Out-of-state tuition is a common fact in almost every state and state-funded school. Because the local state and city government fund and maintain the schools, the schools typically give residents a cheaper tuition than non-residents. The simplest way to avoid the higher tuition rate is to establish residence in the area for a year prior to applying to a state school. Otherwise your options remain limited until more schools move away from higher out-of-state tuition rates.
Private colleges and universities are funded by sources other than state or local government, so they don't assess higher fees to non-residents. In general, private schools charge more in tuition than many state schools, but rates will vary depending on the individual institution. Famous private schools include Notre Dame, Stanford, and all of the Ivy League schools. Check with the respective financial aid offices from each school for help with scholarships or grants in addition to filling out the government FAFSA (free financial aid application). Park University is an example of a private institution located throughout the country (usually on military bases) that charges no out-of-state tuition, while also offering rates competitive with state schools.
Online schools generally don't charge out-of-state tuition since their students often come from all over the country. Most entirely online schools are for-profit institutions, which allows them to price their rates competitively based on the market. Because of the boom in online education and the typical clientele, tuition at these schools tends to be much less than at traditional state or private colleges and universities. Other schools, such as University of Phoenix and Rasmussen College, offer online education connected to their network of satellite campuses across the country.
Programs Unavailable in your Area and Discounted Border Rates
One of the only loopholes for avoiding non-resident fees at a state school is if you can prove your home state doesn't offer the program you're applying to. Most states waive higher tuition rates for specialized programs available in select regions of the country. If you live in Kansas, for instance, but the state schools don't offer any Biomedical Engineering education, you may be able to attend a program in Illinois at a discounted rate. In addition, neighboring states or border areas often have discounted rates for local residents of the area regardless of what side of the border they live on.
Community or Technical Colleges
Community Colleges and Trade or Technical schools offer discounted rates and shorter turnaround for students interested in earning certificates, diplomas or Associate degrees. Individual tuition rates will vary at each school, but their cost is typically less than half that of a state school. Community colleges pride themselves on small class sizes, community involvement and affordable rates.
Dylan Kennedy began writing professionally in 2003. His work has been published in the "Park Scribe," "Red Rocket Magazine" and online at PopFreeRadio.com. Kennedy has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Park University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from the University of Missouri.