an arm and a leg for SLP programs and will come out with around $100K in loans for going out of state. I understand their situation because they were not accepted into any in-state programs due to extremely low GPA/GRE so they HAD to go where they were accepted. But if you are in a position where low GPA/GRE is not an issue, please consider saving the adventure for post-grad! The student loan crisis is no joke and it's very easy to get swept up into that statistic because these universities love to take advantage of young people that are trying to invest in their future. Out of state tuition is honestly a scam in my opinion and it's important to remember that all of these universities in America are businesses and operate as such. They are in it for the money. I've visited friends that are in out-of-state programs and they live in the funnest/hippest cities and have their own cute little apartments, take the train/subway to class etc and it seems like a dream when you come from a boring suburban town but if you look at how much you will be paying back monthly for student loans post-grad school it's simply not worth it. 

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Go look at what your total cost will be for in-state vs. out of state. Then take those numbers and punch it into a student loan calculator. I worked it out for the schools I'm looking at. When I graduate my monthly payments will be something like $250 for in-state, vs. nearly $600 for out-of-state. Yikes!

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18 hours ago, popcornlover722 said:

Go for the cheaper tuition! 2 years will fly by and then you'll have to pay all of those loans back. Biggest CON that outweighs ALL pros in my opinion is having to pay out of state tuition which can be almost double the price. I wouldn't be able to sit in a program knowing that other people in my cohort are paying practically HALF of what I'm paying for the SAME degree/education/experience simply because I wanted to go out of state. I've been itching to go out of state to explore a new city and live on my own but to be honest, after I get my masters the opportunity is always there to complete your CFY in another city or to take a short-term contract/position to explore other cities. Calculate any undergrad loans you have, then calculate the tuition of the out of state school you are interested in... THEN calculate living expenses (monthly rent/food/gas etc. for two years of not being able to work) and add it ALL together. That total is what will be looming over your head when you graduate and for the next few decades if it's an insane amount. THEN look into what your average SLP makes in the city you plan on working in (I've been in the field for 4 years and have worked as an SLPA and as a bachelors level SLP in the schools, I have met and asked TONS of SLP's questions about salary) and it's typically no where near 6 figures or more than $50K starting out regardless as to what pops up on google when you search SLP salaries. Rule of thumb is to try your best to not graduate with more than what you will expect to be making your first year out of grad school. I think it's easy to be swayed by emotions but your future self will thank you if you make the smart decision to pick a program where you will obtain in-state tuition. 

 

I feel strongly about this as I have friends that are paying an arm and a leg for SLP programs and will come out with around $100K in loans for going out of state. I understand their situation because they were not accepted into any in-state programs due to extremely low GPA/GRE so they HAD to go where they were accepted. But if you are in a position where low GPA/GRE is not an issue, please consider saving the adventure for post-grad! The student loan crisis is no joke and it's very easy to get swept up into that statistic because these universities love to take advantage of young people that are trying to invest in their future. Out of state tuition is honestly a scam in my opinion and it's important to remember that all of these universities in America are businesses and operate as such. They are in it for the money. I've visited friends that are in out-of-state programs and they live in the funnest/hippest cities and have their own cute little apartments, take the train/subway to class etc and it seems like a dream when you come from a boring suburban town but if you look at how much you will be paying back monthly for student loans post-grad school it's simply not worth it. 

As someone who has done the out-of-state, high tuition school, I 100% agree with you. I love my program and have had a great experience, but I was foolish when applying and didn't do the research to apply to enough cheap schools. I was rejected from the one in-state program I applied to and should have applied to more even if I wasn't thrilled with the location.

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I am currently not in an out of state grad program, however, I went out of state for undergrad. And not just to the next state over, I went 19-20 hours away. I am from San Antonio, TX and went to South Bend, IN (which is in the northern part of Indiana like 10 minutes away from MI). I believe that going out of state for school as allowed me to meet so many people with different backgrounds/beliefs/opinions, and has allowed me to grow more independent. I am a big promoter of going to college not in a city where you grew up, to allow you to expand your mind and connections.

 

I am looking at most likely going out of state for grad school as well. I would love to explore different parts of the US and see where I would like to live. While I love Texas, I know I could live there, what I don't know, is if I like somewhere else better! Grad school is only two years, and I think it's a great opportunity to explore somewhere new. However, there is another side of the coin. Going to grad school in-state is cheaper and if you know you already would like to live there, it seems like the smart move.

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22 hours ago, popcornlover722 said:

Go for the cheaper tuition! 2 years will fly by and then you'll have to pay all of those loans back. Biggest CON that outweighs ALL pros in my opinion is having to pay out of state tuition which can be almost double the price. I wouldn't be able to sit in a program knowing that other people in my cohort are paying practically HALF of what I'm paying for the SAME degree/education/experience simply because I wanted to go out of state. I've been itching to go out of state to explore a new city and live on my own but to be honest, after I get my masters the opportunity is always there to complete your CFY in another city or to take a short-term contract/position to explore other cities. Calculate any undergrad loans you have, then calculate the tuition of the out of state school you are interested in... THEN calculate living expenses (monthly rent/food/gas etc. for two years of not being able to work) and add it ALL together. That total is what will be looming over your head when you graduate and for the next few decades if it's an insane amount. THEN look into what your average SLP makes in the city you plan on working in (I've been in the field for 4 years and have worked as an SLPA and as a bachelors level SLP in the schools, I have met and asked TONS of SLP's questions about salary) and it's typically no where near 6 figures or more than $50K starting out regardless as to what pops up on google when you search SLP salaries. Rule of thumb is to try your best to not graduate with more than what you will expect to be making your first year out of grad school. I think it's easy to be swayed by emotions but your future self will thank you if you make the smart decision to pick a program where you will obtain in-state tuition. 

 

I feel strongly about this as I have friends that are paying an arm and a leg for SLP programs and will come out with around $100K in loans for going out of state. I understand their situation because they were not accepted into any in-state programs due to extremely low GPA/GRE so they HAD to go where they were accepted. But if you are in a position where low GPA/GRE is not an issue, please consider saving the adventure for post-grad! The student loan crisis is no joke and it's very easy to get swept up into that statistic because these universities love to take advantage of young people that are trying to invest in their future. Out of state tuition is honestly a scam in my opinion and it's important to remember that all of these universities in America are businesses and operate as such. They are in it for the money. I've visited friends that are in out-of-state programs and they live in the funnest/hippest cities and have their own cute little apartments, take the train/subway to class etc and it seems like a dream when you come from a boring suburban town but if you look at how much you will be paying back monthly for student loans post-grad school it's simply not worth it. 

This single handedly made me withdraw an interview from a school that was too expensive. This advice may be unpleasant to hear, but it's necessary and so so smart to think ahead.

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23 hours ago, popcornlover722 said:

Go for the cheaper tuition! 2 years will fly by and then you'll have to pay all of those loans back. Biggest CON that outweighs ALL pros in my opinion is having to pay out of state tuition which can be almost double the price. I wouldn't be able to sit in a program knowing that other people in my cohort are paying practically HALF of what I'm paying for the SAME degree/education/experience simply because I wanted to go out of state. I've been itching to go out of state to explore a new city and live on my own but to be honest, after I get my masters the opportunity is always there to complete your CFY in another city or to take a short-term contract/position to explore other cities. Calculate any undergrad loans you have, then calculate the tuition of the out of state school you are interested in... THEN calculate living expenses (monthly rent/food/gas etc. for two years of not being able to work) and add it ALL together. That total is what will be looming over your head when you graduate and for the next few decades if it's an insane amount. THEN look into what your average SLP makes in the city you plan on working in (I've been in the field for 4 years and have worked as an SLPA and as a bachelors level SLP in the schools, I have met and asked TONS of SLP's questions about salary) and it's typically no where near 6 figures or more than $50K starting out regardless as to what pops up on google when you search SLP salaries. Rule of thumb is to try your best to not graduate with more than what you will expect to be making your first year out of grad school. I think it's easy to be swayed by emotions but your future self will thank you if you make the smart decision to pick a program where you will obtain in-state tuition. 

 

I feel strongly about this as I have friends that are paying an arm and a leg for SLP programs and will come out with around $100K in loans for going out of state. I understand their situation because they were not accepted into any in-state programs due to extremely low GPA/GRE so they HAD to go where they were accepted. But if you are in a position where low GPA/GRE is not an issue, please consider saving the adventure for post-grad! The student loan crisis is no joke and it's very easy to get swept up into that statistic because these universities love to take advantage of young people that are trying to invest in their future. Out of state tuition is honestly a scam in my opinion and it's important to remember that all of these universities in America are businesses and operate as such. They are in it for the money. I've visited friends that are in out-of-state programs and they live in the funnest/hippest cities and have their own cute little apartments, take the train/subway to class etc and it seems like a dream when you come from a boring suburban town but if you look at how much you will be paying back monthly for student loans post-grad school it's simply not worth it. 

I completely agree with this. When I first started making my long list of potential programs, I was looking all over the map. Now, I believe I will choose whichever school is the most affordable. I just can't get my fear of student loan debt out of my head! I cannot justify graduating with $100k in loans and a $600-$800 per month student loan payment on top of other bills, mortgage, and a possible car payment (hopefully not). No way! I don't want to make that SLP money in my new career and see NONE of it because of bills and loan payments.

At one of the interview days I attended, I asked the grad students of a very expensive program, "How did you justify choosing this program given how much tuition costs, and how did you become comfortable taking that amount in student loans?" Literally all of them said, "We just try not to think about it." !!!

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12 minutes ago, justwaitin:) said:

I completely agree with this. When I first started making my long list of potential programs, I was looking all over the map. Now, I believe I will choose whichever school is the most affordable. I just can't get my fear of student loan debt out of my head! I cannot justify graduating with $100k in loans and a $600-$800 per month student loan payment on top of other bills, mortgage, and a possible car payment (hopefully not). No way! I don't want to make that SLP money in my new career and see NONE of it because of bills and loan payments.

At one of the interview days I attended, I asked the grad students of a very expensive program, "How did you justify choosing this program given how much tuition costs, and how did you become comfortable taking that amount in student loans?" Literally all of them said, "We just try not to think about it." !!!

Currently I only have $59k in debt and my monthly loan payments are already ~$800. I haven't refinanced them yet but I'm glad you have the same mindset!

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9 hours ago, MadisonMachelle said:

Currently I only have $59k in debt and my monthly loan payments are already ~$800. I haven't refinanced them yet but I'm glad you have the same mindset!

Ahh! That's basically a mortgage payment! :o

You're definitely making the right choice, thinking about tuition costs before its too late. I hope you receive a great offer (GA position/waiver) from an amazing program!!

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I applied out of state because I really wanted a bilingual Spanish-English focus for my masters. That being said, now looking at the cost I'm feeling a little stressed about that decision. I still stand by it because I'm ultimately paying for the education (so it should be the education I want), but I would definitely stay in state if the programs were comparable. I agree with what's been said here about big picture finances. You can always relocate or go out of state for work (check out advanced travel therapy), but I wouldn't pay the extra $$$ for the experience of going to school out of state. Good luck with your decision and congrats on getting in!

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1 hour ago, lifeispeachy said:

I applied out of state because I really wanted a bilingual Spanish-English focus for my masters. That being said, now looking at the cost I'm feeling a little stressed about that decision. I still stand by it because I'm ultimately paying for the education (so it should be the education I want), but I would definitely stay in state if the programs were comparable. I agree with what's been said here about big picture finances. You can always relocate or go out of state for work (check out advanced travel therapy), but I wouldn't pay the extra $$$ for the experience of going to school out of state. Good luck with your decision and congrats on getting in!

I applied to a couple out of state schools that are part of the Western Regional Graduate Program. So Boulder, New Mexico, California, and I think Utah all pay in state tuition. That's how I justified applying to Boulder.

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Definitely look at cost! I'm going out of state but the program cost (tuition, living, etc.) is all comparable to going in-state, so don't assume that one will necessarily be cheaper than the other.

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1 hour ago, MadisonMachelle said:

I applied to a couple out of state schools that are part of the Western Regional Graduate Program. So Boulder, New Mexico, California, and I think Utah all pay in state tuition. That's how I justified applying to Boulder.

I just graduated from CU with my undergrad if you have any questions about the department or Boulder in general! Feel free to message me. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/20/2020 at 12:42 PM, SLPgeek said:

Thank you for the advice everyone! I decided to go to my local in-state school. I think it’s the best decision especially right now with so many unknowns due to the coronavirus. Plus I’ll be saving so much money by doing this.

Thanks for updating us! Great decision, you'll have so much more control on your finances after grad school. 

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  • 3 months later...
On 2/26/2020 at 8:26 AM, lifeispeachy said:

I applied out of state because I really wanted a bilingual Spanish-English focus for my masters. That being said, now looking at the cost I'm feeling a little stressed about that decision. I still stand by it because I'm ultimately paying for the education (so it should be the education I want), but I would definitely stay in state if the programs were comparable. I agree with what's been said here about big picture finances. You can always relocate or go out of state for work (check out advanced travel therapy), but I wouldn't pay the extra $$$ for the experience of going to school out of state. Good luck with your decision and congrats on getting in!

Hi, random, but did you do a post-bacc for SLP? Some of the schools you got into are the ones I would like to get into and I'm deciding on the most suitable (prerequisite wise) post bacc program. Thank you! 

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