What are Regional Exchange Universities?

When searching for your college, you may be ruling schools out because they simply cost too much, especially if they’re out of state. You might want to hold off on crossing them out though! Regional Exchange Universities or Programs can be exactly what you need to go to a school in a nearby state without shelling out as much cash.

College student on train tracks

In-State vs Out-of-State Tuition

Most colleges and universities offer lower tuition rates and prices to in-state students. This tends to be the cheapest way to go about attending higher education institutions. In fact, the average at ranked public colleges was $9,687 for the 2020 to 2021 academic school year.

If you have your heart set on a school that is not in your state, it can get costly. Public-ranked colleges cost an average of $21,184 for out-of-state students. You may get around this expense if your father, mother, or guardian is in the military, but most schools require you to pay the full tuition price.

What are Regional Exchange Programs?

Apart from moving your entire family, there are ways students can attend an out-of-state college or university without paying the out-of-state price. One way to do that is to explore regional exchange programs. These are agreements between schools in different states but within the same region that offer students from other states reduced rates to attend.

Not every college takes part, so it’s important to do research to ensure you’re not overpaying. There may also be a cap on students eligible in a single year or certain majors may be exempt from the program.

What are Examples of Regional Exchange Programs?

There are four regional exchange programs students need to know about.

Midwest Student Exchange Programs

The Midwest Student Exchange Program includes Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The program doesn’t have restrictions on majors but individual schools could limit eligible degree programs. Eligible out-of-state students attending one of these schools will pay no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.

Some schools that participate include Indiana University, Maryville University, and Minnesota State University.

Academic Common Market

This program includes states in the south: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Florida and Texas participate in graduate schools. Students eligible to participate in the Academic Common Market are those that are going after a degree or major not offered in their home state.

A few examples of schools are Georgia Southern University, University of Memphis, and the University of Mississippi.

New England Regional Student Program

The states in the New England Regional Student Program include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Schools will charge out-of-state students no more than 175% of in-state tuition. A few schools that participate are Rhode Island College, the University of Maine, and Salem State University.

Western Undergraduate Exchange

This exchange is open to students in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Schools in this program will not charge more than 150% of their in-state tuition rate.

Some colleges that take part in the exchange are Arizona State University, Montana State University, and Boise State University.

If you live in one of these four regions, it may very well be worth your time to explore the programs and participating schools. You may find an amazing deal at your dream college!

  • Interested in any of these colleges? Check out if they’re a good fit for you with our free match tool!

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