Could You Get In-State Tuition at an Out-of-State School?

Ways you can save money on tuition and fees
According to the College Board, in-state tuition at a public four-year university for the 2016-17 academic year runs an average of $9,650; if you’re an out-of-state resident at the same school, tuition runs $24,930. But it is possible for an out-of-state resident to pay closer to that in-state tuition rate.

“A number of regional, state and college-specific programs allow some students to qualify for in-state or heavily discounted tuition at out-of-state public schools,” writes Kaitlin Pitsker of Kiplinger Personal Finance.

Regional level
There are four regional compacts that exist in which certain out-of-state residents can apply for in-state tuition. The Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia) and New England’s Regional Student Program (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) allow for this as long as the student pursues a major that isn’t offered in his or her home state.

Meanwhile, the Midwest Student Exchange (Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin) and Western Undergraduate Exchange (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) also offer steep discounts to a number of students across the country.

In addition to the stipulation regarding majors for the first two programs, there may be school-specific restrictions as well.

State level
Individual states may also have reciprocity programs. For example, the in-state flexibility could extend to an entire neighboring state or perhaps a few select bordering counties in a neighboring state. Again, the benefits of such programs vary, but in many instances the state-level programs are more advantageous than the regional compacts.

College level
Many colleges also offer discounts in order to attract students from out of state. These often are based on GPA and test scores.

Special circumstances
Children of parents who are in the military or work in public service are often eligible for tuition flexibility. Other times, nonresident fees are waived for children of alumni or those with strong academic credentials.

The bottom line is that you should never take that glaring “out-of-state tuition” figure at face value. Research thoroughly and talk with a guidance counselor, school registrars or financial advisers in order to get the best education for the best value.

Used with Permission. Published by IMN Bank Adviser Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers.

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