Things like school size and location are very often at the top of the list and while many students choose to stay relatively close by, for others, going to college is an opportunity to spread their wings and exert their independence miles away from their home town.
Along with that sense of adventure that out-of-state students may be seeking comes a hefty price tag, as any out-of-state student can tell you.
The price an out-of-state student pays can be 50% higher than that charged to in-state residents. And if one hopes to become a resident in order to cut their costs, they will be sorely disappointed when they attempt it.
So is it possible to get in-state tuition at out-of-state colleges?
Becoming a bona fide resident of the state where your college is located is a very long and difficult process.
Another method that is often more successful and can also bring down the cost of out-of-state tuition is through regional exchange or reciprocity programs.
Can Out-of-State Students Get In-State Tuition?
These programs allow residents of one state to attend college in another state for close to the same tuition as other in-state students. The four major exchanges are:
- Western Undergraduate Exchange
- Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market (SREB)
- Midwest Student Exchange
- New England Regional Student Exchange
There are some restrictions on these out-of-state reciprocity programs. And some states ( New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Iowa, and North Carolina) do not participate in any program.
Not all public schools within each state participate in every program, especially the most popular state flagship universities.
Some schools that do participate may not offer all of the majors and do not make certain programs available to the students in the exchanges.
Some states cap the number of seats available to exchange students, and once that number is reached, all other students are out of luck.
Two of the programs, The New England Regional Student Program and the Academic Common Market only allow exchange students whose approved majors are not offered by the public colleges and universities in their home states.
Students who transfer or change majors risk losing their discounts.
While it may seem like there is an excessive amount of rules governing these programs, once a student qualifies, they can be afforded a rather envious discount on tuition at a school that is very high on their list. So, the benefits definitely outweigh the cons.
The following table lists the exchange programs for each state.
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