Studying the Art of Love: Should You Go To The Same College as Your Significant Other?
Following the one you love to the ends of the earth may sound like an incredibly romantic notion. And, if it sounds that way to you, this would include going to college with your beloved boyfriend or girlfriend, right? Because college, wherever it’s located, does technically fall somewhere within the parameters of “to the ends of the earth,” doesn’t it?
Although we’re having a bit of fun and using some hyperbole when asking these questions, the dilemma can be quite real. Whether you’re finishing up high school and planning to transition to a college away from home, or you’re an adult returning to school and have a significant other attending college, you may be considering whether or not the two of you should attend the same school.
Like just about any other question in existence, of course, there are pros and cons to attending college with your sweetheart, and this post will explore them. We’ll also share how these reasons might evolve the longer you’re attending college together.
So, if you’re wondering, “Should I attend college with my boyfriend (or girlfriend)?” we encourage you to keep reading this post!
Transitioning to College Together: Pros and Cons
Just as with other geographical moves, when you transition to college, you’ll probably be leaving behind plenty of friends and family members whom you know and love, moving to a place where you’ll be living and engaging with brand new people.
If that sounds scary to you, there can be real benefits to having your significant other by your side. Schedules permitting, you can walk to classes together, eat meals together, socialize on the weekends as a couple and more. This can help to smooth over the transition and allow you to ease into the collegiate experience.
That said, this can also limit you from enjoying a fuller college experience because you may not feel the need to make as many new friends, join clubs, and engage in social opportunities.
Plus, focusing too much on your relationship can cut into study time. It can sometimes be a real challenge to balance, say, work and school, without also adding in time for a serious relationship.
Long-Distance Relationships: Pros and Cons
Now let’s flip the decision. If you want to stay together as a couple but don’t necessarily want to attend the same school, you could instead engage in a long-distance relationship.
For some couples, this is an excellent solution because it gives each of them a chance to grow and thrive in new environments. Some couples decide to remain exclusively committed while living geographically apart, while others don’t. As long as the two of you agree, the situation can work.
Challenges with long-distance relationship include:
• Missing your significant other, perhaps especially while you’re transitioning to college
• Skype and Facetime can help, but this technology isn’t a long-term replacement for being face-to-face with the one you love
• One of you, after experiencing college life, might want to be single for a while, but the other one might not
• Long-term breakups can be tough; all splits can be, of course, but this type comes with its own unique challenges
If you remain a happy couple while apart, this can help you to realize how your significant other really is the one for you. This can also teach you plenty about what you genuinely want in a lasting relationship.
Now, we’ll look at factors unique to you and your relationship, to help you make the right decision.
Your Personality and Goals Make a Difference
Clearly, no one decision is right for everyone. To make your own decision, here are a few things to consider:
• Remember that going away to college may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you should take advantage of amazing opportunities.
• How do you define “amazing opportunities”? If, for example, the idea of studying abroad for a semester is appealing, factor that into your decision making; that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go the same college but it’s something to consider.
• Think about whether you’d like to go after an internship or participate in another program that may take plenty of time; would that affect your decision (or your partner’s decision)?
• How much “me” time do you need? Everyone is different, and that’s okay.
Do You Agree on a College?
Let’s say you want to attend college with your significant other, and he or she wants to attend with you! That’s great, right? But let’s say that you sit down to choose a college, and:
• You’re very excited about all the opportunities large universities offer, from programs to clubs to cultural opportunities in the city.
• Meanwhile, your significant other loves the idea of a small liberal arts school with intimate class sizes, located where you can really get away from it all.
Now what? Compromise in relationships can be good, but what if your dreams are polar opposites? Should you give up your own vision to please your partner?
Here are a couple of ideas to consider:
• Is there a mid-sized school you could agree upon? One that offers the degrees that each of you want?
• Or, what if you attended schools in the same state, relatively close to one another? In some situations, that can allow couples to each attend their college of choice without being too far away from one another, geographically speaking.
As you explore possibilities, continue to notice if you’re truly compromising as a couple to find a solution that works for both of you—or whether you’re more or less giving in and giving up on what you want for your future and career.
Can You Each Pursue Degrees of Choice?
When you first attend college, you’ll be taking general education classes that may not feel remarkably different from high school. By the end of your sophomore year, though, you’ll typically need to declare a major—one that will serve as the foundation of your career path.
Here are a few tips on choosing the right major, including answering these questions:
• Does the subject matter engage you, even inspire passion?
• Will it help set you up for your career of choice?
• Will it bring in income levels that will sustain the lifestyle you’d like to have?
If you aren’t sure, that’s okay. It’s normal. Use your first year of college (maybe the second one, too) to explore classes to see what truly suits you. Talk to people at the college, including professors and other students, join professional clubs and talk to members, and meet with school counselors. Also consider the earning potential of intriguing career paths.
Can You Each Afford the Same College?
Yes, money is a factor in many of today’s decisions, and this is definitely true when it comes to choosing a college. It’s possible that one of you can afford a more expensive college than the other one. This could be because of:
• grants and scholarships offered
• amounts of money saved up
• family contributions to college expenses
• financial responsibilities outside of college expenses
• the ability of each of you to get subsidized loans
• and more
So, factor in affordability when deciding which college to attend—which could have a direct bearing on whether or not you and your significant other end up attending the same one.
More About the Right College Fit For You
As you brainstorm a list of colleges, many recommend you select a couple in each of these three categories:
• Match schools (also known as target schools): Your academic qualifications meet (or “match”) this school’s academic requirements, or may somewhat exceed them. You aren’t guaranteed to be accepted here, but it’s likely.
• Reach schools: Your academic qualifications are below what’s typically required for an incoming freshman, but other qualifications of yours (leadership abilities, for example) may earn you an acceptance.
• Safety schools: You’re pretty sure you’ll be accepted because your academic record is above what’s typically required. You can think of these as your backup plan.
Thinking Ahead: Student Loan Refinancing at SoFi
As you’re making decisions about your college of choice, you’ll be thinking about how to finance your education. For many people, this involves taking out school loans, whether federal, private, or both.
Although paying back your loans isn’t something you’ll need to think about for awhile, it doesn’t hurt to think ahead. You can start learning now about how to borrow student loans responsibly , and planning for a more streamlined and manageable payback period.
When you’re paying off your student loan debt down the road, it may help to refinance your student debt into one low-interest loan. SoFi is one of the few lenders that consolidates federal and private student loans into one, then refinances the balance into a lower-interest student loan.
You can explore how this works using our student loan refinance calculator. And when you’re ready to refinance, we’ll be here to help!
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.