• A college education is one of the biggest expenses you will ever incur. If you choose to attend a college outside of your home state, this expense can be even greater.

    In-State Tuition

    The cost of in-state tuition varies by state and by specific college. But the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the average in-state tuition for public four-year colleges in the 2008-2009 school year was $6,070, fees included.

    Who Qalifies for In-State Tuition?

    If you have been a resident of a state for 12 months or more, you will qualify for in-state tuition. With very few exceptions, if you don't meet this qualification, you will be charged out-of-state tuition.

    Out-of-State Tuition

    Out-of-state tuition is much higher than in-state tuition. The NCES lists an average out-of-state tuition at a four-year public college as $14,378, with fees included, in the 2008-2009 school year.

    Why is Out-of-State Tuition Higher?

    Out-of-state tuition is higher because that school has received no tax benefits from students who are from other states. Your tax money goes to the colleges in your home state only.

    How to Save on Out-of-State Tuition

    You may be able to save on out-of-state tuition by living close to the border between two states, attending a college that participates in a tuition exchange program, or choosing a college that is offering discounts to out-of-state students to boost their enrollment. Not all colleges offer these discounts, so be sure to ask.


    National Center for Education Statistics

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