Students can often be overwhelmed by how much their dream college or university will cost them. For out-of-state students, an education that could be affordable for residents becomes two or three times more expensive. However, there are a number of grant opportunities and scholarships that are geared specifically toward out-of-state students to ease the financial burden.
One option available to out-of-state students is to apply for a federal Pell Grant. Though not specifically targeted toward out-of-state students, the grant is based on what the cost of attendance at the student's chosen college or university is. Therefore, if out-of-state students are required to pay higher tuition, the amount of their Pell Grant would also increase. In order to apply for this grant, students must submit a Federal Application for Student Aid. Typically the maximum amount for the grant is somewhere near $5,000. Once the funds have been approved, it is up to the specific college or university to notify students on how the grant will be dispersed.
Federal Pell Grant U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave. SW Washington, DC 20202 800-872-5327 studentaid.ed.gov
Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market
Another option for students who want to continue their studies out of state is the Southern Regional Education Board's (SREB) Academic Common Market. The SREB is essentially a tuition-savings program in which certain colleges and universities have agreed to allow out-of-state students to pay in-state tuition, so they are not as burdened down by the cost of their education. Though the program differs from traditional grants and scholarships, it still enables students within the 16 SREB states to receive a discounted rate toward an out-of-state education. Interested students must consult the organization's listing of eligible programs of study and participating colleges and universities to determine if the program is a match for them. If your state does not fall under the SREB's jurisdiction, there are also comparable programs in the West and Midwest. To be eligible, students must complete the admission process for the college they wish to attend and be a resident of on of the SREB states.
Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market 592 10th St. N.W. Atlanta, GA 30318 404-875-9211 sreb.org
Another aid source that should not be overlooked is institutional aid from colleges and universities. While each school dispenses their financial aid funds in different ways, many public universities have made awards available to help out-of-state students offset the difference between their tuition costs and that of in-state students. For instance, schools such as Clemson University and Ohio State University set aside funds to finance scholarships and grants specifically targeted toward out-of-state students. Information about provisions your school makes for out-of-state students can be found on their financial aid website or by calling the department directly.
Amanda Younger is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has had her work published in "The Chapel Hill Herald," "Time Out New York" and "Independent Weekly" among other publications. She is also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism.