ORIENTATION: How to survive college as an out-of-state student

If you’re a student at Weber State, you’re probably a Utah resident. That means lower tuition rates, friends and family are closer to you and you have a good grasp on the Ogden area.

However, not every Weber student comes from Utah. According to last year’s enrollment statistics, 9 percent of the student body at Weber State (2,252 students) came from out of state. Some students even came from other countries. This sliver of the Weber State population contains students from the other 49 states, four territories and 55 foreign countries.

Moving hundreds or thousands of miles away from home to go to college can be difficult. I had a hard time adjusting when I first moved to Weber State from southern California. What you will soon learn is that while it might be difficult at first, you will figure out pretty quickly what to do to survive. Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned from my time at Weber State.

Bring shorts . . . and a winter jacket

Coming from southern California, I’m used to the average temperatures being around 60 to 70 degrees pretty much year-round. But in Ogden, the summers get hot and the winters get cold. The average highs for Ogden during July and August reach the upper-80s, and the temperatures can sometime reach triple digits. During the winter, from December through February, the average highs are barely above 32 degrees, with the temperatures sometimes hitting as low as single digits to negatives.

The bus is your friend

For those of you moving here without a car, the Utah Transit Authority system is going to be your best method of transportation for getting around Ogden. Through Weber State, students can get a UTA Ed pass for free this year that  will allow you to ride on any UTA bus or train for free. You can use the UTA system to go almost any place in Ogden. Want to go check out Salt Lake City? Hop on the Frontrunner train, head south and from the Salt Lake transit center you can go by bus or Trax to get almost anywhere in SLC.

The bus system can not only get you around town, it can also get you from one end of campus to the other. Tired, sick, or just feeling lazy? Walk down to Harrison Boulevard from Wildcat Village, and hop on to the 603 bus. It can drop you off near the center of campus, by the Social Sciences building, or you can ride it all the way up to Lind Lecture Hall. Want to catch a basketball game at the Dee Events Center? Hop on the 603 heading south, and you’ll be dropped off across the street from the Dee. Wherever you need to go, the buses can get you there.

Weber State will make you an offer you can’t refuse

It’s a simple fact that college is more expensive for out-of-state students. Fortunately, Weber State has a couple of scholarships aimed specifically at out-of-state students.

The WeberEdge scholarship covers the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for non-residents. All you need is a 3.0 GPA coming into Weber, maintain a 2.5 GPA as a full time student and live in on-campus housing. If you’re coming from out of state or out of country, this will probably be one of your best choices.

If you live in one of 14 states in the western half of the United States, you can apply for the Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship. This scholarship covers part of out-of-state tuition, so you only have to pay one and a half times the cost of in-state tuition.

Weber State also has an Alumni Legacy scholarship for children and grandchildren of WSU alumni that earned a degree to pay in-state tuition, as well as a scholarship for out-of-state students that live within 100 miles of Weber State.

No matter where you are coming from, there is scholarship money available to help you out.

Get involved on campus

This is one of the most important things you can do as an out-of-state student. When the weekend hits at Weber State, a lot of people that live in the area head back home, leaving the campus looking like a ghost town. For those out-of-state students that find themselves stuck on campus during the weekend, finding something to do can help you fight any loneliness, homesickness or boredom that may occur.

Try one of the many clubs and organizations at Weber State. Want to get involved in Greek life? Weber State has two fraternities and three sororities for you to join and meet people. Are you into sports? Try joining one of the many athletic clubs on campus, ranging from archery, to rodeo, to wrestling and more. Want to meet people with similar majors? There are many academic-themed clubs, like the geology/geosciences club or the pre-pharmacy club.

Whatever you like to do or are interested in, there is probably a club at Weber State for you.