Guide on How to Get an Out-of-State Tuition Waiver - College Finance (2023)

When students begin the college application process, the cost of attendance is always a factor, especially if you require a student loan. While class offerings, high-profile faculty, and job prospects are all important, affordability plays a significant part in a student’s ultimate decision.

Traditionally, attending state schools as a resident has been a common way to keep tuition more affordable. For example, while nonresidents pay approximately $43,000 to attend the University of California, Los Angeles, California residents pay $13,239 for the same education.

By taking advantage of in-state tuition, students can receive a high-quality education at a fraction of the cost.

However, in some cases, students may set their sights on state schools outside of their home state. Typically, these students need to pay the out-of-state tuition price. However, in some cases, students may be able to get an out-of-state tuition waiver, allowing them to pay the in-state rate.

(Video) How To Go OUT-OF-STATE And Pay IN-STATE TUITION (College Students)

Here, we’ll cover four ways for out-of-state students to get a tuition waiver, plus alternative options in case an out-of-state tuition waiver isn’t possible.

Guide on How to Get an Out-of-State Tuition Waiver - College Finance (1)

1. Reciprocal State Agreements to Reduce Tuition Rates

In some cases, students might be able to take advantage of reciprocity programs allowing them to pay in-state tuition at universities in neighboring states.

For example, in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), participating public schools agree to charge students no more than 150% of the in-state tuition for certain programs. In some cases, private educational institutions may offer up to 10% discounts. Participating states include Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Students using this program saved over $93 million in the fiscal year 2019 alone.

Similarly, the New England Regional Student Program (RSP) allows New England students to take advantage of in-state tuition when they enroll in a preapproved major or academic program out of state. This program includes 82 public educational institutions across Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Students enrolled in RSP save an average of $7,900. In the 2018-2019 school year, savings were approximately $54 million.

The Southern Regional Education Board runs an Academic Common Market, where students from 15 Southern states can apply for in-state tuition at more than 1,900 approved degree programs. Participating states include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

(Video) How To Establish In-State Residency for Out of State Colleges - The Benefits and the Process

Students who take advantage of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), which covers 15 Western states, pay no more than 150% of in-state tuition at out-of-state universities. The average student saves $9,400 per year, with a total 2018-2019 school year savings of over $380 million. Participating states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

In some cases, individual universities may offer in-state tuition to residents of nearby states. For example, the University of Eastern Oregon allows students from Oregon and Idaho to pay in-state tuition. If students live close to the border of a nearby state, they should consider contacting the educational institution and asking whether they might be able to secure an out-of-state tuition waiver.

While these regional programs can help save students a significant amount of money on tuition, they often come with stipulations. For example, the program may require students to enroll in a specific major or maintain a high grade-point average to continue taking advantage of the cost savings.

2. Public Sector Employment

Most states require students to be residents for at least 12 to 24 months to qualify for in-state tuition at their public universities. If you’re dependent on your parents, your parents often also need to reside in the state where you’re seeking in-state tuition. You’ll also need to take other measures to prove you intend to permanently change your residence, such as opening a bank account or getting a new driver’s license.

However, in many cases, you or your family might move to a new state less than two years before you plan on attending college. One way to secure in-state tuition is if your parents work for the government, including members of the military, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and college faculty. Each state has its own rules, but parental public sector employment can often result in in-state tuition much faster than typical residency requirements.

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3. Legacy Scholarships

In some cases, universities may offer legacy students – students with parents who graduated from the university – in-state tuition if they can demonstrate academic excellence. For example, the University of Missouri offers the Black & Gold Scholarship to certain legacy students. The scholarship has two tiers, with the award depending on academic achievement:

  • Level 1 award: Students must have a composite ACT score of 27 or higher or an SAT score of 1260 or higher. Recipients receive a full waiver of nonresident tuition.
  • Level 2 award: Students must have a composite ACT score of 25 to 26 or an SAT score of 1200 to 1250 or higher. Recipients receive a half waiver of nonresident tuition.

To qualify for the Black & Gold Scholarship, students must attend the University of Missouri in the first semester following high school graduation, and a biological, adoptive, or stepparent must have graduated from the university.

Many other universities offer legacy scholarships that give students financial assistance. For example, the University of Kentucky offers the Legacy Tuition Program. Students who have an ACT score of 31 or an SAT score of 1390, plus an unweighted high school GPA of 3.5, receive enough aid to offset the difference between non-resident and resident tuition. Students with an ACT score of 28 or an SAT score of 1300, plus an unweighted high school GPA of 3.0 or higher, may receive a scholarship of $4,500 per year. However, at least one of the student’s parents must have graduated with a degree from the University of Kentucky.

Other universities, like the University of Kansas, offer programs where high-achieving students can receive partial tuition waivers.

4. Department-Specific Scholarships

Some university departments offer merit-based tuition waivers available to all students, regardless of whether they’re a legacy.

(Video) How I got IN-STATE tuition at an OUT OF STATE school | West Virginia to the University of Kentucky.

For example, the College of Natural Sciences, at the University of Texas at Austin, offers a limited number of out-of-state tuition waivers to qualifying students. To be eligible for a tuition waiver, students must first receive a scholarship of at least $1,000 from the University of Texas. According to UT, between 60 and 70 students typically apply for five to seven out-of-state tuition waivers per year. The College of Natural Sciences only awards waivers on a semester-by-semester basis, although students usually receive waivers for a full academic year. The out-of-state tuition waivers are not renewable, so students must apply for the waivers each year. According to UT, the waivers are highly competitive, so out-of-state students should not rely on receiving one each year.

Guide on How to Get an Out-of-State Tuition Waiver - College Finance (2)

Alternative: Private University Tuition Waivers

In some cases, private universities may offer substantial scholarships to students who demonstrate academic need. For example, at Stanford University, students whose parents make less than $155,000 per year typically pay no tuition at all after combining Stanford financial aid with outside scholarships. Parents who make under $65,000 per year are not expected to contribute at all. Other universities, including Harvard and Duke, commit to meeting 100% of a student’s financial needs. While public schools are often more affordable than private universities, students shouldn’t leave any options off the table.

Evaluating Affordability

Students who are completely set on attending an out-of-state university may want to consider relocating to that state during high school to benefit from in-state tuition. However, big life moves aren’t always possible. If becoming a resident isn’t possible, consider trying the strategies outlined in this article, including interstate tuition exchanges, public sector employment, legacy scholarships, and department-specific scholarships.

While full out-of-state tuition waivers are often the goal, they tend to be limited and competitive. However, many universities, nonprofits, and private organizations offer individual grants based on a variety of factors, such as ethnicity, academic achievement, and area of interest. By combining scholarships from a variety of sources, students can help make attending a state college more affordable.

Get Help With Financial Aid

If you or someone you know is in the college selection process, visit CollegeFinance for in-depth resources helping students and parents with financial planning. Whether you want to learn about financial aid, student loans, or other financing options, our experts at CollegeFinance can help you plan for the future.

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Is there a way to get around out-of-state tuition? ›

Strategy #4: Utilize Regional Exchange Programs and State Reciprocity Agreements. Several regional agreements offer non-residents discounted tuition rates at out-of-state schools. There can be certain caveats, such as minimum GPA or test scores, and/or you must pursue an eligible degree.

How do I get my LSU out-of-state tuition waiver? ›

Non-Resident Student (Out-of-State)

Students can request an out-of-state fee waiver through the Admissions Office. These exemptions are granted on a first come, first served basis. To request, email the Admissions Office at

How do I waive out-of-state tuition in California? ›

Under California law AB 540, certain nonresident students are exempt from paying nonresident supplemental tuition. To be eligible for this exemption a student must meet a combination of California time and enrollment requirements as well as degree or unit attainment.

What states waive out-of-state tuition for Texas? ›

This program provides a waiver of nonresident tuition for students from neighboring states (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma) enrolled in certain public institutions in Texas.

Will fafsa cover out of state tuition? ›

Does financial aid cover out-of-state tuition? The short answer is yes.

What is the cheapest out of state tuition? ›

The 17 Cheapest Out-of-State Colleges
SchoolOut of State TuitionRoom & Board
1. West Texas A&M University$7,842$8,030
2. Minot State University$6,892$8,163
3. Delta State University$8,190$8,317
4. Southern Arkansas University$12,450$7,050
13 more rows
1 Nov 2022

What ACT score is needed for a full scholarship to LSU? ›

Open to entering freshman who graduated in top 15% of high school class with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and an SAT score of 1100 or above or an ACT composite score of 25 or above. Leadership activities and financial need are also considerations.

Does Louisiana waive out of state tuition? ›

Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay that institution's in-state tuition rate. ACM enrollment waives your out-of-state tuition costs and grants you the Louisiana resident tuition rate.

Can I get into LSU with a 3.5 GPA? ›

What Are the GPA Requirements for LSU? LSU doesn't have a minimum GPA requirement, but they mention that the average GPA of those admitted in 2020 was between 3.4 and 4.0. For you to have a chance at an LSU education, you must maintain an above to above-average GPA of 3.4 or above.

How do I prove I am financially independent? ›

To prove your financial independence, you must be able to document that you have been totally self-sufficient for one full year prior to the residence determination date, supporting yourself, for example, through jobs, financial aid, commercial/institutional loans in your name only, and documentable savings from your ...

Who is eligible for California Dream Act? ›

The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident students (US citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships, state administered financial aid, California College Promise ...

What do you say to get a fee waived? ›

When negotiating a fee waiver, it's important to be specific and straightforward. Call the bank, mention the fee you incurred and say you would like to have it waived by the bank. If the bank isn't immediately open to helping you, try to show you're a valuable customer.

How long do you have to live in Texas to not pay out-of-state tuition? ›

Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at the university (or another college or university).

Who gets free tuition in Texas? ›

A few schools require that your household income is less than $30,000 a year. A few others say you can qualify if your household makes under $85,000 a year. Most of them offer free tuition for households making less than $65,000.

How do I get a fee waiver for Texas state? ›

Submitting Documents

Before submitting fee waiver documentation, you must first submit an application for admission and activate your NetID. All documents supporting an application fee waiver request must be submitted to our office through our Document Uploader (NetID required).

What is the most financial aid will pay? ›

Average and maximum financial aid
Type of AidAverage AmountMaximum Amount
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant$670$4,000
Total Federal Student Aid$13,120 (dependent) $14,950 (independent)$19,845 to $21,845 (dependent) $23,845 to $32,345 (independent)
Total Federal Grants$4,980$10,345
3 more rows

What is the maximum amount of FAFSA you can get? ›

Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6,895 for the 2022–23 award year (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023). your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

Will financial aid cover all of my tuition? ›

Federal student aid programs generally cover 40–50% of tuition. Many GIA on-campus students borrow additional funds through either the Parent Loan Program (PLUS) if they are dependents, or through private alternative loans if they are not dependents.

Which state in USA is cheapest to live for students? ›

Offering the least expensive education and living costs, Wyoming is the second most sparsely populated state in the US after Alaska, home to an estimated 586,107 people – less than many US cities.
Most expensive US states.
StateNo. of international studentsTotal per student
4 more rows

What is the cheapest d1 college? ›

The 30 Most Affordable NCAA Division I Champion Universities
  1. 1. California State University – Fullerton. Fullerton, California.
  2. Louisiana Tech University. Ruston, Louisiana. ...
  3. Indiana University. ...
  4. University of North Carolina. ...
  5. University of Arkansas. ...
  6. North Carolina State University. ...
  7. Arizona State University. ...
  8. University of Georgia. ...

What state has cheapest in state tuition? ›

Ten Cheapest States for In-State Tuition
  • Wyoming.
  • Florida.
  • Montana.
  • Utah.
  • New Mexico.
  • Nevada.
  • Idaho.
  • Alaska.

How much SAT score is required for full scholarship? ›

Income-eligible students who live in India and get a total SAT score of 1300 or higher may qualify for a merit-cum-need scholarship at participating universities.

Will a 27 on the ACT get you scholarships? ›

30+ is a great score, but scholarships can be available for students scoring in the mid-20s or even lower—it just depends on which scholarships you're applying for.

What is the lowest ACT score to get into LSU? ›

There are minimum admission requirements: you must have a 3.0 unweighted academic GPA based on 19 core units. Additionally, students must meet either the ACT or SAT requirement: A 22 composite score on the ACT, with an 18 English subscore and a 19 math subscore, or.

Does Florida waive out-of-state tuition? ›

In accordance with Florida Statute 1009.26(12)(a) and Florida Board of Governors Rule 7.008(3)(m), all undergraduate students may request an out-of-state tuition fee waiver provided they have attended a secondary school in Florida for three consecutive years immediately before graduating from a high school in Florida ...

Can you go to college for free in Louisiana? ›

The program will allow certain students to attend any in-state community college for free. To apply, you must be 21, and enroll in a program that supports one of the five high-demand job fields, such as construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics.

Can you switch from out-of-state to in-state tuition? ›

But you may be able to request to change your residency classification after you have been attending your school for a specific period of time. This means that while you might begin as an out-of-state student, you may become an in-state student and receive the tuition benefit in a later year.

What GPA is required for Harvard? ›

Most students admitted to Harvard have an unweighted GPA of 4.18 or above, so you'll need to have at least a 4.2 to be seriously evaluated. To meet the Harvard requirements, you'll have to score primarily A's on your high school courses.

What Ivy League can I get into with a 3.8 GPA? ›

At this GPA, you can also apply to Ivy League institutions, like Princeton University and Stanford University (both of which have average GPAs of 3.9), though, as always, even a 4.0 and 36 ACT don't guarantee admission at Ivies.

What GPA do you need to get into Harvard? ›

It is tough to get into Harvard. The university receives applications from more qualified applicants than they can accept, and most applicants have at least a 4.18GPA. Meeting GPA and SAT/ACT requirements (although these are now optional) will help you get through the first round of filters.

What salary is considered financially independent? ›

Generally, the definition to be FI [financially independent] is when your investments and net worth are equivalent to 25 times your annual expenses. That's generally a definition that's out there. It goes along with what's been dubbed the four percent rule.

Do you get more FAFSA money if your independent? ›

Your dependency status is one of the most important. When completing the FAFSA, independent student applicants generally receive much more financial aid than those who are considered dependents.

How much is enough financially independent? ›

Some say that a corpus of 30-40 times of your current annual expenses is good for achieving financial freedom today. So, if your annual expenses (not income) are about Rs 10 lakh, then, using the 30-40x norm, a corpus of Rs 3-4 crore is what you need.

What is the difference between FAFSA and California Dream Act? ›


Are for students who are not U.S. Citizens, National or Permanent residents or do not fulfill ALL of the FAFSA requirements. The DREAM application is unique to California promoting access to all students regardless of immigration statues and/or documentation.

Do you have to pay back DREAM Act? ›

7. Cal Grants are free money for college that does not have to be paid back. You must complete your CA Dream Act Application, and you must submit a school-verified GPA by March 2. Depending on your school choice, you could qualify for $12,630 annually for up to 4 years of college.

Do I apply for FAFSA or CA Dream Act? ›

AB 1899 allows “T” and “U” Visa holders to be eligible to apply for, and participate in, all student financial aid programs and scholarships administered by a public postsecondary educational institution or the State of California. U Visa holders should file the CADAA, T Visa holders should file the FAFSA.

How do I apply for a fee waiver for tuition? ›

Sample Letter

Respected Sir, I hope all is well with you. I am writing this email in the hope of getting my application fee waived for this (name of) college. My name is _______ and I have completed my schooling or Bachelor's from ______ and since then wanted to enrol myself for my further education in your institute.

How do I apply for a fee waiver? ›

Here are common strategies to get your application fee waived when applying to college.
  1. 1 Get an SAT or ACT Waiver. ...
  2. 2 Apply for the Common App Fee Waiver. ...
  3. 3 Apply for the NACAC Application Fee Waiver. ...
  4. 4 Apply for the Coalition App Fee Waiver. ...
  5. 5 Ask the College for a Fee Waiver. ...
  6. 6 Apply to Colleges Without Application Fees.

How do you request a waiver to waive? ›

I am writing this to you for a consideration in waiving or reducing the charges made on my account (account number) on (date) for being late in paying the instalment for the home loan I took from the bank.

What states have college tuition reciprocity with Texas? ›

This program provides a waiver of nonresident tuition for students from neighboring states (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma) enrolled in certain public institutions in Texas.

What qualifies as proof of residency in Texas? ›

(1) A current deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet, or a residential rental/lease agreement. (2) A valid, unexpired Texas voter registration card. (3) A valid, unexpired Texas motor vehicle registration or title. (4) A valid, unexpired Texas boat registration or title.

Do Texas residents go to college for free? ›

In Texas, many four-year colleges offer free tuition programs for students from low-income and middle-income families. Other colleges offer very generous tuition discounting based on a family's need.

Who qualifies for Texas Grant? ›

To be eligible for a TEXAS Grant award, a student must:

Have financial need, as determined by the institution. Be enrolled at least 3/4 time. Not have earned a baccalaureate degree. Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance.

What age is college free in Texas? ›

Senior citizens, 65 or older, are eligible for free tuition for up to six credit hours per semester. The purpose of this program is to encourage senior citizens to continue their education and keep involved with local colleges and universities.

What is the Texas education Grant? ›

The Texas Public Educational Grant (TPEG) is a grant that was established by the Texas Legislature to help students with financial need attend public community colleges, public technical colleges, or public state colleges in Texas. The TPEG does not have to be repaid like student loans.

How long does the fee waiver take to process? ›

You should normally expect to wait around 4 weeks for a decision. If you are granted a fee waiver, you will be given a code.

Do asking for a fee waivers affect admission? ›

If you are apply to colleges that are not need blind but rather need aware, then applying with a fee waiver may inform admissions officers that you will be applying for financial aid to attend the university.

Are waivers enforceable in Texas? ›

Liability waivers in Texas are generally enforceable as long as they are written correctly. Under Texas law, that means a waiver must meet the requirements of fair notice, which include: Satisfying the express negligence doctrine; and. Being conspicuous.

Is it worth moving for in state tuition? ›

You won't just save money outright by establishing residency. Going to school as an in-state resident can also mean you'll need fewer student loans to cover college costs. Graduating with less student loan debt is a definite plus.

Why is out of state tuition so much more expensive? ›

Schools' reasoning for charging higher out-of-state tuition is because non-resident students' come from families who haven't paid tax dollars to the state, and thus to the school. Out-of-state tuition brings in more revenue to the school, which can be used for a variety of purposes.

Which is cheaper out of state or in state college? ›

Tuition is more expensive

By attending an out of state university, you'll be paying out of state tuition fees, which are usually quite a lot higher than in state tuition fees. However, some states offer discounts to students who move there from a different state.

Is out of state tuition unconstitutional? ›

State universities charging out-of-state tuition prices through the use of durational residency requirements is unconstitutional in violation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV for students who come into a state in order to attend school there because the practice hinders the operation of a system of ...

How much money should I save if I want to move to another state? ›

Depending on a variety of factors, it could cost anywhere from $3000 to $7000 to move out of state – and even more if you're moving cross country or moving a home that has more than 5 bedrooms.

What is the most economical way to move from state to state? ›

Negotiate for a Relocation Package

This option could possibly be your cheapest way to move out of state—if you're lucky, it might even be completely free for you! A relocation package is when your employer offers to cover all or some of your moving expenses.

What state has the most expensive tuition? ›


What is a grant bursary? ›

Scholarships, grants and bursaries are types of financial assistance that you don't have to pay back. Scholarships are typically based on merit, while grants and bursaries usually take financial need into consideration as well.

What makes you an out-of-state student? ›

By the term "out-of-state student" it means that the student is not a permanent resident of the state in which the public university they want to go in is located, nor do they have any close relative as a permanent resident of that state. This includes international students too.

Which state has the lowest cost for college? ›

What state has the cheapest tuition? Wyoming's in-state tuition and fees for the 2021–2022 school year are $6,100, the cheapest in the country.

Which university in USA is the cheapest? ›

Affordable Universities in USA for International Students
  • California State University, San Bernardino.
  • Southeast Missouri State University.
  • Arkansas State University.
  • University of Wisconsin.
  • Brooklyn College.
  • University of Louisiana–Monroe.
  • Southwest Minnesota State University.
  • Northwest Missouri State University.

What is the supremacy doctrine? ›

Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution is commonly referred to as the Supremacy Clause. It establishes that the federal constitution, and federal law generally, take precedence over state laws, and even state constitutions.

What does the Privileges and Immunities Clause provide? ›

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Do states have to respect other states laws? ›

Article IV, Section 1: Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof. U.S. Const.


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