The difference between in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition is enormous.

Instate Tuition On Average Saves $13,310 Per Year

And Up To $29,662 Per Year

  • $22,203 — average out-of-state tuition per year 100%
  • $8,893 — average in-state tuition per year 40%
Data: Average In-State and Out-of-State Tuition and Fees for Public Four-Year Colleges in 2013-2014

Average In-State Vs. Out-of-State Tuition at Public Four Year Colleges


$31,410 out-of-state

$9,048 in-state

$22,362 savings/year


$29,160 out-of-state

$8,190 in-state

$20,970 savings/year


$29,040 out-of-state

$10,758 in-state

$18,282 savings/year


$34,860 out-of-state

$9,816 in-state

$25,044 savings/year


$18,914 out-of-state

$6,823 in-state

$12,090 savings/year


$32,421 out-of-state

$11,304 in-state

$21,117 savings/year


$21,091 out-of-state

$6,502 in-state

$14,589 savings/year

*$29,662 difference in annual tuition & fees at U of Michigan-Ann Arbor between upper division in-state residents vs. out-of-state residents.

That’s discouraging for many.

Relegates most people to live and go to college in whichever state they happened to grow up in.

Dream Crushing?

If truly given the choice, how many people would actually stay in-state for college?  Many certainly, but how many want desperately to live in the state of their choice but can’t afford life and college there?  How many newly-minted adults want to plant their flags and start their new adult lives elsewhere?  If you could live anywhere (and you can), where do you want to be?


Stay In-State for College

Those who do go out-of-state pay dearly.

Out Of State Students Pay 3x to 4x More

Out-of-state resident students commonly pay 200-300% more in tuition for the same education as in-state resident students.


Go Out-of-State to College

Unsurprisingly, the process to earn in-state residency and save around 60% on tuition at an out-of-state college is difficult.

Every state has its own residency regulations

Although all states share some universal concepts related to domiciliary intent and financial independence, the variety of ways different states mandate their rules is staggering.

Every university interprets its state regulations differently

That makes for 699 4-year public universities with 699 different ways to demonstrate in-state residency for tuition purposes.  That means that qualifying for in-state tuition at one university in a state doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for another university in the same state, e.g. CU-Boulder (University of Colorado at Boulder) is different than CSU-Fort Collins (Colorado State University).

Rules are elusive

Finding reliable information is an art and favors those who know exactly what to look for and exactly the right questions to ask.

Rules are vaguely defined

Even if you can find rules, they are tough to decipher because they are commonly confusingly stated and contradictory depending on the source.

Rules can change

Sometimes unexpectedly.

Rule enforcers are a decidedly subjective bunch

Judging the merits of somebody’s petition for in-state residency tuition is a subjective process.  Decisions ultimately rely on the sometimes arbitrary whims of the person or people deciding (depending on the university).  Of course, the stronger your petition, the less that whimsy matters.

Why Do Two Million Students Pay Out of State Tuition?

Because It Is Not Simple

If it were as easy as getting your picture taken and signing a piece of paper, everybody would already have in-state tuition.

It Is Not For Everyone

The rules are written to legitimately weed out those who don’t deserve in-state tuition.  That’s the spirit of the law and deserves respect.  Unfortunately, many who deserve in-state status are falsely disqualified or unduly scared out of starting the process.  We think those who deserve in-state tuition ought to get it.


But It Is Possible

It’s tough but doable…if you know what you’re doing.  The in-state residency process typically involves a lengthy period of strict requirements that most students can’t or won’t be able to meet (not coincidentally).


Million Out-of-State Students

Knowing isn’t enough and uncertainty abounds.

You have to know exactly what to do, do that exactly and prove it.

1. If unsure about what to do

Then you’re gambling and the odds are definitely against you.


2. If not committed to following through

Then your plans are meaningless and you’ve wasted your time.

3. If you can’t prove it

Then all your plans and execution were in vain.  A university doesn’t take your word for anything; you must provide clear and compelling evidence and what’s done is done.

To Get Instate Tutiton It Is All or Nothing

You either do 100% of everything that needs to happen or might as well do nothing.

When it comes to earning in-state tuition, is the

#1 resource online. 


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