The price tag for attending an out-of-state public university can be quite high.
It’s easy to understand why.
States are interested in holding down the costs for their own residents. You might, however, be able to capture a higher-ed bargain if your state maintains a reciprocal agreement with its neighbors. States commonly maintain reciprocal agreements with public colleges and universities in other states.
Thanks to these reciprocity agreements, an out-of-state student may be able to pay the same tuition as a resident or pocket a significant discount.
Why would states cut the price for outsiders? Money is a big motivator.
If reciprocal agreements are in place, a state might not have to worry about offering its own students, for instance, a school of architecture, optometry or forestry. Instead of spending the money on these majors, a state can reach a deal with a neighboring state.
Mizzou & KU
That’s exactly the sort of agreement that the states of Kansas and Missouri reached years ago. My alma mater, the University of Missouri, has a dentistry school, but the University of Kansas doesn’t. KU, however, has a School of Architecture, but Mizzou doesn’t. Consequently, Missouri architecture students can pay in-state tuition at KU and Kansas dentistry student enjoy a cut rate price at Mizzou.There are countless examples around the country of these piggy back arrangement. Many schools, however, don’t advertise these arrangement so you must ask.
Regional Reciprocity Compacts
Large groups of states have also entered into regional reciprocity agreements. Keep in mind that not all state universities participate in these compacts. Here are the four reciprocal compacts:
Member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware,), Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Texas, Florida and North Carolina only participate through their graduate programs.
Member states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
There are 82 public colleges and universities in the six states in this compact and they all participate in the tuition discount program. The states are: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.