Out-of-state student weighs in on opportunity costs

Margherite Pettenuzzo

At UW Oshkosh, out-of-state students and international students do not experience the same luxuries as students who live in the state of Wisconsin. For someone like me who chose to go to an out-of-state school, it is not hard to forget all the things these students give up by going to a college that isn’t in their home state or country.
With the upcoming election, the opportunity cost of tuition expenses may be exploited because of different proposals candidates have in mind.

In 2017, UWO had an increase in out-of-state students by 7% and throughout recent years, the influx of international students has increased.

The biggest and best known opportunity cost is the tuition aspect of living outside Wisconsin. In-state tuition at UWO is less expensive by a considerable amount compared to out-of-state tuition.

Coinciding with that, college tuition has been in the news recently due to different candidates proposing different solutions. Whether the proposals be free college with the cancellation of student debt or state government dealing with tuition, out-of-state students will not have as big of an opportunity cost as before if any of these ideas are adopted.

The most notable and biggest opportunity cost other than tuition that I have come across from living out of state is the licenses that most degrees require. If students who live out of state obtain a license at UWO (for example, a teaching license or certified nursing assistant license) that license only pertains to the state of Wisconsin.

This means that all out-of-state and international students have to retake the test that pertains to their specific state or country to gain that license there. It is a strenuous process that most people do not consider.

As much as UWO does not like to promote this idea, the fact of the matter comes down to the idea that this school is a backpack school. A backpack school is a term used to say most of the in-state students here choose to go home on the weekends more often than not.

Some ways the university could possibly eliminate some of the disadvantages that the out-of-state and international students experience is by changing a few aspects.

The biggest change that could dismantle some of these disadvantages is simply being more proactive on letting students know about them. They can do this through the campus website and by making sure to mention it when tours are given on campus.

And of course, lowering tuition for out-of-state and international students would be a very nice act shown by the university.

When looking at all opportunity costs, it is clear that out-of-state students have more than in-state students. But it is also the choice of out-of-state students to experience these opportunity costs.

By going to college, all students are making an investment in their future. We out-of-state students are choosing to invest in our futures by choosing to come to the UWO given the specific opportunity costs.

The opportunity costs may be large, but the pros do outweigh the cons when choosing to come here. However, the school and students could benefit from altering these disadvantages for out-of-state and international students.