In-State Tuition for Out-of-State Students

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Mark Kantrowitz

By Mark Kantrowitz

February 20, 2020

Some out-of-state students may nevertheless qualify for in-state tuition due to where they live. In addition to border waivers, there are also tuition reciprocity agreements between adjacent states and states within a geographic region.

Students Who Live Nearby

Some states provide in-state tuition for students who live near a state college but in a contiguous state. These border waivers are either based on distance (e.g., within 30 miles) or residence in an adjacent county or state. The waiver may be limited to just the nearby college.

Distance limitations vary by state, with Alabama limiting it to within 50 miles of the border, Arizona to 75 miles, New Mexico to 135 miles (Texas residents based on distance to a New Mexico state college or university), and Tennessee to 30 miles (based on distance to a city containing a state community college).

Some states have tuition reciprocity agreements with adjacent states. For example, New Mexico has tuition reciprocity with Colorado and Arizona and Minnesota has a tuition reciprocity agreement with North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Ohio provides in-state tuition to students who reside in a contiguous state. In some cases these agreements may be limited to academic majors that are not available at the state’s public colleges.

Native American students may be eligible for in-state tuition if they live on a reservation that is wholly or partially in the state. This may also include enrolled members of tribes that previously lived in the state before they were relocated.

National and Regional Exchange Programs

There are also regional exchange programs which provide reduced or in-state tuition for some or all states in a geographic region.

There is also a national exchange program, National Student Exchange, which provides discounted tuition at more than 150 colleges, including colleges in all 50 states.

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