When students begin the college application process, the cost of attendance is always a factor, especially if you require a student loan. While class offerings, high-profile faculty, and job prospects are all important, affordability plays a significant part in a student’s ultimate decision.
Traditionally, attending state schools as a resident has been a common way to keep tuition more affordable. For example, while nonresidents pay approximately $43,000 to attend the University of California, Los Angeles, California residents pay $13,239 for the same education.
By taking advantage of in-state tuition, students can receive a high-quality education at a fraction of the cost.
However, in some cases, students may set their sights on state schools outside of their home state. Typically, these students need to pay the out-of-state tuition price. However, in some cases, students may be able to get an out-of-state tuition waiver, allowing them to pay the in-state rate.
Here, we’ll cover four ways for out-of-state students to get a tuition waiver, plus alternative options in case an out-of-state tuition waiver isn’t possible.
1. Reciprocal State Agreements to Reduce Tuition Rates
In some cases, students might be able to take advantage of reciprocity programs allowing them to pay in-state tuition at universities in neighboring states.
For example, in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), participating public schools agree to charge students no more than 150% of the in-state tuition for certain programs. In some cases, private educational institutions may offer up to 10% discounts. Participating states include Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Students using this program saved over $93 million in the fiscal year 2019 alone.
Similarly, the New England Regional Student Program (RSP) allows New England students to take advantage of in-state tuition when they enroll in a preapproved major or academic program out of state. This program includes 82 public educational institutions across Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Students enrolled in RSP save an average of $7,900. In the 2018-2019 school year, savings were approximately $54 million.
The Southern Regional Education Board runs an Academic Common Market, where students from 15 Southern states can apply for in-state tuition at more than 1,900 approved degree programs. Participating states include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Students who take advantage of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), which covers 15 Western states, pay no more than 150% of in-state tuition at out-of-state universities. The average student saves $9,400 per year, with a total 2018-2019 school year savings of over $380 million. Participating states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
In some cases, individual universities may offer in-state tuition to residents of nearby states. For example, the University of Eastern Oregon allows students from Oregon and Idaho to pay in-state tuition. If students live close to the border of a nearby state, they should consider contacting the educational institution and asking whether they might be able to secure an out-of-state tuition waiver.
While these regional programs can help save students a significant amount of money on tuition, they often come with stipulations. For example, the program may require students to enroll in a specific major or maintain a high grade-point average to continue taking advantage of the cost savings.
2. Public Sector Employment
Most states require students to be residents for at least 12 to 24 months to qualify for in-state tuition at their public universities. If you’re dependent on your parents, your parents often also need to reside in the state where you’re seeking in-state tuition. You’ll also need to take other measures to prove you intend to permanently change your residence, such as opening a bank account or getting a new driver’s license.
However, in many cases, you or your family might move to a new state less than two years before you plan on attending college. One way to secure in-state tuition is if your parents work for the government, including members of the military, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and college faculty. Each state has its own rules, but parental public sector employment can often result in in-state tuition much faster than typical residency requirements.
3. Legacy Scholarships
In some cases, universities may offer legacy students – students with parents who graduated from the university – in-state tuition if they can demonstrate academic excellence. For example, the University of Missouri offers the Black & Gold Scholarship to certain legacy students. The scholarship has two tiers, with the award depending on academic achievement:
- Level 1 award: Students must have a composite ACT score of 27 or higher or an SAT score of 1260 or higher. Recipients receive a full waiver of nonresident tuition.
- Level 2 award: Students must have a composite ACT score of 25 to 26 or an SAT score of 1200 to 1250 or higher. Recipients receive a half waiver of nonresident tuition.
To qualify for the Black & Gold Scholarship, students must attend the University of Missouri in the first semester following high school graduation, and a biological, adoptive, or stepparent must have graduated from the university.
Many other universities offer legacy scholarships that give students financial assistance. For example, the University of Kentucky offers the Legacy Tuition Program. Students who have an ACT score of 31 or an SAT score of 1390, plus an unweighted high school GPA of 3.5, receive enough aid to offset the difference between non-resident and resident tuition. Students with an ACT score of 28 or an SAT score of 1300, plus an unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, may receive a scholarship of $4,500 per year. However, at least one of the student’s parents must have graduated with a degree from the University of Kentucky.
Other universities, like the University of Kansas, offer programs where high-achieving students can receive partial tuition waivers.
4. Department-Specific Scholarships
Some university departments offer merit-based tuition waivers available to all students, regardless of whether they’re a legacy.
For example, the College of Natural Sciences, at the University of Texas at Austin, offers a limited number of out-of-state tuition waivers to qualifying students. To be eligible for a tuition waiver, students must first receive a scholarship of at least $1,000 from the University of Texas. According to UT, between 60 and 70 students typically apply for five to seven out-of-state tuition waivers per year. The College of Natural Sciences only awards waivers on a semester-by-semester basis, although students usually receive waivers for a full academic year. The out-of-state tuition waivers are not renewable, so students must apply for the waivers each year. According to UT, the waivers are highly competitive, so out-of-state students should not rely on receiving one each year.
Alternative: Private University Tuition Waivers
In some cases, private universities may offer substantial scholarships to students who demonstrate academic need. For example, at Stanford University, students whose parents make less than $155,000 per year typically pay no tuition at all after combining Stanford financial aid with outside scholarships. Parents who make under $65,000 per year are not expected to contribute at all. Other universities, including Harvard and Duke, commit to meeting 100% of a student’s financial needs. While public schools are often more affordable than private universities, students shouldn’t leave any options off the table.
Students who are completely set on attending an out-of-state university may want to consider relocating to that state during high school to benefit from in-state tuition. However, big life moves aren’t always possible. If becoming a resident isn’t possible, consider trying the strategies outlined in this article, including interstate tuition exchanges, public sector employment, legacy scholarships, and department-specific scholarships.
While full out-of-state tuition waivers are often the goal, they tend to be limited and competitive. However, many universities, nonprofits, and private organizations offer individual grants based on a variety of factors, such as ethnicity, academic achievement, and area of interest. By combining scholarships from a variety of sources, students can help make attending a state college more affordable.
Get Help With Financial Aid
If you or someone you know is in the college selection process, visit CollegeFinance for in-depth resources helping students and parents with financial planning. Whether you want to learn about financial aid, student loans, or other financing options, our experts at CollegeFinance can help you plan for the future.
How do you get around in-state tuition? ›
- Establish residency. ...
- Explore reciprocity agreements or regional exchange programs with nearby states. ...
- Look into legacy scholarships from the school your parent attended. ...
- Earn the grades. ...
- Take advantage of your parent's job.
Students who live in a state pay the in-state level of tuition at a state school. If a student from another state wants to attend that same school, he or she pays more tuition — the out-of-state rate.How do I get my LSU out of state tuition waiver? ›
Non-Resident Student (Out-of-State)
Students can request an out-of-state fee waiver through the Admissions Office. These exemptions are granted on a first come, first served basis. To request, email the Admissions Office at email@example.com.
The short answer is yes, college tuition is negotiable. Colleges don't advertise this information publicly on their website, but savvy students like you know your worth, and can advocate for yourself to the financial aid office. You can negotiate your tuition by: Asking for a discount or additional scholarship.What do I say when asking for more financial aid? ›
Be Specific About the Need for More Financial Aid
You have to be specific about why you need the money, and you have to provide evidence for that need. That means bills, unemployment benefits, termination letters, and anything that can show that you have had a loss of income and require more aid.
Does financial aid cover out-of-state tuition? The short answer is yes.How do people afford out of state college? ›
- Locate Regional Reciprocal Agreements. ...
- Find State Tuition Exchange Programs. ...
- Earn Merit Scholarships. ...
- Serve in the Military.
|School||Out of State Tuition||Room & Board|
|1. West Texas A&M University||$7,842||$8,030|
|2. Minot State University||$6,892||$8,163|
|3. Delta State University||$8,190||$8,317|
|4. Southern Arkansas University||$12,450||$7,050|
Good grades and test scores, a rigorous academic program, and a full compliment of academic classes during all four years are all necessary to be accepted into a good school.Will I lose in state tuition if my parents move? ›
Dependency: If parents claim the student as a dependent on their taxes, the student is considered a resident of the state in which the parents hold residency. If the parents move to a different state, the student's residency may not change.
Why would anyone go out of state for college? ›
Going out-of-state for college has many benefits: new location, a fresh start and it really opens up your options for college choices. There are also logistical, financial and emotional consequences if leaving your home state isn't a good fit for you.How do I apply for a fee waiver for tuition? ›
Respected Sir, I hope all is well with you. I am writing this email in the hope of getting my application fee waived for this (name of) college. My name is _______ and I have completed my schooling or Bachelor's from ______ and since then wanted to enrol myself for my further education in your institute.
If you are taking admission under "Tuition Fee Waiver" category in any academic course of an institute having such category, you don't have to pay the tuition fee during admission in respective semesters or year. It means that you do not have to give the tuition fees which was a part of total course fees.How do I know if I qualify for a fee waiver CSU? ›
To be considered for the application fee waiver, you must be: An undergraduate student (you cannot be in an extension program) A California resident for more than one year. A U.S. citizen or someone without lawful immigration status who qualifies for an AB540 non-resident tuition exception.How do you negotiate tuition assistance? ›
- Make sure it's the right time. We mean this in two ways. ...
- Talk to other employees. Check around with your coworkers to see if anyone else has ever achieved tuition reimbursement with your company. ...
- Come up with a plan. Be prepared for your discussion.
- Step 1: Contact Your School's Financial Aid Office. ...
- Step 2: Determine How Much You Need. ...
- Step 3: Gather Any Necessary Documentation. ...
- Step 4: Write a Financial Aid Appeal Letter. ...
- Step 5: Submit Your Letter and Any Other School-Specific Forms.
Contact your school's admissions office and complete the necessary paperwork. Ask the school if it can offer more scholarship money to make your attendance more feasible. Applicants should use family circumstances as compelling reasons for the school to reconsider.What are good reasons for financial aid appeal? ›
- medical emergencies.
- severe health issues.
- severe personal or family problems.
- financial or personal catastrophe.
- return for a second degree or certificate.
The FAFSA uses several factors to calculate your expected family contribution (EFC). You could qualify for maximum financial aid if you or your parents make less than $27,000. A student can make up to $7,040 before it affects their FAFSA.How do you get too much financial aid? ›
Look for scholarships and grants
Another option for obtaining financial aid for college when parents make too much is to consider scholarships and grant funding. A misconception about scholarships and grants is that these funds are only available to low earners.
What happens if FAFSA is more than tuition? ›
Typically, the school first applies your grant or loan money toward your tuition, fees, and (if you live on campus) room and board. Any money left over is paid to you directly for other education expenses.How long do you have to live in a state to get FAFSA? ›
In all states, a student who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is considered a resident of the state if he or she has lived in the state for five or more years. Many states, however, base state residency on a shorter period of time, typically one year of continuous residence prior to enrollment.Does FAFSA cover all 4 years? ›
This grant is something you can obtain if you are eligible and have applied for FAFSA. You can have that grant for all four years, however, if you have used up all 12 semesters (which is 6 years), or have received your first professional degree, you are no longer eligible for this grant.How do people afford to live on their own college? ›
- Finding the right apartment. Consider staying in a private home instead of a big apartment complex. ...
- Live with people. More roommates equals less expensive rent. ...
- Get a job. Start with your school's employment office. ...
- Be frugal. ...
- Use your loans (if you must).
- Fill out the FAFSA. ...
- Apply for scholarships. ...
- Get a part-time or full-time job. ...
- Look into tax credits for qualifying college expenses. ...
- Minimize your college costs. ...
- Research tuition assistance programs. ...
- Consider taking out federal student loans.
- Take out a student loan.
- Apply for a grant.
- Work while in school.
- Wyoming. Wyoming is a state having mountainous terrain. ...
- Indiana. Indiana is one of the top states in affordability in the USA. ...
- Missouri. It is another that is popular among international students. ...
- Alabama. ...
- New Mexico.
- Good Grades. Earning good grades is the most critical factor for college applications. ...
- Challenging High School Curriculum. ...
- Strong Standardized Test Scores. ...
- A Well-Written Essay. ...
- Extracurricular Participation and Leadership Skills. ...
- Diversity. ...
- Enthusiasm for the School. ...
- Letters of Recommendation.
What awards look good on college applications? ›
- AP Scholar.
- Any “honor society” such as, International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, etc.
- Honor Roll.
- National Language Exam Recognition.
- National Merit Award.
- President's Award.
- School subject-based award.
Courses and Grades
A student's grades in college-preparatory classes remain the most significant factor in college admission decisions. Highly selective colleges look for students who: Complete core academic requirements.
Family connections used to be the go-to way to qualify for in-state tuition, whether it was a grandparent or a cousin or an aunt or uncle. But now there is really only one way to take advantage of your family's address for residency requirements — a parent living in the same state as the school.Does moving out affect financial aid? ›
If you don't live with your parents, you may be considered an independent student in terms of the FAFSA. This will likely increase the amount of aid that you're eligible for. Many or all of the companies featured provide compensation to LendEDU.Does living in a dorm count as residency? ›
In California? Yes, for all but tuition purposes. As an undergraduate, once classified non-resident, you remain non-resident for tuition purposes as long as you are continuously enrolled.Does it make sense to go out of state for college? ›
Is Going Out of State Worth It? Attending an out-of-state college makes sense for students seeking specialized programs or for those with access to scholarships or tuition reciprocity programs. Graduate students may also prefer an out-of-state school with a strong reputation in their field.How do college students survive out of state? ›
- Call your mom. ...
- Meet people. ...
- Find out more about your new state. ...
- Visit home when you can, but don't do it every weekend. ...
- Don't be afraid to ask for help.
- No state grants or scholarships. Many states offer their eligible students scholarships or grants for staying in-state to attend college. ...
- Less financial aid. University of California, Berkeley campus. ...
- Sometimes harder to get in. ...
- Use a business format. Write the letter in business style with a professional tone. ...
- Be direct and to the point. That doesn't mean, however, that the letter will necessarily be short. ...
- State Your Purpose. ...
- Explain Your Reasoning. ...
- Wrap it Up.
I respectfully ask for permission to pay my fees a week, or two after the due date. My father had passed away many years ago, and my mother is unable to work full time, so my siblings, and I are the earners of the house, and we each have part-time jobs. Unfortunately, as of now, we are unable to make the fee payment.
How do I write an application for a full fee concession? ›
Application for Full Fee Concession- Format
Respected/Dear Sir/Ma'am, I am (Name of the Parent), the father of (Name of the Student) studying in Class (Mention which class your child is in) in your esteemed institution. I am writing this letter to request a fee concession. (Give the reason why you cannot pay the fees).
With the union education ministry's decision to waiving off 75% marks in the class XII exam as eligibility criteria at Joint Entrance Examination (Main) from 2021-2022, students may breathe easy.Who is entitled for fee waiver? ›
You can apply for a fee waiver if you cannot afford to pay the fee because you: do not have a place to live in the UK and you cannot afford one. have a place to live but cannot afford essential living costs like food or heating. have a very low income and paying the fee would harm your child's wellbeing.What may cause students to lose fee waiver? ›
Any combination of two consecutive terms of cumulative GPA below 2.0 and/or cumulative course completion less than 51% may result in loss of fee waiver eligibility. You will be notified within 30 days of the end of each term if you are being placed on either Academic (GPA) and/or Progress (Course Completion) probation.How much do you have to make to get a CSU fee waiver? ›
To qualify for a waiver, for a dependent student from a household of four, family income would need to be below about $45,400, although family circumstances can change eligibility.How many fee waivers can I get for CSU? ›
Applicants who are eligible for the application fee waiver may apply to up to four CSU campuses per application term (i.e., fall, spring). Approved waivers are not transferrable to a future or past application term.How do I write a letter for reducing school fees? ›
Respected/Dear Sir/Ma'am, I am (Name of the Parent), the father of (Name of the Student) studying in Class (Mention which class your child is in) in your esteemed institution. I am writing this letter to request you for a fee concession. (Give the reason why you cannot pay the fees).Is out of state tuition ever worth it? ›
Is Going Out of State Worth It? Attending an out-of-state college makes sense for students seeking specialized programs or for those with access to scholarships or tuition reciprocity programs. Graduate students may also prefer an out-of-state school with a strong reputation in their field.Will I lose in-state tuition if my parents move? ›
Dependency: If parents claim the student as a dependent on their taxes, the student is considered a resident of the state in which the parents hold residency. If the parents move to a different state, the student's residency may not change.What does eligible for out of state tuition mean? ›
Since the state tax-payer's money is involved in the funding of these institutions, residents of the state are offered subsidised tuition in the form of in-state tuition fees. Those residing outside the State as well as international students are required to pay out-of-state tuition.
What are the cons of an out of state college? ›
- No state grants or scholarships. Many states offer their eligible students scholarships or grants for staying in-state to attend college. ...
- Less financial aid. University of California, Berkeley campus. ...
- Sometimes harder to get in. ...
Is it hard to get into college as an out-of-state applicant? As you can see from the data below, in general, it is harder to gain acceptance to a top public university if you are not a resident of that state.What is the highest out of state tuition? ›
|College||Out of State Tuition||Value|
|#1 Franklin and Marshall College Pennsylvania, Private||$60,872||NA|
|#2 Colorado College Colorado, Private||$60,390||NA|
|#3 Reed College Oregon, Private||$60,310||NA|
|#4 Vassar College New York, Private||$60,030||96|
|Type of Aid||Average Amount||Maximum Amount|
|Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant||$670||$4,000|
|Total Federal Student Aid||$13,120 (dependent) $14,950 (independent)||$19,845 to $21,845 (dependent) $23,845 to $32,345 (independent)|
|Total Federal Grants||$4,980||$10,345|
Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6,895 for the 2022–23 award year (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023). your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.Can you use someone elses address to get in state tuition? ›
Family connections used to be the go-to way to qualify for in-state tuition, whether it was a grandparent or a cousin or an aunt or uncle. But now there is really only one way to take advantage of your family's address for residency requirements — a parent living in the same state as the school.What clause is out of state tuition? ›
In Section IV, this Note discusses the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to see how these protections apply to the states and, more specifically, how out-of-state tuition prices infringe upon the right to travel as protected under this clause.Is it cheaper to study in state or out of state? ›
Tuition is more expensive
By attending an out of state university, you'll be paying out of state tuition fees, which are usually quite a lot higher than in state tuition fees. However, some states offer discounts to students who move there from a different state.
Scholarships and grants
Grants and scholarships are often are a type of financial aid that doesn't have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based. Start by researching available scholarships and grants and applying for as many as you can.