A number of schools across the U.S. offer in-state tuition to neighboring states, some through a reciprocity agreement and others through a scholarship program. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, or WICHE, is one example of a scholarship program that allows students from nearby states to attend schools at the in-state tuition rate. Many more schools offer various discounts or scholarships that aren’t advertised. Consider speaking with the financial aid counselor at your school about tuition discounts that are available.
Several states in the Great Lakes area offer tuition agreements. Students from North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin pay in-state tuition rates at any Minnesota college. Minnesota residents pay in-state tuition rates at North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin schools. The reciprocity agreement does not apply to all states, however; for example, a Wisconsin resident does not get in-state tuition at a South Dakota university.
Individual states that have set up agreements include Kentucky and Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee and Kentucky and West Virginia. Residents of either of these paired states get in-state tuition in the other state. New Mexico and Colorado also have a tuition reciprocity agreement, but students need to apply early as there is a limit to how many students each university will accept.
Midwest Student Exchange Program
The Midwest Student Exchange Program allows students in Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin to attend schools in these states at a discounted rate. Out-of-state residents don’t always get in-state tuition, but they never pay more than 150 percent of in-state tuition costs. The program also allows students to get a 10-percent discount on tuition at a private college.
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
States that participate in WICHE include Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Schools within these states can choose to participate. For example, in California, University of California schools do not participate. while California State University schools do. Out-of-state students pay 150 percent of that school’s in-state tuition rate. Many schools have additional requirements or limited availability for the program.
Academic Common Market
The Academic Common Market has a selective reciprocity agreement. Students in participating states can receive in-state tuition from a public university in a partnering state only if the degree they are seeking is not offered in their home state. For example, if a student in Oklahoma wanted to study criminal justice, but no public university in Oklahoma offers a degree in criminal justice, that student could receive in-state tuition at an institution in a partnering state. Schools are allowed to voluntarily participate in the program. States that are a part of the Academic Common Market include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Texas, North Carolina and Florida only offer a reciprocity agreement to graduate students.
- Midwestern Higher Education Compact: What is the MSEP
- University of Minnesota: Costs and Tuition
- University of North Dakota: Tuition and Mandatory Fees
- University of Iowa: Tuition Reciprocity
- Maryland: Higher Education Commission: Academic Common Market
- Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education: Western Undergraduate Exchange
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