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College Corner: Out of state tuition

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[/media-credit] Academic advisor, Michelle Warkentin, warns of expensive out-of-state fees.

College in California can be very expensive, but what many students do not realize is that when they attend college in another state there are usually out-of-state fees tacked on to the tuition. With these fees included, the price tag can be as high as $42,00.

This cost deters many students from applying to out of state schools, and for good reason. This amount is higher than many California private colleges with an ocean view and a short drive home to see mom and dad. Fortunately there is good news for those students just itching to leave sunny California.

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education coordinates a program known as the Western Undergraduate Exchange. The organization aims to offer financial aid to college students.

“WUE is a regional tuition-reciprocity agreement that enables students from WICHE states to enroll in more than 150 participating two- and four-year public institutions at 150 percent of the enrolling institution’s resident tuition.”

Members of the WUE include the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

College is expensive no matter how you crunch the numbers, but the silver lining to this story is that there is assistance out there. You may have to put in a little more work to reap the benefits but instead of paying off student loans for the next 30 years, students can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they received an affordable college tuition in the state of their choosing. — Michelle Warkentin

Vice President of Programs and Services, Jere Mock, talks about the benefits that the program offers.

“The biggest benefit of the WUE program is tuition savings at participating institutions,” Mock said. “WUE has saved families an estimated $2.5 billion since WICHE began the program in 1988.”

Savings vary according to the respective institution’s resident tuition. On average each student saved $8,150 last year, as reported by AY 2014-15 Statistical Report.

WUE is not automatically awarded to all eligible students, many colleges limit the number of students accepted and some require that students apply to a specific program or major to qualify. Because of this it is important to apply early. According to Mock, “Deadlines vary; some institutions offer WUE on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have deadlines as early as December 1.”

In order to find out more about the WUE program and the colleges that recognize these services, please visit their website.

Another point to remember is that in most cases students are not required to demonstrate financial need to qualify. Students looking to save even more money on college should consider applying to one of these 10 colleges with the lowest out-of-state tuition as reported by U.S. News and World.

Delta State University in Mississippi, for example, charges students from outside of Mississippi only $6,112 for the 2015-2016 school year – the same price in-state students pay. It had the lowest out-of-state tuition among 315 ranked public colleges and universities that submitted data to U.S. News.

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[/media-credit] Students looking to save even more money on college should consider applying to one of these 10 colleges with the lowest out-of-state tuition.

College is expensive no matter how you crunch the numbers, but the silver lining to this story is that there is assistance out there. You may have to put in a little more work to reap the benefits but instead of paying off student loans for the next 30 years, students can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they received an affordable college tuition in the state of their choosing.

For more information on the WUE please email Michelle Warkentin at [email protected].

For more information check out the colleges with the lowest out of state tuition here, and colleges with out of state tuition assistance here. 

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