Originally Posted by LizzyQ
Are you saying that Fafsa doesn't allow for out of state tuition difference?
We were thinking about moving to Ohio for the low-housing costs. We can buy a house just as big or bigger than what we are in right now (1500 sq ft) for about 1/3 or 1/2 the price of Salt Lake homes (or even less if we decide to put some work into a cheaper one) That's our motivation. We figure that we could concentrate more on school and raising our children rather than working waaaay more than we want to, while barely making end meet that way.
I'm really not sure. I would discuss it with the school you're at now because I know financial aid can vary from school to school. The reason though should make it easy, because it's very quantifiable. Say school will cost $2,000 amount more but we'll save $4,000 in yearly payments while gaining equity then it's simple.
Keep in mind though, there are advantages to renting, especially when you're a student. If your dishwasher breaks there's no calling the landlord. You're responsible for the time, effort and expense. I realized that my winter quarter I missed more days of class (2) due to being a homeowner (gutter issues, flooded carpet issues, separate days but possibly related) and only 1 due to being a parent (sick kid). Think of it as renting is like being a live-in nanny as a student instead of a parent. You on the surface have the same responsibilities but don't have to deal with crises and if it's too difficult you can quit and find a better job.
And homeownership can nickel and dime you to death. I remember when we first moved in being on the verge of crying in a Fred Meyer over the $13 cost of a garbage can, just because it was one of dozens of things I hadn't accounted for when we moved and I'd just had it stress-wise.
The flip side is now (10 yrs later) our home payment is comparable to what some of my friends pay in rent and they worry they'll never be able to afford a home. But it was a rough first couple of years and I don't know I'd want to tackle it and school at the same time, especially if I was near finishing.
But there are loan options that may be really good for your situation, like an ARM. If you're going to be graduating and going to work more as kids get older, but need lower payments for now, the ARM is a great fit. (It got a really bad rep in the housing crisis but only because it was sold to people who weren't expecting an increase in income and couldn't afford an increase in payments.)