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Duke University
Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

A Guide to Scholarships for Out-of-State Students

College is expensive—average tuition at four-year public colleges increased in all 50 states between 2008 and 2018, with the average tuition rising by 37%. For students who plan to study out of state, the financial burden is even greater. According to U.S. News, out-of-state students pay more than twice as much as in-state students at ranked public colleges. 


One way students coming from out of state can reduce the expense of school is with a scholarship. Below are three ways to win out-of-state scholarships. 


3 Ways to Get Scholarships as an Out-of-State Student


1. Look for Out-of-State Scholarships


One of the simplest ways to get an out-of-state scholarship is to search for ones that require or prioritize non-residence. Here’s a look at some of the best out-of-state scholarships. 


Arizona Tuition Awards

Institution: The University of Arizona

Award: $1,000 to $35,000 per academic year toward tuition


An extremely competitive merit-based award open to non-Arizona high school graduates who will enroll at the University of Arizona as a first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshman. 


University of Alaska Fairbanks – Nanook Pledge

Institution: University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)

Award: $1,000 to $10,000 per academic year toward tuition, fees, room, and board 


Available to meritorious resident and non-residents who will be first-year, full-time students (transfer and readmitted students also considered) enrolling in a baccalaureate program at UAF.


Black & Gold Scholarship

Institution: University of Missouri (MU)  

Award: Full waiver of nonresident tuition 


The Black & Gold Scholarship is a merit-based award given to students enrolling at MU who have demonstrated academic excellence, are not residents of Missouri, and have a parent (biological, adoptive, or step) who graduated from the University of Missouri. 


CU Boulder Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship

Institution: University of Colorado Boulder (CU) 

Award: $6,250 per year


The Chancellor’s Achievement Scholarship is a merit-based award given to incoming freshmen who are in the top 25% of CU Boulder’s admitted non-resident freshman class (measured by GPA). 


Colorado State Merit Scholarships for Entering Non-Resident Freshmen

Institution: Colorado State University (CSU)

Award: $5,000 to $10,000 per year (half paid each semester) 


This merit-based award is open to non-Colorado residents admitted to a full-time, degree-granting program at CSU’s main campus—online students are not eligible. 


DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG)

Institution: N/A

Award: Up to $10,000 a year for tuition 


Because students in Washington, D.C., have comparatively limited public college options compared to students living in states, the DCTAG works to make up the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at public colleges and universities for D.C. residents. 


Kent State President’s Achievement Award

Institution: Kent State University 

Award: $4,000 – $12,500 for tuition annually 


Non-Ohio residents enrolled full-time in a bachelor’s degree-granting program at Kent State are considered for this prestigious award—online students are ineligible. 


National Buckeye Scholarship for Non-Ohio Residents

Institution: The Ohio State University  

Award: Up to $13,500 


The National Buckeye Scholarship is an extremely competitive merit-based award (as determined by grade point average, class rank, and ACT or SAT scores) given to non-Ohio residents enrolling at The Ohio State University. 


The University of Vermont Presidential Scholarship

Institution: The University of Vermont (UVM)

Award: $17,000 to $20,000 per academic year 


High-achieving, academically minded first-year, out-of-state students are open to apply for the Presidential Scholarship at UVM. 


WUE Scholarship

Institution: Boise State University 

Award: 150% of the resident tuition (an approximate savings of $12,886) annually 


Pronounced “woo-ee,” the WUE Scholarship is open to students with demonstrated academic success enrolling full-time at Boise State University. Open to non-Idaho residents from a select group of states and U.S. territories: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Guam, and Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI).

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2. Apply to private schools with generous financial aid


Despite the generally higher published prices of private colleges, they can sometimes offer a more affordable option for out-of-state students who qualify for financial aid. This is especially true at schools with particularly generous financial aid policies such as: 


  • Amherst College: Depending on financial need, students at Amherst can pay anywhere from a small portion of tuition and costs to none at all. Amherst is no-loan, need-blind, and meets 100% of demonstrated need.
  • Colby College: The Colby Commitment is the college’s pledge to meet 100% of an admitted student’s demonstrated financial need without loans.
  • Davidson College: The Davidson Trust covers 100% of an applicant’s demonstrated financial need through grants and employment and without loans. 
  • West Point: West Point (along with other service academies with the exception of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy) offers not just free tuition to accepted students, but also covers the cost of books, board, medical, and dental while enrolled.  
  • The University of Chicago: UChicago students from families with incomes under $125,000 per year get free tuition, while those from families earning less than $60,000 have their tuition, fees, room, and board covered. 


For more private colleges that some out-of-state students will find affordable, check out our blog post: Schools that Meet 100% of Demonstrated Financial Need


3. Use Tuition Reciprocity Programs


Tuition reciprocity programs allow students to attend out-of-state colleges and universities but pay either in-state or reduced tuition. These programs are commonly regionally based or occur between states that share a border. However, there are also reciprocity programs focused on in-demand fields.  Sometimes, a state will also offer resident pricing to non-resident students if the major they want to pursue isn’t offered by an institution in their home state. 


In addition to lowering the cost of college for out-of-state students, there are numerous benefits to reciprocity programs. For example, in the case of regional programs, students can “go away” to college and broaden their perspective, while remaining relatively close to home and their support systems. For students who plan to live and work in the area near their family, reciprocity programs allow them to build a network of connections (professors, advisors, employers, and peers) which will make finding employment easier. 


Reciprocity programs also benefit the regions themselves—they build ties between the schools and states and help anchor talent to an area. In the case of reciprocity programs focused on in-demand fields, they bring talented and needed students to an area and hopefully keep them there following the completion of their degree. 


Tuition reciprocity programs are not automatically applied. Students will have to research tuition reciprocity programs and apply to them individually. To learn more about tuition reciprocity programs, check out our article, What Are Tuition Reciprocity Programs? How Do They Help Out-of-State Students?


Wondering about your chances of admission to both in-state and out-of-state schools? Use our chancing engine for over 500 colleges when you sign up for your free CollegeVine account. Additionally, we can help you build a best-fit school list, improve your profile, and get your college questions answered by experts and peers.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.