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Will out of state tuition go down?

Without going to socialism, any hope of more reciprocity between states concerning out of state tuition? Maybe cut some Board of Regents salaries to get costs down? #college-reciprocity #college #college-tuition #financial-planning

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Jill’s Answer

Hi Elana,

What a great question! There is not one, clear answer to this question about tuition decreasing, but, it is hopeful to see a few states beginning to offer free tuition at state community colleges. This is a beginning trend, but it appears to be growing. Another interesting trend is that some universities will offer in-state rates to students who live in the surrounding states or beyond. For instance, the University of New Orleans has a program whereby any student in the Gulf Coast region can attend at the in-state rate. Some regions, such as New England, offer a reciprocity agreement - students who are pursuing a major not offered in their home state, may be eligible for discounted or in-state rates at a public university in another state. I would also advise not dismissing private universities and colleges. Often, these schools offer need-based financial aid and merit scholarships at a significantly greater rate (and in greater amounts) than public schools. This means that the "net cost of attendance" at a private university may be less than a public university. Universities/colleges that accept federal financial aid (which is to say most schools), will offer a net cost of attendance calculator on their websites - check it out for a useful estimate of what a school will offer you to defray the cost of your education.

Another option to consider, particularly for students who are pursuing STEM degrees, are national/federal programs that pay a significant (or even all) of the cost of attendance for certain majors, e.g. the Department of Defense STEM scholarships.

Best of Luck!

Jill recommends the following next steps:

Consider the possibility of spending one or two years at a community college and then transfer in to a university.
Investigate each institution's net cost of attendance calculator.
Research scholarships offered through the Federal Government for STEM degrees.
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Timothy’s Answer

No, it won't.

As fields and sectors become more specific, there will be reasons to go to 'specific' schools in the country for specific reasons, so universities can charge what they want to profit, and still expect people to pay more in order to get that university's qualification or at least clout.

Furthermore, there is a push from each state to hang onto their state funding. What good is it if they spend so much on their students, only to have them leave to go to schools in other states. The degrees offered by universities are because there is a demand for that degree in that general area, incentivizing college bound students to consider what they want to go to school for before looking at schools out of state.

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Paul’s Answer

Out of tuition going down? I doubt it. Going up? Probably so. Of course this is just my opinion but it seems unlikely that tuition at any school whether it be in or out of state would go down but you never know given today's economic environment. If states continue to cut funding to colleges and universities in order to balance their budgets, schools will continue to raise tuition across the board. In addition, if schools continue to spend money on amenities to attract students and higher salaries to attract better professors, tuition will continue to rise.


On the other hand I've read stories about small liberal art schools cutting their tuition or at least agreeing not to increase it for a certain number of years in an effort to make it more affordable so you'll have to do some research on the schools you're interested in to know for sure. If you have your heart set on going out of state I would suggest considering a small college that doesn't have a huge disparity between in and out of state tuition.

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