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In state tuition for out of state students? Thumbnail

In state tuition for out of state students?

You’ve probably seen the billboards lining I-90 or I-84 with public colleges offering reduced tuition for out of state students. The real question: How do these programs work, and what do students need to do to qualify?

Programs to be aware of:

New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break

For students in New England states, Tuition Break operates as a way for out of state students to receive a significant reduction in tuition at an out of state public school. The catch? They must be enrolled in a specific major covered under the program.

For an example: A Massachusetts resident could apply to the University of New Hampshire, seeking a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. In doing so, the student would receive a reduction in tuition. Currently at the University of New Hampshire, the Tuition Break rate is 175% of the in state tuition rate for out of state students.

When applying, students will select the intended major that is in alignment with the TuitionBreak. From there, it is recommended for students to reach out to the financial aid office at the school of their choice to clarify qualification in the reduced tuition program.

Outside of the northeast, similar state partner programs exist in the Midwest (MSEP), West (WUE) and South (SREB) with the states agreeing to major specific tuition reductions for out of state students.

What to watch out for with these programs?

As they mention with these programs, they are major specific. If a student starts with a tuition reduction on one of these programs but changes majors, it is likely that they will no longer qualify for the tuition reduction and would be forced to pay the out of state tuition rate.

For this reason, these types of programs are not a good fit for students still exploring different majors. They can put students in a financial bind around major changes, so there is limited flexibility when enrolling in one of these programs.


Have questions about how reduced tuition programs may impact your college plan? Feel free to reach out!


All the best,


Andrew Holmes, Certified College Planning Specialist™



Check out my recent whitepaper: 5 College Planning Mistakes to Avoid


Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client. Information herein includes opinions and source information that is believed to be reliable. However, such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.

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