Typically, at least when talking about public universities, going to school in-state is cheaper than going to school out-of-state. However, college is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and if you are a little like me, you might be dreading the thought of having to go to school close to home, with only money and student loans standing in your way of leaving. But, did you know that with a little research you can have both in-state tuition in and out-of-state school?

Many schools are offering out-of-state fee waivers to qualifying out-of-state students (even international!). Many public colleges and universities have the problem where many local students aren’t attending, so to make their school more attractive to people not from the area, colleges will offer an out-of-state education at a discounted price. The difference between out-of-state and in-state fees is usually thousands of dollars, so why not pounce on this awesome opportunity?

One thing to keep in mind: qualifications for these waivers differ from college to college. Some schools offer resident tuition rates only to students in neighboring states. Some other schools offer non-resident tuition waivers to students meeting a certain criteria, usually SAT or ACT scores and GPA. No matter what, it’s definitely something to check out, especially if you’re cash-strapped for school.

Some schools you should consider if you are interested in this option:

  • Eastern Oregon University: students from Oregon, Idaho, and Washington are charged resident tuition rates. According to their website, resident tuition is $6255, and non-resident tuition is $15,345.
  • Bemidji State University in Minnesota doesn’t charge out-of-state tuition to non-residents. Tuition for the 2012-2013 academic year was $7146.
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers out-of-state fee waivers to qualifying out-of-state and international students. They also offer out-of-state fee waivers to high achievers in the arts. The award represents $4485 per semester.
  • Missouri State University offers a full waiver of non-resident fees to qualifying students. Current value of the award is $6,360 annually.
  • Wayne State College in Nebraska participates in the Midwest Student Exchange Program. Students from Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin pay a reduced non-resident rate. These students pay $6300 for tuition annually, instead of $8400.
  • The University of Alabama offers out-of-state scholarships to qualifying students. These scholarships range from $1500 a year to full tuition.
  • The Academic Common Market for Southern states enables students to pay non-resident tuition rates in out-of-state colleges when studying a program not available in their home state. Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia participate in the Academic Common Market. Other regional tuition waivers are available through the New England Regional Student Program, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

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the author

Clarissa Gallardo is a sophomore at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Originally from Panama City, Panama (only place in the world where you can see the sun rise in the Pacific and set on the Atlantic!), she is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Mathematics and Ballet. A member of the Honors Program and dancer at heart, you can find her studying at the library, scrolling through her Tumblr feed , dancing, or reading. Clarissa has a really bad case of wanderlust and is obsessed with white chocolate mochas, The Big Bang Theory, and Doctor Reid from Criminal Minds. You can follow her on Twitter and on Tumblr.

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