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A Guide to Out of State Tuition Fees

written by: Mihir Shah•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 6/28/2011

There are a myriad of ways to waive out of state fees and qualify for in state fees. Learn about the different ways and which schools have the cheapest out of state tuition fees. Find schools regionally that offer the cheapest out of state tuition.

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    Tuition Fees

    Tuition fees are a necessary evil to maintain the quality of education at the respective institution. However, it is evident that resident fees are significantly cheaper than out of state tuition fees. For example, at the University of California, San Diego, a resident full-time student can attend school for $4058 per quarter. However, a nonresident must pay $7341 per quarter in tuition alone, along with the $4058 per quarter in fees. In all, non residents at the University of California, San Diego pay nearly $36,000 per year in only tuition and fees. While these non resident fees are much higher than resident fees, there are also a number of ways to apply for a tuition waiver.

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    Purpose of Out of State Tuition

    In a nutshell, the purpose of out of state tuition is simple: to compensate for the lack of funding provided by the student or student's family in the form of taxes. In other words, a California resident pays state taxes only for California. Hence, if his child is attending college in a different state, that state will try to balance out the loss of funds by charging out of state tuition. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to achieve a tuition waiver, or be placed on a temporary resident status until the requirements are fulfilled to officially be classified as a resident.

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    Non Resident Tuition Fees of Colleges

    University of California, San Diego: $12,000/quarter or $36,000 per year.

    University of California, Irvine: $11,602/quarter or $34,806 per year.

    Mississippi University for Women: $13,316 per year

    University of Michigan: $33,473 per year

    University of North Carolina-Chapel Hills: $23,138 per year

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    How to Gain Residency Status

    There are a number of ways to gain residency status. The most transparent is to move to the state where the desired college is located at least one calendar year prior to admission. If the entire family moves due to an employment situation for the head of the household, the student will be considered a resident beginning the next academic term. Other means include gaining a drivers license for the state of residency as well as voting.

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    Waiving Out of State Tuition

    One of the most basic ways to waive out of state tuition is by showing exemplary academic or athletic achievement. These scholarships generally cover a good portion of the tuition expenses. At the same time, out of state tuition can be waived if the student graduated from an in-state high school. As of 2010, schools such as Eastern Oregon University charge no state tuition at all in an attempt to increase enrollment. Other schools, such as Southern Illinois University, Washburn University in Kansas and Northern Michigan University require only a six month stay on campus prior to receiving resident status. Interestingly, students from neighboring states who participate in programs such as the Midwest Student Exchange or Western Undergraduate Exchange can receive in state status as well.

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    Ideally, academic, athletic, or talent-oriented scholarships are the best way to waive out of state tuition and most of your total expenses at the university. However, there are a myriad of ways, such as being a veteran of the Army, to waive out of state tuition fees and get in-state standing.

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