It pays to include out of state colleges and private colleges in the mix of colleges a student considers. State colleges have lower tuition but also are less likely to give large sums of money away to incoming freshmen. Out of state colleges will sometimes give money to out of state students to encourage them to accept an admissions offer. Private colleges can be some of the most generous schools. Private colleges often give students scholarships that bring college cost down to public college levels.
It is not unusual for a student to get a better deal at a private or out of state college than they get from an in-state college. The key is it keep an open mind and keep the prospective college freshman aware of the amount parents can give or borrow to meet college costs.