Exploring the Midwest Student Exchange Program: Making College More Affordable in 8 States

Midwest Student Exchange

Exploring the Midwest Student Exchange Program: Making College More Affordable in 8 States

Published on November 20, 2023

Midwest Student Exchange

Pursuing higher education in the Midwest brings unique challenges and opportunities, especially when your home state lacks certain academic programs. The Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), also known as the Midwest Exchange, steps in as a solution. It offers an innovative way to access educational programs across state lines, often at significantly reduced costs.

What is the Midwest Student Exchange?

The MSEP is a collaborative initiative among eight Midwestern states and 70 colleges, designed to broaden educational opportunities for students. By participating in this program, students gain access to a wider range of academic courses and institutions outside their home state, often with considerable tuition savings.

The eight participating states are:

  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin 

Note that Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and South Dakota do not currently participate in the program.​

Benefits of Participating in MSEP

MSEP students enjoy an average annual tuition savings of $7,000, according to the MSEP website. Public institutions participating in the program charge out-of-state students no more than 150% of their in-state tuition rates. Private institutions offer a 10% reduction in their standard tuition fees. 

Midwest Exchange Eligibility Criteria for Students

To qualify for MSEP benefits, students must be residents of the participating states and meet the specific admission requirements set by the chosen institution.

How the Midwest Student Exchange Program Works

  • Tuition Rates and Discounts: 

The MSEP sets a ceiling on tuition fees for public institutions and secures a minimum discount rate for private institutions. This approach offers a more predictable and affordable cost structure for out-of-state education.

  • Academic Program Coverage: 

The program covers a diverse array of academic programs, but not all programs at every institution participate. Students should verify the availability of their desired program under the MSEP at their chosen school.

The 70 Colleges Participating in the Midwest Exchange

The MSEP colleges encompass a wide range of school sizes and academic programs. They range from small community colleges to large Big 10 schools like Purdue, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Participating Colleges and Links to ContactsStateDegree Level
Ball State UniversityIndianaBaccalaureate, Doctorate, Master's
Bismark State CollegeNorth DakotaAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate
Central Community College - Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings, and Kearney, NebraskaAssociate
Dakota College at BottineauNorth Dakota-
Disckinson State UniversityNorth DakotaAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
East Central CollegeMissouriAssociate
Emporia State UniversityKansasBaccalaureate, Certificate, Doctorate, Master's
Fort Hays State UniversityKansasBaccalaureate
Friends University (private)KansasBaccalaureate, Master's
Harris-Stowe State UniversityMissouriBaccalaureate, Certificate
Indiana State UniversityIndianaBaccalaureate, Master's
Indiana University EastIndianaBaccalaureate
Indiana University Fort WayneIndianaBaccalaureate, Certificate
Indiana University KokomoIndianaBaccalaureate, Master's
Indiana University NorthwestIndianaAssociate, Baccalaureate, Master's
Indiana University Purdue University ColumbusIndianaBaccalaureate
Indiana University South BendIndianaBaccalaureate, Master's

Indiana University SoutheastIndianaBaccalaureate, Certificate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)IndianaAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Doctorate, Master's
Ivy Tech Community CollegeIndianaAssociate
Lake Region State CollegeNorth DakotaAssociate
Mayville State UniversityNorth DakotaAssociate, Baccalaureate
Metropolitan Community CollegeMissouriAssociate, Certificate
Minnesota State University - MankatoMinnesotaAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Doctorate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
Minnesota State University - MoorheadMinnesotaBaccalaureate, Certificate, Doctorate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
Minot State UniversityNorth Dakota-
Missouri Southern State UniversityMissouriAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Master's
Missouri State UniversityMissouriBaccalaureate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
Missouri State University - West PlainsMissouriAssociate, Baccalaureate
Missouri Valley College (private)MissouriAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Master's
Missouri Western State UniversityMissouriAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Master's
North Dakota State UniversityNorth DakotaBaccalaureate, Doctorate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
Northwest Missouri State UniversityMissouriBaccalaureate, Master's
Purdue University - Fort WayneIndianaAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate
Saint Louis University (private)MissouriAssociate, Certificate, Doctorate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
St. Charles Community CollegeMissouriAssociate
St. Cloud State UniversityMinnesotaBaccalaureate, Certificate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
St. Louis Community CollegeMissouriAssociate, Certificate
State Fair Community CollegeMissouriAssociate, Certificate
Truman State UniversityMissouriBaccalaureate, Master's
University of Central MissouriMissouriBaccalaureate
University of KansasKansasBaccalaureate
University of Minnesota - MorrisMinnesotaBaccalaureate
University of Minnesota - DuluthMinnesotaBaccalaureate
University of Missouri - Kansas CityMissouriBaccalaureate, Doctorate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
University of Missouri - Saint LouisMissouriBaccalaureate, Doctorate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
University of Nebraska at KearneyNebraskaBaccalaureate, Master's
University of Nebraska at LincolnNebraskaBaccalaureate, Master's
University of Nebraska at OmahaNebraskaBaccalaureate, Doctorate, Master's
University of Nebraska Medical CenterNebraskaCertificate, Doctorate, Master's
University of North DakotaNorth DakotaBaccalaureate, Certificate, Doctorate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
University of Wisconsin - MilwaukeeWisconsinBaccalaureate, Doctorate, Master's
University of Wisconsin - OshkoshWisconsinBaccalaureate, Master's
University of Wisconsin - River FallsWisconsinAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Master's
University of Wisconsin - Rock CountyWisconsinAssociate, Baccalaureate
University of Wisconsin - Stevens PointWisconsinBaccalaureate, Master's
University of Wisconsin - StoutWisconsinBaccalaureate, Certificate, Master's
University of Wisconsin - SuperiorWisconsinAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate, Master's
University of Wisconsin - WhitewaterWisconsinBaccalaureate
University of Wisconsin - Green BayWisconsinBaccalaureate, Master's
University of Wisconsin Green Bay - Manitowoc CampusWisconsinBaccalaureate
University of Wisconsin Green Bay - Marinette CampusWisconsinBaccalaureate
University of Wisconsin Green Bay - Sheboygan CampusWisconsinBaccalaureate
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fox Cities CampusWisconsinAssociate, Baccalaureate
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point at Wausau WisconsinAssociate, Baccalaureate, Certificate
UW Oshkosh, Fond du Lac CampusWisconsinAssociate, Baccalaureate
Valley City State UniversityNorth DakotaBaccalaureate, Certificate, Master's
Wayne State CollegeNebraskaBaccalaureate, Master's, Post-Degree Certificate
Webster University (private)MissouriBaccalaureate, Certificate, Post-Degree Certificate
Wichita State UniversityKansasBaccalaureate, Doctorate, Master's

Applying to the Midwest Student Exchange Program

The application process for MSEP is not centralized; instead, students must apply directly to the participating institution. Each school has a dedicated MSEP administrator who can provide specific information about the application process and program availability.

See the above chart of links to college contacts.

Also, each institution has its own set of admission requirements and deadlines under MSEP, which can differ significantly from standard admissions. It’s important for prospective students to understand these unique requirements to ensure a successful application.

Some colleges may require students to reapply for MSEP benefits each academic year. This process ensures that students continue to meet the program’s eligibility criteria.

Maximizing the Benefits of MSEP

When selecting a school, students should consider not only the academic programs offered but also the specific MSEP rules and benefits at each institution. This could significantly impact the overall educational experience and cost.

Also, it’s important for students to be aware of potential changes in their eligibility for MSEP benefits if they change their major. Continuous communication with program administrators is key to navigating these changes.

Additional Resources and Tools

  • The MSEP website is an essential resource for exploring the list of participating institutions, available programs, and specific state eligibility. It also provides contact information for program administrators. For your convenience, we’ve linked to each individual college in the table above.
  • R2C Insights: Our college search and comparison tool complements the MSEP by offering a comprehensive overview of colleges, including information on merit scholarships, affordability, and graduation timelines. This tool can aid in making well-informed educational decisions. Try it for free today.

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