T Nation

Better Education: Cali or Midwest?


The more I do my research, the more I find that expensive places to live provide high paychecks whereas cheaper places provide less paychecks. So where exactly lies the better value? Higher col (cost-of-living) and higher pay or lower col and lower pay?

I'm deciding if I should stay in California to complete my education or just go out-of-state. However, my decision will be influenced on the affordability of the area and the quality of the education. So far, I realize the value of the California education but the expensive cost-of-living to go with it and the affordability of the Midwest but the uncertainty of the education.

As far as the midwest goes, I'm an extremely down-to-earth guy and keep myself busy with work, school, working out, and a relationship - I'm not interested in my paychecks, only the aforementioned items. I would love to live in the midwest, but don't know about the quality of the education.

So Cali or Midwest? Maybe I should listen to my heart, not my head...


Um, what? You do realize that some midwest schools are ranked extremely high in certain fields? For instance, there is that pesky tie between the U of Minnesota Chem Eng. Dept. and 3M, which is headquartered out of St. Paul. Also, there is the in-state tuition thing.


If your from Cali, go to school out of State, people will love you, your different. And its good to live some where else for a while. You could always move back, when your done. If your from the mid west, Cali you need the exposure to what it is and the various cultures that exist here. Don't worry so much about the school itself all states offer good schools in one subject or another.


I doubt he wants to change his major to something he might hate because he moved to a new state.


I'm from the midwest and just moved out to cali to go to school. Universities in the midwest are just like anywhere else. All of the big 10 schools are top notch universities. However, you will be paying out of the ass for out-of-state tuition. There are a few colleges with decent out-out-state tuition though.

If you pick a college that isn't in a big city, you may be in for a shock. I'm assuming that you are used to being in a big city like LA or san fran or even san diego. But many colleges in the midwest are located in small towns and cities. Just make sure that a decent size city is nearby.


also, keep in mind that public institutions in cali are exponentially cheaper than public institutions in other states. My out-of-state tuition where I'm going now is cheaper than my in state tuition would be if I stayed in Indiana.


I'll tell you that I agree that the Big Ten Universities are among the best, research Universities. The University of Iowa in particular has the lowest out-of-state tuition in the Big Ten at somewhere like 8-12 Gs/year. Hope that helps!


wow, the word 'exponentially' really got to me. the thing is, i would only have to pay out of state tuition for one year if I do decide to go out of state.

wait another question, what is generally the difference between Universities vs. state schools? (University of Pennsylvania vs. Penn state)

Almost everyone I've heard of thats famous went to a University and not a state school. So whats the deal? I heard only Universities have a right to grant Phds but is that generally the only difference?


I honestly don't think there's a big difference between state schools and universities. In state tuition at many institutions is still expensive. College students in cali have it nice in terms of tuition.


Any college can grant a Ph.D. provided they have an accredited doctoral program and the senior faculty necessary. Most smaller schools don't have the necessary faculty or the facilities to offer Ph.D. research, as the school's resources are quite limited compared to bigger universities.

As far as earn more spend more, or earn less spend less: assuming the cost of living is proportional to earnings, and you can save 10% of your yearly income, you will come out ahead by living in a higher paying higher spending region.