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    How to Get Scholarships for Out-of-State Students

    By Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman

    Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360. He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency. Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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    and Cait Williams

    Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.

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    Reviewed by Annie Trout

    Annie has spent the past 18+ years educating students about college admissions opportunities and coaching them through building a financial aid package. She has worked in college access and college admissions for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission/Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, Middle Tennessee State University, and Austin Peay State University.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: May 2nd, 2024
    How to Get Scholarships for Out-of-State Students

    Because out-of-state students do not benefit from in-state tuition pricing, scholarships are especially important for funding their education. Luckily, there are many scholarship opportunities available for out-of-state students. If you are hoping to spend your college years further from home, or if your in-state colleges do not offer the programs you are looking for, here are some tips to help you in your search for scholarships for out-of-state students!

    Look for tuition reciprocity programs

    Many states have established tuition reciprocity programs at their public colleges and universities which offer discounted tuition rates to each others’ residents. Some of these agreements entail partial discounts while others offer fully discounted in-state tuition to students in their partner states.

    Wisconsin and Minnesota tuition reciprocity agreement

    Wisconsin students are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities in Minnesota, and vice versa

    Some tuition reciprocity programs include a larger coalition of states, though the discounts may not always be as steep as the Wisconsin-Minnesota agreement. Some of the agreements also offer partial discounts for private institutions. Here is a list of some tuition reciprocity programs and the states they encompass:

    Midwest Student Exchange Program

    Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, & Wisconsin

    New England Regional Student Program

    Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

    Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market

    Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia

    Southern Regional Education Board Regional Contract Program

    Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina

    Western Undergraduate Exchange

    Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

    Students are not automatically considered for most of these programs; you will have to apply to the program to receive the discount. Make sure to do your research and fill out the appropriate paperwork to get your discount if you decide to utilize one of these programs!

    Apply for scholarships in your local community

    Some scholarships are offered to all residents of a state, regardless of the state where they choose to attend school; these are perfect opportunities for students looking at out-of-state colleges. Check out our lists of scholarships by state and read the terms of each one carefully to see if you may qualify. 

    Scholarships like these are especially common if they are specific to your town, city, or region. If your area has a community foundation or other similar organization, you can research their programs to find some scholarships that have a higher chance of allowing applicants who will be attending school out-of-state.

    Recommended: How to win local scholarships

    Out-of-state recruitment scholarships

    As part of an initiative to recruit younger, college-educated people, some states subsidize degrees for students from out-of-state. If you are interested in out-of-state scholarships, try visiting the website of the school you are interested in and looking at their scholarships section. Boise State University and Kent State University are two examples of schools with opportunities for out-of-state students.

    Related: Top merit-based scholarships

    Deciding between public and private institutions

    In-state public colleges and universities are generally the most affordable option for a college degree, but what do the numbers look like once you are considering out-of-state options? 

    Average tuition costs 2022Out of state publicOut of state private
    $28,240$39,400
    Data from The College Board

    In general, public institutions are more affordable than private ones, even if you are an out-of-state student. That being said, some private institutions may offer a more generous merit-based financial aid package. Some also participate in the tuition reciprocity programs described above. So don’t rule out private institutions just yet; there are ways to make them more affordable.

    See also: Top easy scholarships to apply for

    Try your parents’, guardians’, and grandparents’ alma mater

    If your parents or guardians hold a college degree from an institution in another state, you could investigate to see if they offer tuition discounts for legacy students. Many schools offer these opportunities, and it could be a quick and easy way to receive a deep discount on an out-of-state education.

    Bottom line for students

    An education in another state can be a rewarding and eye-opening experience. We hope that this guide will allow more students to experience it. As always, don’t forget to apply for need-based financial aid through the FAFSA as this is an important source of funding for all students. Good luck on your search for out-of-state scholarships!

    Key Takeaways

    Key Takeaways

    • Attending school as an out-of-state student doesn’t mean that you have to pay out-of-state pricing
    • Check with your neighboring states and schools to see what agreements they may have in place for out-of-state students from neighboring states
    • Don’t forget to look for scholarships from colleges that members of your family may have attended as well
    • If the school you really want to attend is out-of-state, but the price seems all to daunting, don’t let it discourage you from applying or trying to go there
    Key Takeaways

    Frequently asked questions about how to get scholarships for out-of-state students

    What GPA do most scholarships require?

    There is no specific GPA that all scholarships require, nor is there any rule that says all scholarships will have GPA requirements. Because scholarships can come from a plethora of various sources, there can be a lot of variation in what GPA they ask for, if any. Always check with who is awarding the scholarship about their requirements.

    Can I get a full ride to an out of state college?

    Yes, you can get a full ride scholarship to an out of state college! Full ride scholarships can be based on a lot of different criteria. Some students may receive them based on athletics, while others may get them for their academics. 

    Can I get a full ride scholarship with a 3.5 GPA?

    Just like we mentioned above, the GPA requirements for scholarships can vary quite a lot. Some scholarships will be quite competitive and require upwards of a 3.5 GPA, while others may have minimal requirements that are quite low. Again, check with the individual awarding the scholarship for their specific requirements. Depending on the college or university, it may be entirely possible to receive a full ride with a 3.5 GPA.

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