Last Updated on August 4, 2022
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. From what states have tuition reciprocity and Missouri tuition reciprocity, the article below brings you all the latest information you need to know on them.
You will also discover related posts on what states have teaching reciprocity with Pennsylvania and New York tuition reciprocity on Collegelearners.
What states have tuition reciprocity
The items on the checklists of students looking at colleges and universities vary from student to student. Things like school size and location are very often at the top of the list and while many students choose to stay relatively close by, for others, going to college is an opportunity to spread their wings and exert their independence miles away from their home town. According to Parenting Magazine, 17% of students attend out-of-state colleges.
Along with that sense of adventure comes a hefty price tag, as any out-of-state student can tell you. The price an out-of-state student pays can be 50% higher than that charged to in-state residents. And if one hopes to become a resident in order to cut their costs, they will be sorely disappointed when they attempt it.
How to get in-state at Universities in Pennsylvania
Prepare for a gap-year either before freshman year or after! That would involve a one-year domicile period of no school whatsoever plus full-time employment and no support from parents. Some support from non-parents is possible.
A gap-year is a given for all universities in Pennsylvania; however, each university has its own interpretations of state law. Therefore, please see links below for available in-state overviews of particular universities in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Reciprocity Agreements
Pennsylvania is one of the seven US states that does not participate in any regional reciprocity agreements for undergrads. That means if you’re coming to or leaving Pennsylvania for college, you won’t get any special tuition deals in nearby states.
University-Specific Overviews Below
Please find below overviews for select universities in Pennsylvania. If your college is not highlighted, then please consider buying a University-Specific Nutshell Report.
Popular Universities in Pennsylvania:
- Penn State-University Park
Other Universities in Pennsylvania:
- Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania-Bloomsburg
- California University of Pennsylvania-California
- Cheyney University of Pennsylvania-Cheyney
- Clarion University of Pennsylvania-Clarion
- East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania-East Stroudsburg
- Edinboro University of Pennsylvania-Edinboro
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Indiana
- Kutztown University of Pennsylvania-Kutztown
- Lincoln University-Lincoln
- Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania-Lock Haven
- Mansfield University of Pennsylvania-Mansfield
- Millersville University of Pennsylvania-Millersville
- Penn State Milton S. Hershey College of Medicine-Hershey
- Penn State-Abington
- Penn State-Altoona
- Penn State-Beaver-Monaca
- Penn State-Berks-Reading
- Penn State-Brandywine-Media
- Penn State-DuBois
- Penn State-Erie-The Behrend College
- Penn State-Fayette-The Eberly Campus-Lemont Furnace
- Penn State-Greater Allegheny-McKeesport
- Penn State-Harrisburg-Middletown
- Penn State-Hazleton
- Penn State-Lehigh Valley-Center Valley
- Penn State-Mont Alto
- Penn State-New Kensington
- Penn State-Schuylkill Haven
- Penn State-Shenango Sharon
- Penn State-Wilkes-Barre Back Mountain
- Penn State-Worthington Scranton Dunmore
- Penn State-York York
- Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania-Shippensburg
- Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania-Slippery Rock
- Temple University School of Medicine-Philadelphia
- Temple University-Ambler
- Temple University-Philadelphia
- The Commonwealth Medical College-Scranton
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine-Pittsburgh
- University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
- University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg
- University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
- University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh
- University of Pittsburgh-Titusville
- West Chester University of Pennsylvania-West Chester
How to Get In-State Tuition at Out-of-State Colleges
“I remember my teachers saying, ‘Make sure you look at Minnesota schools because it’ll cost basically the same,'” says the 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities nursing program. “Any time they talked about college exploration options, Minnesota schools were always brought up.”
The neighboring states’ reciprocity agreement means residents can attend universities in either state at in-state rates.
Clark, who is originally from Buffalo City, Wisconsin, says there wasn’t much of a tuition difference between her two top choices: UM—Twin Cities and the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Ultimately, she chose UM—Twin Cities because the school guaranteed her entry into its undergraduate nursing program as long as she maintained a 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses. UW required students to apply to its nursing school later in their college careers.
Similar to what Clark found, there are ways students can save thousands of tuition dollars without being confined to their home state.
What to Know About In-State Tuition
Cost-conscious students often view state colleges as the least expensive route. But prices can vary widely at these schools depending on a student’s residency.
The average cost of in-state tuition and fees at ranked public colleges was $9,687 for the 2020-2021 academic year, according to an annual U.S. News survey.
Attending an in-state school may be more popular in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, says Aviva Legatt, founder of Ivy Insight, a Pennsylvania-based college admissions consulting firm. Legatt says this may make scholarships to receive tuition discounts and in-state tuition for nonresidents more popular.
“People are more eager to take advantage of these programs because they are feeling uncertain about the future,” she says. “A lot of students are applying closer to home or taking that into consideration with respect to what college they may ultimately choose because of COVID and travel restrictions. I’m hopeful things will open up, but some people may feel more like they want to stay close to home or go one or two states away as opposed to going far away.”
What to Know About Out-of-State Tuition
Students who attend a public college in a state outside of their residency typically pay more than in-state students. Per U.S. News data, out-of-state tuition and fees cost on average $21,184 among ranked public colleges in 2020-2021 – about $11,000 more than in-state students pay at ranked schools on average.
While schools make exceptions for some students to qualify for in-state rates – such as having a parent in the military – many institutions aren’t lenient on so-called domicile rules, experts say.
Residency rules vary by state and institution. Typically, if a college’s financial aid office considers the student a dependent – which is the case for most college-bound students – residency is based on where the family lives. Since most prospective undergraduate students aren’t considered financially independent, it’s difficult for them to qualify for domicile tuition in another state.
But there are several ways dependents under age 24 can qualify for reduced rates as out-of-state students. Here are four paths to explore for reduced tuition at out-of-state public institutions.
Legacy Scholarships That Award In-State Rates
Following in a parent’s footsteps can reduce tuition costs. The University of Missouri, for example, reduces tuition with scholarships and tuition waivers for children of alumni who excel academically.[
Frank Wolff told U.S. News in 2018 that his daughter applied to his alma mater on a whim. “We only found out about the scholarship after she was accepted and received the offer from the university. Otherwise we would have been unaware of the opportunity to get in-state tuition,” he said.
Through the University of Missouri’s Black & Gold Scholarship, the Florida-based family paid in-state tuition. The program comes with a few caveats, though.
To receive a full nonresident tuition waiver, for example, students enrolling for the first time in fall 2019 or later must score at least 27 on the ACT or 1260 on the SAT. Students who apply test-optional for the fall 2021 semester – those who choose not to submit their scores – will be reviewed for this scholarship holistically, meaning the university will use other information from applicants’ files like GPA.
“I would advise other parents to look for these in-state tuition opportunities. As we discovered, they are out there but don’t seem to be widely publicized,” Wolff says.
Other public schools offer similar programs. The University of Kentucky, for example, has a Legacy Tuition Program that provides partial tuition awards to nonresident undergraduate children of UK graduates.
To receive the full difference between resident and nonresident tuition rates, these students applying to UK must have at least a 3.5 unweighted GPA and an ACT score of 31 or SAT score of 1390. Test-optional students must have an unweighted GPA of 3.6 to receive the full difference.
College Scholarships for Discounted Tuition
Students blazing their own trail without legacy status benefits can qualify for in-state tuition at some state schools if they have strong academic credentials.
“To be eligible for tuition discounts generally, out-of-state colleges may throw money at students who exceed the bar on admissions standards,” Legatt says.[
Legatt advised a California student who received an offer from Indiana University—Bloomington worth around $44,000 a year. “Her qualifications exceeded their averages,” she says.
At the University of Arkansas, the New Arkansan Non-Resident Tuition Award Scholarship is available to students from neighboring states who excel academically. Students from Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas who achieve at least a 3.2 GPA in high school can receive 70% to 90% off nonresident tuition.
But sometimes stellar academic credentials aren’t required. For instance, Georgia Southern University waives out-of-state tuition rates for residents of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
State Agreements that reduce tuition rates
Sometimes there are flexible residency requirements for students who live near state lines and want to cross over for college.
Minnesota, for example, holds a reciprocity agreement with several neighboring states – Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota, plus a community college in Iowa and the Canadian province of Manitoba – that reduces nonresident tuition for Minnesotans to attend their public institutions.
Another example is an arrangement between Colorado and New Mexico that offers their students tuition reciprocity.
In the District of Columbia, there’s a special reciprocity arrangement known as the DC Tuition Assistance Grant. To be eligible, D.C. residents must be from a family with a taxable annual income of less than $515,108 for those starting classes in 2021-2022.
Regional exchange programs that offer tuition discounts
Regional exchange programs allow students to qualify for tuition at a reduced rate as an out-of-state student.
“Many students attend out-of-state schools, yet they fail to choose a school within the exchange and wind up paying vastly more in tuition,” says Timothy Jaconette, founder of Advanced Admit, a California-based college admission consultancy.
“If you are looking to attend an out-of-state-school and pay in-state tuition, the best place to start is to look at the options on the appropriate regional exchange for your state. You can download a list of schools and easily evaluate your options,” Jaconette says.
The Western Undergraduate Exchange is available to students who call the following states and territories home: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Under WUE, students can attend certain schools located in other member states and pay only up to 150% of the in-state tuition rate. More than 160 institutions – both two- and four-year schools – participate in the exchange, including the University of California—Merced and the University of Colorado Denver.
But there are caveats. Many schools put an annual cap on exchange students, and some restrict tuition breaks to certain majors. At the University of Arizona in Tucson, for example, out-of-state students can receive a break in nonresident tuition only if they major in mining engineering or natural resources.
Other tuition exchange programs include the Midwest Student Exchange Program, the New England Regional Student Program and Academic Common Market in the South.
Eligibility depends on a number of factors, including where students live, what degree program they are interested in and whether minimum caps on the number of students who can receive the benefit have been met. If students change majors after receiving a tuition break through the exchange, they could lose the discount.