If your student wants a specific major that isn’t offered by an in-state school, you may feel stuck. Many families struggle to pay out-of-state tuition, but you don’t want to stunt your child’s career either.
The good news is that there is another option. New England Tuition Break is a program that helps students enroll at out-of-state schools for a discount, if the degree program doesn’t exist in their state.
This program includes six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Schools can change no more than 175% of in-state tuition rates to selected students.
Applying for the Tuition Break Regional Student Program
The first step is to find a qualifying program. You can search eligible programs online. There are programs available for Associate’s degrees, Bachelor’s, and graduate-level. Each state has an individual brochure for its residents. This will help your student choose a program that isn’t duplicated by an in-state school.
A student is eligible when they are enrolled in a full-time program offered by a specific public college or university in another New England state. They may also qualify for the Regional Student Program (RSP) if an out-of-state school is closer to home than an in-state option.
To enroll, your student applies to the target school and asks to be considered under the RSP. Once accepted, your child can confirm whether or not they got the RSP tuition rates.
Maximizing & Maintaining RSP Status
Not all degrees which are unavailable in your home state will be RSP approved at an out-of-state school. Some majors are not available at any school in the region. Other times, a school may decide to withhold a major if they worry it will get overcrowded or have other concerns.
Financial aid is still available for RSP students, but because the program reduces financial need, need-based awards may be decreased.
To maintain their status, your student must remain a full-time student in good academic standing at the school. They must also continue to pursue their selected major.
If they change to a non-RSP eligible major, they will lose the discount. If a major is removed from RSP but still offered, existing RSP participants will be grandfathered into the discount as long as they continuously pursue the major.
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