- Attending college is expensive, but you can get a quality education at a reasonable price.
- GOBankingRates evaluated 100 public universities and ranked them by out-of-state tuition costs.
- The cheapest universities include the University of South Florida, Kent State and the University of Wyoming.
It’s college acceptance letter season. Students want to apply to their dream schools, but the out-of-state costs of attending certain universities can make your head spin. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017-18 school year was $25,620 for out-of-state students attending public universities. But if you do your research, you can find cheaper tuition options at some of America’s top universities.
GOBankingRates focused on 100 public universities based on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of the top public schools in the national universities category. Only public schools were included in this study, as private institutions do not offer in-state tuition. These public universities were then ranked by cheapest out-of-state tuition. Here are the top five colleges with the lowest tuition for out-of-state students.
See the Full Study: 30 Colleges With the Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition
The Five Most Affordable Universities for Out-of-State Students
Many top universities across the country are attempting to cut costs and provide reasonable tuition options for students looking to attend from out of state. These five colleges offer quality education with an affordable price tag.
University of South Florida
Out-of-state tuition: $17,324
In-state tuition: $6,410
Room and board: $11,610
The University of South Florida is located in Tampa, with regional campuses in Sarasota and St. Petersburg. It’s currently ranked as No. 71 among the best value schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. If you want to trade in your winter coat, USF has the cheapest out-of-state tuition at just $17,324. For Florida residents, the in-state tuition is incredibly reasonable at $6,410. First-year students are required to live on campus, and room and board costs $11,610 on average.
USF’s most popular majors include health professions and related programs; and business, management, marketing and related support services. The acceptance rate is fairly competitive at 44%, so it is important to have a strong academic and extracurricular background.
Affordable Alternatives: Best Colleges in the US That Cost Less Than $10,000 a Year
Kent State University
Out-of-state tuition: $18,714
In-state tuition: $10,012
Room and board: $11,362
Kent State University is located just 40 miles south of Cleveland, with seven regional campuses scattered across the state. Kent State is tied with Nova Southeastern University and the University of Massachusetts Boston at No. 191 in the national universities category. The total out-of-state cost to attend Kent State without financial aid is $30,076, with tuition costing $18,714.
Undergraduates have the opportunity to earn a degree in peace and conflict studies through the Center for Applied Conflict Management, which was founded as a result of the 1970 incident in which Ohio National Guardsmen killed four Kent State students during a Vietnam War protest. The acceptance rate stands at a high 88%, so make sure to get your application submitted before the May 1 deadline.
University of Wyoming
Out-of-state tuition: $18,721
In-state tuition: $6,151
Room and board: $10,437
The University of Wyoming is located on the southeast corner of the state, just two hours north of Denver. The out-of-state tuition is $18,721, with a total cost of $29,158. UW’s average room and board cost is slightly lower than the other five universities at $10,437.
If you love the great outdoors, the University of Wyoming may be a top contender. Outside magazine has recognized UW as one of the top “adventure colleges.” Students can earn academic credit by taking classes through the National Outdoor Leadership School. This program offers activities in courses such as Alaska Mountaineering, Himalaya Backpacking and Baja Sea Kayaking. The Aug. 10 application date is also late in the season. With an acceptance rate of 97%, you should have no problem getting in.
Other Options: Most Affordable Private Colleges in Every State
Florida International University
Out-of-state tuition: $18,956
In-state tuition: $6,558
Room and board: $10,882
With two campuses located in sunny Miami, Florida International University is a great pick for students from out of state seeking life in a big city. It also tied for No. 100 among the top public schools. The school’s out-of-state tuition is $18,956.
Sixty percent of Florida International University students are Hispanic, making it one of the top granters of bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic undergraduates. Business and psychology are the most popular majors. Students have the opportunity to attend annual events, such as the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival. FIU only accepts half of the students who apply, so it is important to build on your academic strengths to become a standout applicant.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Out-of-state tuition: $19,025
In-state tuition: $9,115
Room and board: $16,270
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is located right next to Syracuse University in New York state. These schools have a partnership in which ESF students can enroll in Syracuse University courses, as well as live in its residential halls. ESF has the highest out-of-state tuition cost of the five colleges at $19,025, still well below the national average. The average cost of room and board is also the most expensive at $16,270.
If you love nature and saving the planet, ESF may be the perfect school for you. The school has a 52% acceptance rate, and students are offered a unique opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in subjects such as aquatics, fisheries science and paper engineering. There is also a Ranger School hidden in the Adirondack Mountains where students can take courses focused on forest technology, land surveying and natural resources conservation.
Keep reading to find out four ways to pay less for college.
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- Colleges With the Highest Student Debt
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Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed 100 public universities based on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of the top public schools in the national universities category. Only public universities were included as private institutions do not offer in-state tuition. The public universities were then ranked by which university provided the cheapest out-of-state tuition. Tuition in this study was defined as tuition plus any fees associated with tuition, sourced from each institution’s website. Supplemental costs such as (1) average room and board, (2) in-state tuition and (3) acceptance rate were also sourced from the universities’ websites.