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30 Colleges With the Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition

Cynthia Measom

The average cost of college is climbing at a steady rate each year, according to U.S. News & World Report. When you’re dreaming of leaving your home state for college, a peek at out-of-state tuition costs can jolt you back into reality. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your dream. If you look around, you might be able to find top colleges with out-of-state tuition at lower rates.

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, then ranked the schools by cheapest out-of-state tuition. The top 30 represented in this study are viable out-of-state colleges that offer more affordable price tags.

30. University of Maryland — Baltimore County

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,872

Not only does the University of Maryland — Baltimore County have the most expensive out-of-state tuition among the top 30 colleges on GOBankingRates’ list, but it also has the second-highest in-state tuition, totaling $11,778. So it’s no surprise that the university also has the second-highest total cost for out-of-state students without financial aid.

29. Binghamton University — SUNY

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,736

Binghamton University — SUNY has the third-lowest acceptance rate on the list at 40 percent, and the school’s cost makes it seem exclusive as well. Its average room-and-board costs, coming out to $15,838, rank in the top three on this list, and its total cost for out-of-state students without financial aid is the highest out of all of the colleges.

28. University at Albany — SUNY

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,656

The University at Albany — SUNY has a lower-than-average acceptance rate of 54% as compared to the other colleges on GOBankingRates’ list. But costs are on the high side: The university ranks in the top five for highest total cost for out-of-state students without financial aid.

27. Ball State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,588

Even though Ball State University ranks in the top five colleges for highest out-of-state tuition rates, students at this school can save elsewhere. For example, it has lower-than-average costs when considering room and board among all the colleges on GOBankingRates’ list.

Ball State University also has a lower-than-average acceptance rate: 62% as compared to this list’s average of 66%.

26. University of Houston

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,340

Although the University of Houston ranks in the top five for highest out-of-state tuition costs, it has the cheapest average room and board — totaling $9,104 annually — out of all the states on the list. At $35,444, the university’s total cost for out-of-state students without financial aid is slightly higher than the average for the entire list: $34,765.

25. University of Cincinnati

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,334

The acceptance rate for the University of Cincinnati is in the top 10 for GOBankingRates’ list. Meanwhile, room-and-board expenses at this school don’t rank among the highest or lowest. At $11,668, average room and board are only around $500 more than the list’s average of $11,184.

24. University of Utah

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,298

In-state tuition and average room and board at the University of Utah are below average for the list at $10,314 and $8,382, respectively. And, at 66%, the acceptance rate at the University of Utah is just about average for the list.

23. Illinois State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,040

Although out-of-state tuition at Illinois State University ranks eighth highest on this list, the school’s in-state tuition — totaling $14,516 — is the most expensive out of all the colleges ranked. Illinois State University also has the fourth-highest acceptance rate on this list at 89%, tying with Iowa State University.

22. Washington State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $25,817

Room and board at Washington State University, coming out to $11,244, are about average for the list. The university’s total cost for out-of-state students without financial aid, however, ranks in the top five most expensive among all the colleges listed.

21. University of Idaho

  • Out-of-state tuition: $25,500

The University of Idaho ranks below average on GOBankingRates’ list for in-state tuition and room and board: $7,864 and $9,883, respectively. The university also ranks below average for the total cost for in-state students without financial aid.

20. University of Arkansas

  • Out-of-state tuition: $25,168

Room and board and the acceptance rate at the University of Arkansas are very close to the average for all the colleges on this list, ranking toward the middle of the pack. And, the in-state tuition at the University of Arkansas is only about $600 more than the average for the list.

19. University of Nebraska — Lincoln

  • Out-of-state tuition: $25,038

Although the out-of-state tuition for the University of Nebraska — Lincoln just barely missed landing in the top 10 most expensive for the list, it has other costs that are more middle of the road. For example, both its in-state tuition and the total cost for in-state students without financial aid are within $500 of the average costs for this list.

18. University of Alabama — Birmingham

  • Out-of-state tuition: $24,630

The University of Alabama — Birmingham’s acceptance rate ranks in the top three for the list at a whopping 92%. In all of the other categories — except for out-of-state tuition — the university ranks about average for the list, including in-state tuition, average room and board, and total costs for in-state and out-of-state attendance without financial aid.

17. University of Mississippi

  • Out-of-state tuition: $24,604

Although the University of Mississippi’s out-of-state tuition rates are about $1,300 less than the list average of $23,306, the school ranks in the top 10 for lowest in-state tuition rates. The University of Mississippi also ranks in the top 10 for highest acceptance rates at 84%, tying with both the University of Idaho and Washington State University.

16. Kansas State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $24,220

Kansas State University has the third-cheapest average room and board, totaling $9,680, out of all the states on the list. It also has the second-highest acceptance rate on the list at 95%.

15. Texas Tech University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $23,770

Although Texas Tech University has an out-of-state tuition rate that’s about average for the list, it has the third-most expensive in-state tuition out of all the colleges ranked. But, the university’s average room and board are among the five least expensive on this list.

14. Iowa State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $23,392

At $9,149, Iowa State University has the second-cheapest average room and board out of all the colleges on the list. And, it ties with Illinois University for the fourth-highest acceptance rate of 89%.

13. Mississippi State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $23,350

Costs at Mississippi State University rank below average for the list in all categories: out-of-state and in-state tuition, average room and board, and total costs for out-of-state and in-state attendance for students without financial aid.

The one category that’s above average for this university is its acceptance rate, which is 73% — compared to the list’s average of 66.3%.

12. University of New Mexico

  • Out-of-state tuition: $22,586

The costs to attend the University of New Mexico rank below average for the list across the board. However, even the university’s acceptance rate is below average. In fact, at 49%, the University of New Mexico has the fifth-lowest acceptance rate out of all of the colleges on the list.

11. Rowan University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $22,339

Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, narrowly missed ranking in the top 10 for lowest out-of-state tuition. However, it has the second-highest in-state tuition rates, totaling $13,697. Rowan University also ranks in the top five for costliest average room and board.

10. Florida State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $21,683

Florida State University has the fourth-lowest in-state tuition rates out of all the colleges ranked. It also ranks in the top five for the lowest total cost for out-of-state students without financial aid.

On a less positive note, Florida State University has the lowest acceptance rate at 33.7%.

9. Ohio University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $21,656

At $12,966, Ohio University has the sixth-most expensive average room and board out of all colleges ranked. It also ranks in the top five for highest in-state tuition costs.

8. University of Central Florida

  • Out-of-state tuition: $20,980

The University of Central Florida has the cheapest in-state tuition, totaling $5,954, out of all the colleges on the list. The university has a 50% acceptance rate — which is lower than average compared to other schools on the list — as well as a below-average total cost for an out-of-state student without financial aid.

7. Montclair State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $20,576

At $14,759, Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, has the fourth-most expensive average room and board among all the colleges on GOBankingRates’ list. Other costs, including in-state tuition and total costs for out-of-state and in-state attendance without financial aid, are above average for the list.

6. San Diego State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $19,368

At $16,735, San Diego State University has the most expensive average room and board out of all the colleges listed. The university’s room and board are only $2,633 less than its out-of-state tuition rate. The school also has one of the lowest acceptance rates on the list — 35% — second only to Florida State University’s 33.7% acceptance rate.

5. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

  • Out-of-state tuition: $19,025

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry follows closely behind San Diego State University for the most expensive average room and board, totaling $16,270. It has a higher acceptance rate, however, at 52%.

4. Florida International University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $18,956

Florida State University is one of two universities in the Sunshine State listed in the top four on GOBankingRates’ list. And, its in-state tuition rates rank within the four cheapest on the list. Plus, the total costs for out-of-state and in-state attendance without financial aid are below average.

3. University of Wyoming

  • Out-of-state tuition: $18,721

The University of Wyoming has the second-cheapest in-state tuition out of all the colleges on the list. Its total cost for out-of-state attendance without financial aid is more than $5,500 less than average. The university also has the highest rate of acceptance at a staggering 97%.

2. Kent State University

  • Out-of-state tuition: $18,714

Kent State University, located in Kent, Ohio, has lower-than-average costs for room and board as well as a below-average total cost for out-of-state attendance without financial aid. Its acceptance rate ranks in the top 10 on GOBankingRates’ list at 88%.

1. University of South Florida

  • Out-of-state tuition: $17,324

Florida hosts the greatest number of universities within the top 30 colleges listed, ranking in four of the top 10 spots — including the No. 1 and No. 4 spots.

The University of South Florida has the third-cheapest in-state tuition at $6,410. Compared to the other colleges on this list, it also has lower-than-average costs for total out-of-state and in-state expenses without financial aid. The university does have a lower acceptance rate than many of the other colleges on the list, however, at only 44%.

How to Save on College Costs

If you want to attend an out-of-state college but the cost seems prohibitive, you might be able to attend using an in-state rate. For example, some states — including Colorado and New Mexico — offer college tuition reciprocity for out-of-state students who qualify. Others might offer tuition waivers for high-performing students or for students whose parents attended the university.

Another option is to establish residency in the state where you want to attend college. However, most states require that you become a resident for at least 12 months before you gain access to in-state tuition rates. And, becoming a resident means you have to separate yourself from your home state by taking certain actions in your new state, such as changing your mailing address, registering to vote and opening a bank account.

If you do decide to attend college in another state, you can also save money by making sure it’s one of the states with the lowest cost of living or one of the most affordable states to live in.

Click through to see the best colleges across America that cost less than $20,000 annually.

More on Saving Money on Education

Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed 100 Public Universities based on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Top Public Schools: National Universities list. Only public universities were included as private institutions do not offer in-state tuition. The public universities were then ranked by which school 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 factors such as (1) room and board, (2) in-state tuition and (3) acceptance rate were also sourced from the universities’ websites.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 30 Colleges With the Cheapest Out-of-State Tuition