I was in a similar position, though I took the free state school in the cornfields then moved to…

I definitely see the sensible side of things and that having money in the bank allows for a lot of freedoms. I will also say, though, that my industry (publishing) has all its big companies in New York, so moving here and being able to intern in the industry gave me a big leg up in being able to break in. I have watched a lot of people attempt to do it without that experience, and it’s really difficult to do without networking or having prior experience, so there was value in coming up early that can’t be quantified in dollars. Totally agree that tuition is not the way to see a city, though, and who’s to say what it would’ve been like had I tried to come here after college.