With the national student loan debt totaling $1.5 trillion dollars and steadily growing, many prospective students are looking for cost-effective routes to a postsecondary degree. While attending a public college as an out-of-state student has traditionally meant an exorbitant price hike (CollegeBoard.org reported that out-of-state students paid an average of $15,650 more than their in-state peers in 2017-18), many public institutions are leveling the playing field by offering competitive rates for all students. Some offer residents and nonresidents the same tuition, while others charge only slightly more.

What are the best colleges with low out-of-state tuition of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 University of Florida-Online Gainesville, FL
2 United States Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, NY
3 University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee Sarasota, FL
4 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
5 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
6 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
7 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
8 Florida International University Miami, FL
9 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
10 Maine College of Health Professions Lewiston, ME

Colleges with Lowest Out-of-State Tuition in 2020

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of Florida-Online

Gainesville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

With origins dating back to 1858, the University of Florida is one of the oldest institutions in the State University System of Florida. UF Online prioritizes affordable, accessible, and high-quality programs. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks UF Online fourth in the U.S. for online bachelor's programs and among the top 10 public universities nationwide.

UF is a leader in research, and the school has helped launch more than 190 startups based on researchers' technologies. Additionally, over 56% of UF students graduate without student loan debt. Online students earning a bachelor's can choose from over 100 majors. UF Online also offers over 200 graduate programs.

Distance coursework utilizes an asynchronous format, which allows students to study when their schedule permits. UF Online accepts transfer applicants with at least 60 credits from an accredited institution. Both Florida residents and out-of-state learners may apply.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $552/credit out-of-state

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; on campus

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (352) 294-3290

Email: onestop@ufonline.ufl.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

United States Merchant Marine Academy

Kings Point, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

Located in Kings Point, Long Island, United States Merchant Marine Academy educates students committed to service across the armed forces. Graduates may choose to complete five years of active duty in any branch of the armed services or serve five years in the maritime industry and eight years as an officer in any of the armed forces reserves.

Students benefit from small classroom sizes with a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. USMMA also ranks among the top colleges for low out-of-state tuition. Academic departments include humanities, mathematics and science, marine engineering, marine transportation, and naval science.

Regardless of students' area of study, USMMA requires field experiences at sea during students' sophomore and junior year. USMMA follows 13-week trimesters and an 11-month academic calendar.

Cost of attendance varies for each student; however, learners typically receive significant financial aid and tuition discounts through the institution and the military.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: Varies

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (516) 726-5722

Email: admissions@usmma.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee emerged in 1975 during a politically turbulent era. As a result, USFSM prioritizes diversity, inclusion, community engagement, and social justice. USFSM also offers a public postsecondary experience and student-centered learning. For instance, students benefit from small class sizes that do not exceed a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

USFSM has four colleges for science and mathematics, hospitality and tourism leadership, liberal arts and social sciences, and business. Students can also explore program options through the USFSM school of education. While students can complete their program on campus, USFSM also delivers coursework through the Canvas online learning management system.

Courses follow both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Transfer students may apply. USFSM holds regional accreditation through the Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $186/credit in-state undergraduate; $550/credit out-of-state undergraduate; $550/credit in-state graduate; $864/credit out-of-state graduate

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.5 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (941) 359-4331

Email: admissions@sar.usf.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

Established in 1963, the University of Central Florida stands as one of the nation's most innovative colleges and among the top colleges for low out-of-state tuition. As one of the largest universities in the country, UCF offers over 220 programs, including 99 bachelor's degrees and 89 master's degrees. Students also gain access to a vast student body with nearly 70,000 students enrolled.

UCF boasts that 50% of first-time college students graduate with no school debt. The school continues to develop community partnerships and research initiatives, including in the fields of computer science, engineering, education, healthcare, and business administration, among others.

Top programs include psychology and health sciences. UCF holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $212/credit in-state undergraduate; $749/credit out-of-state undergraduate; $370/credit in-state graduate; $1,194/credit out-of-state graduate

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (407) 823-3000

Email: admission@ucf.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

Located in Tampa, the University of South Florida offers excellent academic programs and is a leading producer of Fulbright Scholars. USF strives to accommodate nontraditional learners, and as a result, students can earn their degree completely online. USF also stands as a top college with low out-of-state tuition.

Students can choose from over 180 majors across 14 colleges. Notable programs include rehabilitation counseling, library information studies, public health, criminology, healthcare management, and clinical psychology.

Undergraduate admission requires a high school diploma or GED, SAT or ACT scores, and official transcripts. Graduate admission requires a 3.0 GPA at minimum, official transcripts, and GRE scores. USF holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $211/credit in-state undergraduate; $575/credit out-of-state undergraduate; $431/credit in-state graduate; $877/credit out-of-state graduate

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (941) 359-4331

Email: admissions@sar.usf.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

Based in Tallahassee, Florida State University prioritizes academic excellence and student-centered learning. FSU ranks among the top colleges for low out-of-state tuition. Nearly 42,000 students attend FSU each year, creating a diverse postsecondary experience. In fact, the student body represents over 130 countries.

Students can choose from nearly 300 programs, including 104 bachelor's degrees, 111 master's degrees, and 67 doctoral degrees. Notable areas of study include finance, psychology, criminal justice, and marketing. FSU holds a 93% retention rate and ranks first for four-year graduation rates among public universities in the state.

Admissions considers all information submitted for first-time college applicants. Students need to complete the SAT or ACT. Graduate applicants need to complete the GRE or MAT and must hold a 3.0 GPA at minimum.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $215/credit in-state undergraduate on campus; $721/credit out-of-state undergraduate on campus; $479/credit in-state graduate on campus; $1,111/credit out-of-state graduate on campus; $180/credit in-state undergraduate online; $686/credit out-of-state undergraduate online; $444/credit in-state graduate online; $1,075/credit out-of-state graduate online

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.9 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (850) 644-6200

Email: admissions@fsu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 81%

North Carolina State University prioritizes engaged learning. Average class sizes do not exceed a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students benefit from a diverse school environment of over 35,000 students. NC State also offers low tuition rates to out-of-state students and invests more than $500 million in research each year.

Students gain access to 10 colleges and top-ranked programs in multiple fields, including veterinary medicine, computer science and IT, business, and engineering. NC State continues to build interdisciplinary partnerships that create real-world opportunities for students.

While students can earn their degree on campus, NC State also offers a number of distance education programs. Undergraduate students can apply through the Common Application or through the NC State Coalition Application, which allows students to begin earning credit as early as ninth grade.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $3,268/semester in-state undergraduate on campus; $13,327/semester out-of-state undergraduate on campus; $4,578/semester in-state graduate on campus; $13,211/semester out-of-state graduate on campus; $1,989/semester in-state undergraduate online; $8,100/semester out-of-state undergraduate online; $4,014/semester in-state graduate online; $11,655/semester out-of-state graduate online

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GMAT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (919) 515-2434

Email: undergrad-admissions@ncsu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Florida International University

Miami, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Florida International University emphasizes research and prides itself on its status as a public postsecondary research institution. With nearly 54,000 students, FIU hosts a diverse body of learners from all 50 states and over 142 countries. FIU also prioritizes accessible, student-centered education and remains one of the top colleges with low out-of-state tuition.

Students can choose from over 265 programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks FIU among the top 10 largest universities nationwide; top-ranked programs and departments include the undergraduate international business program, the College of Law, and the College of Education.

FIU offers coursework both on campus and at a distance. Distance programs follow an asynchronous format, which allows students to learn when their schedule permits, as long as they meet deadline dates. Students complete two eight-week sessions each semester.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $3,084/semester in-state undergraduate on campus; $9,283/semester out-of-state undergraduate on campus; $4,101 in-state graduate on campus; $9,015/semester out-of-state graduate on campus; $3,432/semester in-state undergraduate online; $5,188/semester out-of-state undergraduate online; $4,310/semester in-state graduate online; $9,224/semester out-of-state graduate online

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (305) 348-2751

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 89%

Established in 1795, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the nation's oldest public institution of higher education. The student body represents all 50 states and over 161 countries. UNC-Chapel Hill also offers a hands-on learning environment with a 13-to1 student-to-faculty ratio.

UNC-Chapel Hill offers 74 bachelor's, 104 master's, and 65 doctoral programs. Top-ranked programs include entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, and production. Distance learners gain access to the same quality coursework as on-campus learners. UNC-Chapel Hill utilizes asynchronous and synchronous learning formats.

While some programs offer completely online options, hybrid programs require periodic in-person attendance. Students should also note that some programs also include field experiences. UNC-Chapel Hill holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $4,490/semester in-state undergraduate; $18,080/semester out-of-state undergraduate; graduate varies by program

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT; SAT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (919) 966-3621

Email: unchelp@unc.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

Maine College of Health Professions

Lewiston, ME Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 100%

Located in Lewiston, Maine College of Health Professions values community engagement, academic excellence, and individualized learning. In fact, average class sizes do not exceed a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. MCHP boasts a 100% job placement rate and also ranks among the top colleges that offer low out-of-state tuition.

MCHP programs emphasize practical, hands-on opportunities and clinical experiences, which begin during students' first semester. Students can choose from a bachelor of science in nursing, an associate of applied science in nursing, an associate of applied science in radiologic technology, and an associate of health sciences.

Some programs require applicants to complete the HESI Nursing Entrance Exam. MCHP holds regional accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: Varies by course

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; HESI

Contact

Phone: (207) 795-2840

Email: admissions@mchp.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 94%

Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1819. UVA has been ranked highly by publications such as Princeton Review and Forbes. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school in fourth place for best public national universities and second place for best value. UVA also stands among the top colleges for low out-of-state tuition.

UVA offers a diverse college experience, with nearly 24,000 students on campus alone. Students gain access to 13 schools and colleges, including the UVA law school. Students earning a degree in health sciences also benefit from hands-on experience at the top-ranked hospital in Virginia.

UVA boasts an 89% four-year and a 94% six-year graduation rate. The university accepts transfer students from accredited institutions. UVA holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school meets 100% of students' demonstrated financial need.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: Varies

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (on campus/online); on campus

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: ACT; SAT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (434) 924-6338

Email: undergradadmission@virginia.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 98%

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University stands as the oldest higher institution of higher education in the country. Over 36,000 students attend Harvard, and learners benefit from a vast alumni network with over 371,000 living members. U.S. News and World Report ranks Harvard in second place for best value schools, and the school holds status as one of the top colleges for low out-of-state tuition.

Harvard offers highly esteemed programs in fields such as architecture, divinity, theology, and international relations. Students can choose from 12 schools and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Learners can earn their degree on campus and online. Harvard even offers free online courses.

Students may apply using the Common Application, Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application. Harvard holds accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Harvard meets 100% of each student's demonstrated financial need.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $47,730/year

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT; SAT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (617) 496-6100

Email: admiss@fas.harvard.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Stanford University

Stanford, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 94%

Established in 1891, in California, Stanford University stands as one of the leading research universities in the country. Stanford prioritizes engaged learning and academic excellence. Average class sizes do not exceed a 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, allowing for one-on-one engagement and meaningful relationships between students and faculty members.

Stanford also ranks among the top five schools for innovation and best value. Students can choose from seven schools, including business, energy and environmental sciences, education, engineering, humanities and sciences, law, and medicine. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school highly for its undergraduate programs in biomedical, chemical, electrical, computer, and environmental engineering.

Students may earn their degree in a traditional classroom or at a distance. Stanford provides multiple online resources. Distance learners use the Stanford Training and Registration System, a specialized online platform, to access coursework.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $17,619/quarter undergraduate; graduate varies by program

Schedule: Quarter

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (650) 736-2091

Email: admission@stanford.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 78%

Founded in 1944, the Fashion Institute of Technology offers a metropolitan postsecondary experience in Manhattan, New York. FIT stands among the top colleges with low out-of-state tuition. FIT prioritizes academic excellence and ranks among the top schools for innovation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Students prepare for professional success in design and business, develop leadership qualities, and participate in community engagement. FIT maintains five departments: the School of Art and Design, the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology, the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Graduate Studies, and the Center for Continuing Professional Studies.

FIT strives to accommodate nontraditional learners through distance programs. The school prefers undergraduate applicants with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students must submit SAT and ACT scores. Graduate applicants must take the GRE.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $2,595/semester in-state associate; $7,785/semester out-of-state associate; $3,535/semester in-state bachelor's; $10,696/semester out-of-state bachelor's; $5,551/semester in-state graduate; $11,793/semester out-of-state graduate

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (212) 217-7715

Email: fit_registrar@fitnyc.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

The University of Texas at Austin values social responsibility, innovation, and individual opportunity. According to U.S. News and World Report, UT Austin ranks among the top public schools and national universities in the country. The student body, made up of 51,000 learners, represents all 50 states and 124 countries.

Undergraduate students can choose from over 170 areas of study, while graduate students can access 237 programs. Top business programs include accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and quantitative analysis. UT Austin also offers top-ranked engineering programs, including chemical and petroleum specializations.

Applicants must provide written essays, official transcripts, and appropriate standardized test scores. Additional requirements may vary by major. UT Austin holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: Varies by program

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (on campus/online); on campus

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT; GRE; GMAT

Contact

Phone: (512) 471-3506

Email: admissions@austin.utexas.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

New York School of Interior Design

New York, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 63%

Located in New York City, the New York School of Interior Design prioritizes small, focused learning environments. Average class sizes do not exceed a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. NYSID boasts a 100% employment rate for undergraduate and graduate students within six months of graduating.

NYSID offers an associate in applied science in interior design, a bachelor and master of fine arts in interior design, a master of professional studies in sustainable interior environments, and a master of professional studies in lighting design.

Admission requires SAT or ACT scores, a resume, a professional portfolio, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay. NYSID holds national accreditation through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $1,060/credit undergraduate; graduate varies by course

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (212) 472-1500

Email: admissions@nysid.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 93%

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University values innovation and stands as the first research university in the country. The school has an international reach, with study abroad partnerships in over 120 countries and an alumni network in 140 countries.

Johns Hopkins divisions include the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the Carey Business School, the School of Education, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Peabody Institute, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Undergraduate students can access 1,389 bachelor's degrees. Johns Hopkins also offers top-ranked graduate programs in a number of fields.

Undergraduate admission requires teacher evaluations and SAT or ACT scores. Students can apply using the Common Application or the Coalition for College Application. Johns Hopkins holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $55,350/year undergraduate; graduate varies by program

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT; GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (410) 235-0545

Email: gotojhu@jhu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 84%

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ranks among the top public postsecondary institutions in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. U of I values community engagement and diversity. The student body includes over 47,000 students who represent all 50 states and 78 countries.

U of I also values academic excellence and offers multiple top-ranked programs. While undergraduate students can choose from over 150 fields of study, notable programs include materials engineering, civil engineering, and accounting. Distinguished graduate programs include condensed matter physics and agricultural engineering.

U of I provides ample academic resources, including one of the largest public university libraries in the world. U of I also focuses on research and ranks among the top five universities for research funded by the National Science Foundation. U of I holds programmatic accreditation through the American Library Association Committee on Accreditation.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $16,776-$21,870/year in-state undergraduate; $34,226-$39,320/year out-of-state undergraduate; graduate varies by program

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT; GRE or GMAT

Contact

Phone: (217) 333-3280

Email: admissions@illinois.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Bryan College of Health Sciences

Lincoln, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, Bryan College of Health Sciences offers degrees that lead to careers in health. With an emphasis on engaged, hands-on learning in clinical settings, Bryan Health prioritizes academic and clinical excellence, healthcare community engagement, and ethical practices. Additionally, Bryan Health ranks among the top colleges with low out-of-state tuition.

Students benefit from a 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. First-time college students can choose from programs such as an associate in health professions and biomedical sciences. Graduate students also gain access to high-quality programs such as a master of science in nursing or a doctorate in nurse anesthesia.

Students can earn their degree on campus or at a distance. Bryan Health provides distance learners with classroom support, a peer mentor program, academic advisers, and technical support. Bryan Health holds regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $588/credit undergraduate; graduate varies by program

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (on campus/online); on campus

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum

Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (402) 481-8697

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Hamilton College

Clinton, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 93%

Hamilton College offers degrees at all levels through its campus in Clinton, New York. School values include academic excellence and engaged learning. Over 97% of professors hold the highest degree in their field, and aspiring students often rank in the top 10% of their high school class. Students also access intimate class sizes that do not exceed a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Students can earn high-quality degrees in nearly any content area. Hamilton also remains one of a few colleges in the U.S. to offer an open curriculum, which allows students to choose courses based on personal interests.

Hamilton provides ample support for both traditional and distance learners. Students can access academic student center and librarian research assistance. Hamilton holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $27,985/semester

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (315) 859-4457

Email: admission@hamilton.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

University of Georgia

Athens, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 86%

Established in 1785 and located in Athens, the University of Georgia ranks third in the nation for producing Rhodes Scholars. Over 37,000 students attend UGA. Students also gain access to a vast alumni network with over 315,000 members.

UGA also maintains research partnerships with over 50 countries, which provides students with an international reach. UGA follows a semester-based academic calendar. Students can choose from nearly 20 different schools and colleges that offer degrees at all levels.

UGA also offers multiple dual-degree programs, including the Double Dawgs program, which allows students to earn their bachelor's and master's degree in under five years. UGA also offers an honors program and online learning. Distance programs use a cohort structure.


School Overview

School Status: Public

Tuition: $9,790/year in-state undergraduate; $28,830/year out-of-state undergraduate; $8,716/year in-state graduate; $24,724/year out-of-state graduate

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (on campus/online); on campus

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.8 minimum

Standardized Tests: GACE; SAT; ACT; GRE

Contact

Phone: (706) 452-7945

Email: undergrad@admissions.uga.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Brigham Young University-Provo

Provo, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 86%

Located in Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University offers faith-based education. BYU boasts the largest undergraduate enrollment of any private university nationwide, with over 33,000 students who represent all 50 states and over 103 countries. One of the top colleges with low out-of-state tuition, BYU ranks fifth for graduate students with the least amount of debt, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Students can enroll into highly esteemed degrees at all levels. For instance, the bachelor's in accounting, master's in accounting, and MBA all are highly regarded nationwide.

BYU offers ample student support, including a research and writing center, online databases, and tutoring. BYU follows traditional semesters. Transfer students from accredited universities may apply. BYU holds regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $2,895/semester undergraduate members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; $5,790 other undergraduate students; graduate varies by program

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: Hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT; GMAT or GRE

Contact

Phone: (801) 422-2507

Email: admissions@byu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 91%

Founded in 1800, Middlebury College offers a small postsecondary experience. Enrollment includes about 2,500 undergraduate students and 750 graduate students. Class sizes do not exceed an 8-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio on average, which allows students and professors to build meaningful relationships.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Middlebury among the top 10 national liberal arts colleges. Students can access 44 majors and 850 courses. Additionally, Middlebury offers study abroad experiences in Haiti, Europe, Tibet, and China. Undergraduate admission requires SAT or ACT scores, official transcripts, and an interview.

Middlebury utilizes a 4-1-4 academic calendar, where students complete four classes during each of the longer terms and one class during the short term. Middlebury holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $55,790/year

Schedule: Semester

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (802) 443-3000

Email: admissions@middlebury.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 96%

Located in New Jersey, Princeton University is world-renowned for its top academics and research. Hands-on learning remains a top priority for the university, and class sizes do not exceed a 5-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio on average. Princeton boasts 21 Rhodes Scholar recipients in the past decade. As a private institution, Princeton also remains one of the top colleges with low out-of-state tuition.

Princeton offers top-of-the-line programs. According to U.S. News and World Report, Princeton University ranks first among national universities. Highly ranked programs include teaching, computer engineering, chemical engineering, and writing in the disciplines.

Princeton welcomes nontraditional learners, and online students can access coursework through the MOOC learning management system. The university provides academic and career counselors, librarian research support, and technical support. Princeton holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The average undergraduate student receives more than $56,500 in grants each year.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $51,870/year undergraduate; $53,770/year graduate

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT; ACT

Contact

Phone: (609) 258-3060

Email: uaoffice@princeton.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 74%

San Diego State University is the oldest and the third-largest postsecondary institution in Southern California. SDSU enrolls nearly 34,000 students, and the alumni network includes over 400,000 members. SDSU also values research-based education, global awareness, and cultural diversity.

SDSU offers nearly 200 degrees, including 96 bachelor's, 80 master's, and 21 doctoral programs. Students also gain access to over 650 study abroad programs. Top-ranked undergraduate programs include engineering, business, and education. SDSU also offers a number of graduate programs, including rehabilitation counseling, nursing, and psychology.

SDSU students can earn their degree on campus or online. Program options include fully online and hybrid tracks. However, out-of-state online students should check to see if SDSU services their state.


School Overview

School Status: Private

Tuition: $3,755/term in-state undergraduate; $4,472/term in-state graduate; out-of-state students pay an additional $396/unit

Schedule: Semester

Delivery

Format: 100% online; hybrid (online/on campus); on campus

Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT; GMAT or GRE

Contact

Phone: (619) 594-6336

Email: admissions@sdsu.edu

Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Comparing In-State and Out-of-State Tuition

The table below shows that being an out-of-state student increases the cost of your education. Typically, a student who does not reside in the state where they attend school can pay two or three times as much in tuition at a public university. Private universities usually do not charge out-of-state students more, but they charge more overall. Public universities are cheaper because they receive some state funding. Out-of-state students pay more for tuition because they, or their families, haven't paid taxes in the state to help defray the cost of education.

While there are various ways to help reduce costs, the best option is to attend school in the state where you have residency. Residency requirements vary, but in many cases you can complete an entire bachelor's degree without earning residency. Federal financial aid can help reduce the cost of tuition across the board through scholarship and grant opportunities. State-based financial aid is usually reserved for residents, but some states use it to bring in more students and grant aid to non-residents.

College Tuition Prices: In-State vs. Out-of-State Schools

  2018-2019 2019-2020
Public 4-year In-State College $10,230 $10,440
Public 4-Year Out-of-State College $26,290 $26,820
Private 4-Year Nonprofit College $35,830 $35,880

Source: CollegeBoard

Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students

While out-of-state tuition can be higher than resident tuition, there are several programs which allow students to pay the lowest out-of-state tuition. The Western Undergraduate Exchange allows students from 16 Western states and territories to pay reduced tuition at hundreds of schools within those states. The Midwest Student Exchange Program does the same with ten states in the Midwest. The Academic Common Market allows students in 15 Southern states to pay resident tuition at many schools regardless of residency. The Tuition Break program provides discounted out-of-state tuition for students from New England who study in other New England states. Each of these programs has unique requirements and covers different regions, but can help students save money when they study within certain regions.

Two-Year vs. Four-Year Colleges

One way to save money on the cost of a bachelor's degree is to first earn your associate degree from a community college, and then transfer your credits to a university. Community colleges, sometimes referred to as two-year colleges or junior colleges, typically have much lower tuition rates than public or private universities. Many community colleges have transfer agreements set up with nearby universities which let you easily transfer your credits, allowing you to effectively take the first half of your bachelor's degree at a more affordable tuition rate.

If you know where you want to go to school and what you want to study, this can be a great option. Check with your intended university to see if they have any such agreements with community colleges, and then work with academic advisors at each institution to make sure you take the right courses and don't end up repeating things when you get to the university.

Public vs. Private Colleges

Cost is one of the many differences between private and public colleges, this difference is due to the way schools get their funding. Both rely on private donors as well as student tuition and fees, but public colleges get a large part of their funding from the state. State funding is not only why public colleges cost less, but why they usually have different tuition rates for residents and out-of-state students. Residents pay less because they, or their families, have been paying into the funding of the schools through taxes. Private schools usually charge the same tuition for everyone, but they charge more than public schools. As you can see from the table above, private schools cost on average around $9,000 more per year than out-of-state tuition.

The cost of public universities has increased steadily over the years. Since 2000, public tuition has risen 136%, while private school tuition has only risen about 17%. For the time being, private colleges still cost more than public ones, but that gap is likely to close more as funding for higher education continues to slow down.

There are other differences between the two, such as the number of students enrolled or degree options offered. Public universities tend to enroll more students and offer a wider array of degrees, while private universities tend to enroll fewer students and have more focused degree options. If cost is not your primary consideration, you might find better options at private colleges.

Online vs. On-Campus Colleges

Another consideration when looking for the lowest out-of-state tuition is online versus on-campus learning. Online programs have grown dramatically in recent years and have become an increasingly viable way to earn a degree. Many colleges charge one flat tuition rate for online students regardless of their residency, mainly because those students are not taking advantage of on-campus resources. Non-resident students might still pay more at certain colleges for online programs, but these schools are in the minority.

In addition to saving money on tuition, online students have more flexibility in where they live. Not all college students live on campus, but housing in areas near major universities tends to be expensive, and affordable housing might result in a significant commute. Online students do not have to worry about being on campus, and can easily study from out-of-state. As you can see from the table below, living on-campus can add significantly to the cost of your degree. Online learning can be the key to attending a school out of state or the key to attending one in your state for a lower cost.

Room and Board Fees
  2018-2019 2019-2020
Public 4-Year In-State / Out-of-State College $11,140 $11,510
Private Nonprofit 4-year College $12,680 $12,990

Source: CollegeBoard

Types of Financial Aid for Out-of-State Students

There are several types of financial aid available. Student loans are the best known, but there are also scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. While you can find a variety of these through internet research or by talking to financial aid advisors, you should always start by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA not only gives you access to federal aid but is also required as part of the application process for many other funding options.

Grants

Grants are awards of money, often from the government, which usually do not have to be repaid. Filing the FAFSA may qualify you for small grants, though probably not enough to pay for college. Larger grants are often geared toward graduate-level research. Grants can come from many sources and are often awarded to certain student populations, such as education students. There are some grants, such as federal TEACH grants, which require recipients to work in a certain field or region for a specific amount of time after graduation or repay the grant. Applying for grants is much like applying for scholarships, and a good place to start looking is your school's financial aid department.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs place you in jobs on- or off-campus. Your pay during the semester or school year will total the amount you have been awarded through the work-study program. Work-study is a good way to gain experience and have your wages put directly toward your education costs. Wages, hours worked, and other factors will vary by state or municipal laws. While work-study programs have many benefits, they can be difficult for online students, as jobs are generally located near the college participating in the program.

Loans

Student loans are the most common form of financial aid. Most are federal or state loans, which come with lower interest and more repayment options than private loans from banks or other lenders. Most of the money from federal aid is in the form of loans. There are two kinds of government student loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans do not require you to pay interest on them while in school or for the first six months after you graduate; they are only awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest from the date they are awarded and offer no post-graduation grace period. They are also the only kind of loans available to graduate students. Private loans follow rules established by the lender and should be a last resort when considering financial aid.

Scholarships

Scholarships are awards of money that, like grants, do not have to be paid back, but come from schools, organizations, and other private interests. Scholarships are competitive, meaning you must prove you need the funds or will make better use of them than anyone else. Most scholarships are geared toward specific student populations. Scholarship requirements may be as broad as being from a certain state to as narrow as applying to a specific program at a certain school. Scholarships exist for most populations and most fields of study. You can learn more about scholarships offered by your school from the financial aid department or the staff of the department in which you study. Scholarships come in different amounts, but most tend to be small, and paying for an entire semester, much less a degree, can be difficult.

Finding Scholarships

There are many scholarships available to students but finding those that are applicable to you can be a daunting task. If you know what you want to study, begin by checking with your department or doing an internet search. There are numerous websites that can help you find scholarships, including the FAFSA site.

Start looking for scholarships early. Applications are usually due before the academic year in which they will be applied, and they nearly always require an essay or letter of intent. When you find a scholarship for which you qualify, apply for it. There is no reason to limit yourself, as you can accept and combine multiple awards in order to pay for your degree.

Tips for Saving Money in College

  • Adopt Healthy Spending Habits - Reducing your spending in college can result in fewer loans, which will save you money in the long run. Tools like Spending Tracker, Habitica, and Slice can help you save money and develop good spending habits. Be careful with credit cards; use them to build credit responsibly. Many banks and credit unions offer courses in fiscal responsibility and other skills to help you save money.
  • At-Home Meal Preparation - Food can cost a great deal if you aren't careful. Preparing your meals beforehand or eating at home can save you a lot of money.
  • Use Student Discounts - Student discounts can be found in many places. Some online retailers offer discounts to students who provide a university email address. Restaurants and shops located near campus often offer discounts as well, if you show your student ID. Many of these discounts are not clearly advertised; you may have to do some research to find them.
  • Find Cheap Textbooks - One of the most expensive things about college is textbooks, but there are some ways around this. Online retailers sometimes charge less, and e-books are sometimes an option. Some books can be checked out from the library instead of purchased, and buying used books whenever possible saves a lot of money.
  • Increase Credit Load - Another way to save money in the long run is to take a heavier course load. While more credits means you will pay more and have to work harder in a given semester, it can also mean graduating earlier. Spending less time in college means less money on room and board and less money on tuition, which generally increases annually.

Additional Resources for Students

College Affordability and Completion

Provided by the United States Department of Education, this site provides resources regarding financial aid and other subjects of interest to current and future college students.

College Affordability and Transparency Center

This site provides tools to determine the total potential cost of your degree, as well as comparisons of tuition in order to figure out where to find the lowest out-of-state tuition.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

NASFAA provides information on student financial aid, including opportunities within specific states, to make understanding, finding, and utilizing financial aid easier.

National Center for Education Statistics

The NCES collects a huge amount of data about higher education, including tuition rates, fees, and other expenses across the country, which can help you find the most affordable option.

In-State Tuition and State Residency Requirements

Among other resources, FinAid provides information about the in-state residency requirements for many states, as well as general advice for obtaining residency.