Hey out-of-staters, what’s it like to be in the 2 percent?

As a State University of New York, it's no wonder that 98 percent of students at Geneseo call New York their home state.

But every so often, you'll stumble upon a student who isn't from Buffalo, Long Island, Rochester, upstate, downstate or any what-have-you in New York. Though all of these students venture from different states, they all agreed on one thing: They came to Geneseo for the value of a quality education at a price that – for many – was equal to if not slightly less than the tuition of those private institutions that were closer to them. 

Sophomore Ian McPherson from Massachusetts noted another nice bonus to living far from home. "There can't be any surprise family drop-ins," he said. This is something that some of us from New York may envy. 

But junior Shannon Dennehy from Oregon said she sometimes wishes she could be closer to her family. On college breaks she mainly stays with friends and travels around the East Coast. Dennehy said she finds it difficult to make the trip from Oregon back to Geneseo due to the lack of available transport from the airport back to campus.

"My favorite thing about being here is that I've gotten to have a lot of fun new experiences," Dennehy said. "But I really don't like the whole system of being an out-of-state student and the lack of resources that are given to me." 

But for the students that are coming from the East Coast states, the situations are totally different. Junior Dana Besmanoff from New Jersey said that she feels pretty at home here and that she doesn't really notice any differences from her hometown. She added that she loves the small college feel and offerings.

"My trip is only 6 1/2 hours long," Besmanoff said. "When I stop and think about it, it's not too different from people on Long Island driving up here." Besmanoff said she finds it feasible to go home on the college breaks, as is the case for McPherson who finds rides to get back to Massachusetts for breaks when campus closes down.

Many of the out-of-state students agree on a few "out-of-state moments." None of them have ever taken a Regents exam and they all had something to say about the accent accentuated with what they called "New York vowels." "After [being] on campus for a while, I'll even find myself picking it up," Besmanoff said.

But students aren't the only ones at Geneseo from outside New York. Professor Graham Drake of the English department is from Connecticut and he makes the 5 1/2 hour commute to campus twice a week, arriving on Monday afternoon and staying in the area through Thursday. 

Drake said he loves being here and being able to teach while pursuing his own personal research, but said that Connecticut just suits his lifestyle better. Drake has been with Geneseo since 1989, and as he said so himself, "Geneseo's worth the drive."