Surprise, Cheap Out-of-State Tuition Does Exist

Staying close to home isn't always the least expensive option. Check out this list of the 10 public universities with the cheapest out-of-state tuition and fees.

Surprise, Cheap Out-of-State Tuition Does Exist Photo (cc) by Tax Credits

Many prospective college students limit their college search to schools within their home state. Because tuition costs often double as soon as you cross state lines, in-state public universities are typically the cheapest college option.

But according to U.S. News & World Report, that’s not always the case. “Some regional colleges and universities are so cheap, even for out-of-staters, that they give Home State University a run for its money,” U.S. News said.

On average, resident tuition and fees totaled $8,812 for the 2014-2015 school year, a U.S. News survey showed. Out-of-state tuition and fees were much higher, averaging $20,105.

But don’t let those numbers frighten you. U.S. News compiled this list of the 10 cheapest public colleges for out-of-state students, based solely on tuition and required fees, and all of them came in below $10,000:

  • Delta State University (Mississippi) – $6,187.
  • Minot State University (North Dakota) – $6,224
  • Bemidji State University (Minnesota) – $8,134.
  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University – $8,293.
  • West Texas A&M University – $8,312.
  • Mayville State University (North Dakota) – $8,894.
  • Northern State University (South Dakota) – $9,563.
  • Midwestern State University (Texas) – $9,703.
  • South Dakota State University – $9,795.
  • Wayne State College (Nebraska) – $9,804.

Many of the colleges that made the list are smaller universities located in the Midwest or West and likely don’t have the same appeal as some bigger colleges. But the price tag alone may be a draw.

“A Pennsylvanian student eyeing the in-state price tags of Pennsylvania State University or the University of Pittsburgh, both topping $17,000 a year, might start to find them more appealing,” U.S. News said.

I was deterred from leaving my home state to attend college by the high cost of out-of-state tuition. But I was fortunate that the university in my hometown had a great journalism program, so it was a win-win for me.

Would you consider attending a smaller, regional college out of state if you could go to school for less? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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