The Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition Colleges for Every State in 2023

    September 13, 2022 | bestvalue

    cheapest out of state tuition

    Young adults looking for a change of scenery should consider looking for a college education outside of their home state. One of the biggest concerns with attending school outside of their state is the out-of-state tuition costs. As needed, future students should consider the cheapest out of state tuition colleges if they decide to leave home for the first time and need an affordable college.

    Most of the schools listed are community colleges, but once students finish their associate degrees, they will qualify for residency and could consider another 4-year school without fearing the out-of-state tuition costs. We will be including the most affordable online MBA programs too.

    10 Colleges That Waive Out-of-State Tuition

    In contrast to in-state rates, tuition for out-of-state students can be shockingly high, which often makes it challenging for non-residents to attend. Fortunately, there are some colleges that waive out-of-state tuition or offer nonresident tuition exemptions.

    These waivers allow all students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they live. This can offer considerable cost savings. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average out-of-state tuition for an undergraduate degree is $26,382 compared to $9,212 for in-state tuition. These are some of the cheapest out of state tuition colleges located in the United States.

    Alcorn State University

    Located in Claiborne County, Mississippi, Alcorn State is an HBCU that offers the same affordable tuition rate for all students. Both in-state and out-of-state students pay $7,869 a year to attend Alcorn.

    Belmont College

    Belmont is one of several universities in Ohio that has a reciprocity agreement with the state of West Virginia. Under this agreement, students from West Virginia pay the same tuition rate that applies to Ohio residents, or $125.75 per credit hour.

    Delta State University

    Delta State is among the many southern colleges that eliminated out-of-state tuition entirely. Any student who wishes to attend the college will pay a full-time tuition rate of $4,217.50 per semester, regardless of residency status.

    Florida Polytechnic University

    Although Florida Poly does charge a non-resident fee and a non-resident financial aid fee, the tuition rate for out-of-state students is the same as in-state. At $105.07 per credit hour, the university is one of the most affordable options in the country for out-of-state students who want to pursue a STEM degree.

    Mississippi Valley State University

    MVSU is an HBCU that proudly proclaims that it charges one fee for all students. In-state, out-of-state, and off-campus undergraduate students pay $303.08 and graduate students pay $447.00 per credit hour.

    Northern Illinois University

    NIU charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students. Any person who is a United States citizen, permanent resident, or undocumented student attending a high school within the country pays $12,470 annually for a full-time schedule of courses.

    Oklahoma Panhandle State University

    OPSU is located in Goodwell, Oklahoma, and offers a wide variety of bachelor’s degree programs. Out-of-state students who wish to attend OPSU will pay $6,525 annually in tuition and fees, the same amount as in-state students

    Peru State College

    Located in Peru, Nebraska, Peru State College has a policy of “one rate, any state.” While their online tuition rate is higher, on-campus students from any state in the country will pay $186 per credit hour.

    University of Minnesota

    Students from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Manitoba, Canada, can attend the University of Minnesota at in-state tuition rates of $16,109 per year for a full-time schedule. This rate reduction is not automatically applied, so students must apply with their state’s reciprocity office to receive it.

    University of New Mexico

    Through a statewide reciprocity agreement, residents of Colorado can apply to pay the same UNM tuition rates as New Mexico residents, which are currently set at $10,860 annually. To qualify, students must follow the university’s strict policy requiring them to complete 15 credit hours each semester and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

    West Virginia University

    Students who are classified as residents of Ohio can attend WVU and pay in-state tuition rates. Each year, the university establishes a list of approved majors, and Ohio-based students who are directly admitted to one of these programs can pay in-state tuition for a total of eight semesters.

    Why Are These Colleges So Cheap for Out-of-State Students?

    There is no universal factor that unites cheap out of state tuition colleges because rates are reduced for a number of reasons. Some institutions award scholarships for in-state tuition, while others offer rate reductions on a more universal basis.

    Tuition Waivers

    In recent years, several colleges and universities have opted to eliminate out-of-state tuition across the board. This goes against a long tradition in which schools have charged much higher rates for non-resident students. State residents pay taxes that fund public colleges, so in-state students are generally given a discount on tuition at state-funded colleges.

    However, the degree of difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates often makes it difficult for students to attend a school outside of their home state. In order to attract more non-resident students, some colleges have dropped the price differential and created a single tuition rate for all students.

    This is especially true of colleges that have previously struggled with recruiting and maintaining enrollment numbers. While students may be willing to pay higher rates to attend large universities with many extracurricular activities or sports teams, this is not always the case with smaller schools. By creating a single rate for all students, these institutions have found ways to attract students that may have previously been reluctant to pay out-of-state tuition to attend a small school.

    Reciprocity Agreements

    In other cases, states have created reciprocity agreements that allow students to pay rates that are closer to or the same as in-state rates. The regional reciprocity programs in the United States are:

    • The Regional Student Program, which applies to students in northeastern states, including Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont
    • The Western Undergraduate Exchange, which was created for students in a large number of states, such as Alaska, Arizona, California, Utah, and Wyoming
    • The Midwest Student Exchange Program, which includes Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Wisconsin
    • The Academic Common Market, which covers southern states like South Carolina, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Kentucky

    It’s important to note that states and individual schools can choose to impose acceptance requirements, limit the number of awards, or opt out of the reciprocity agreement. There are also additional reciprocity relationships between select schools and states that were created outside of the regional programs.

    Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition Colleges: Ranking Method

    We estimated the lowest tuition costs per credit for each college using each schools public information for potential students. The school costs don’t factor taxes and other hidden fees such as applications, room, and board, etc. For more information on other methodologies that we use to rank our schools, please visit our methodology page.

    Is there another school with a better value? Let us know about other schools with the cheapest out-of-state tuition.


    Education Data Initiative, Average In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition

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