Schools with Great Incentives for Out-of-State Students

Most states have incentives for college students to attract them from that state. Whether it’s scholarship or grant opportunities or dual-credit class programs, they are trying to get your attention. While some students prefer to stay close to home, there are those of us who want to go elsewhere, whether it’s because an out-of-state school has a better program, nothing in-state holds your attention, or you just really want to get out and see the world a little more. Of course, making a list of the best schools for out-of-staters is difficult because there are so many reasons someone might want to go out of state, and so many schools to choose from. Here are just a few examples.

Chadron State College

Chadron State College has incentives for college students that are out-of-state

Flickr user Ali Eminov

Located in Chadron, NE, Chadron State College has decided to charge out-of-state students only +$1/semester hour more than in-state students. That’s right, only one dollar more. Each semester hour costs $160 for an in-state student and $161 for an out-of-state student. That means that the most an out-of-stater would pay for a year of tuition is $6,440 (that’s maxing out a semester with 20 credit hours). This is for students who take on-site courses, either living on campus or close by to the school. Both types of undergraduates pay more in fees for online courses. The living situation isn’t too bad either, with a private room (only you) coming in just under $5,000 for a year, and just over $3,000 if you opt for a roommate.

There are 52 programs of study for undergraduate students to choose from. About 2,400 undergrads call this school home. 42% of those undergraduates are from out of state.

West Texas A&M University

Wikimedia Commons user J. Nguyen

Wikimedia Commons user J. Nguyen

Not to be confused with Texas A&M, WTAMU is a powerhouse when it comes to helping out-of-state students. Merit scholarships are available based on ACT/SAT scores and high school class rank. For a full school year (30 semester hours), out-of-state students pay less than $2,000 more than their in-state counterparts. Given that the normal gap between tuition rates is much higher, WTAMU seems to be on the right track to providing cost-efficient out-of-state tuition. In addition, WTAMU has a guaranteed tuition rate, meaning that so long as a student maintains full-time hours, what is paid freshman year will be the same cost as senior year. Certain border counties listed on the school’s website are eligible to pay the same as in-state students.

The 250-acre campus is found in Canyon, TX, which is just fifteen miles from Amarillo. Approximately 7,500 undergraduates are WTAMU Buffalo, or Buffs. There are 58 programs of study for the undergraduate Buffs to choose from.

Alcorn State University

Wikimedia Commons user Jack Boucher

Wikimedia Commons user Jack Boucher

Students are a part of history when they attend Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS. It is the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the US. It also makes strides by maintaining the same expenses for out-of-state students and in-state students. Students who commute to campus for the 2016-2017 school year are paying a total of about $6,500 in fees, while those who live on campus are averaging about $15,000 for the year. Around 4,000 students at various levels of study come to this school to learn and study the 50+ programs available.

Midwest Student Exchange Program

I want to talk about this because there are many programs similar to it across the United States. There are often regional agreements that some schools abide by. This caps public school out-of-state tuition rates for students coming from states involved in the agreement, and it decreases tuition rates for students attending private universities. The Midwest Student Exchange caps out-of-state tuition at public schools at 150% of in-state tuition (considering at the University of Iowa out-of-state tuition is almost 250% of in-state students, this is a big help). Private schools involved in the program will offer a 10% reduction to their tuition. Someone who lives in Illinois, for example, could attend Ball State University in Indiana for $11,574 per year rather than the normal non-resident tuition of $23,472 per year.

Of course, with this program and most like it, you will have to maintain full-time student hours. The discounts will apply to tuition and student services fees, not room and board (those tend to be equal anyway).

Here is a list of some other state and regional tuition exchanges.

Interested in any of these schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to discover if they’re a good fit for you!

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