What Are Tuition Reciprocity Programs? How Do They Help Out-of-State Students?

Want personalized (and free) advice while applying to college?

We’re building a free college guidance platform for high school students like you! This means we’ll let you know exactly what and when you should be focusing on things like extracurriculars, college essays, standardized tests, and more. Sign up now to get early access to our platform and get guidance applying to college!

If you want to travel out of state for school but can’t afford the higher tuition, you have found the right article! There are hundreds of schools that accept out-of-state applicants for reduced tuition. Read on to find out more about the schools that offer tuition reciprocity programs.

 

What are Tuition Reciprocity Programs?

 

Tuition reciprocity programs allow students to attend colleges or universities in a different state than the one in which they reside for in-state or reduced tuition.

 

Usually these programs are reserved for students who live in the same region but not the same state. Certain programs are tailored to students who study an in-demand field, such as nursing.

 

In some cases, reciprocity only applies to public schools in the region. In other cases, public and private schools partner to lower tuition across the board.

 

Am I Eligible for Any Tuition Reciprocity Programs?

 

All U.S. residents are eligible for some of these programs. Keep reading to learn which one might be best for you.

 

What are the Advantages of Participating?

 

We think these programs are the hidden gems of college admissions because they expand your horizons while keeping costs low. Here are five reasons we think tuition reciprocity programs are great for students:

 

1. Experience a new environment.

 

College is a great time to explore new communities. Going out of state for school can help you see the world through new eyes. Even students who return to their home state after college appreciate the different perspective they gain from a little distance.

 

2. Remain close to your support network.

 

As great as it is to experience something new, there are huge benefits to staying near home for college. If you or a family member gets sick while you are in school, living one or two states away makes it much easier to take care of each other than if you attend school farther away.

 

3. Pay less for school.

 

The lower your student loan debt is upon graduation, the more freedom you get as an adult. Lower tuition costs today mean that in the future you can choose to buy a house sooner. Or you can pursue your dream career instead of doing what pays the bills. Or you can travel to exciting foreign countries. Finding a cost-effective way to get you education will change your life for decades to come.

 

4. Find a job in your area.

 

If staying in your region long-term is a priority, then choosing a tuition reciprocity program could be the perfect option for you. Throughout college, you will meet friends, professors, and employers who want to support you. Those ties are often local, making it easier to get a job in the region where you went to school than elsewhere.

 

5. Prevent brain drain.

 

A lot of young people move to big cities like San Francisco or New York when they graduate in hopes of getting their dream job. As great as these cities are, there are so many other places you can call home. Tuition reciprocity programs keep talent in each region, making the whole country stronger.

Want a free essay review?

Improve your essay and impress admissions officers with our free Peer Essay Review. Submit your essay now to get fast feedback.

What are Some Tuition Reciprocity Programs?

 

The Academic Common Market offers in-state and reduced tuition for students residing in the following states:

 

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

 

The Regional Contract Program offers in-state and reduced tuition students in a healthcare field. This program applies to residents of:

 

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina

 

Tuition reductions are available through the Midwest Student Exchange for residents of:

 

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Wisconsin

 

The Western Undergraduate Exchange offers discounts averaging $9000 per year to students from:

 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

 

The Professional Student Exchange Program offers reduced tuition for students in a healthcare field in the following states:

 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

 

Additionally, if you reside in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont and wish to study a major not available in your home state, you may apply for discounted tuition in another state through the New England Regional Student Program.

 

Students who reside in the District of Columbia may apply for in-state tuition at over 300 colleges and universities through the DC Tuition Assistance Program.

 

How Do I Apply for Tuition Reciprocity?

 

You will not be automatically considered for these programs. Instead, each has a separate application process. Follow up on the individual websites to learn how you can take advantage of this additional funding.

 

We hope this article gave you some new ideas for how to finance your college education! If you liked this post, consider reading more of CollegeVine’s time-tested admissions advice:

 

Choosing a College: How to Get Started

What is the Western Undergraduate Exchange? What Schools Participate?

What is the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP)? Which Schools Participate?

What is the New England Regional Student Program? Which Schools Participate?

 

CollegeVine can help you navigate the college admissions process from start to finish. Roughly 75% of our students gain admission to one of their top three choice schools. Reach out today to learn if our College Applications program is right for you!

Want more college admissions tips?

We'll send you information to help you throughout the college admissions process.


Veronica Wickline
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Veronica is an alumna of Harvard College, where she earned her A.B. in History and Classics. After graduating, she joined CollegeVine serving as the Curriculum Development Manager. She currently lives in Cambridge, MA and is writing her debut novel.