What States Have Tuition Reciprocity With California?

Last Updated on May 12, 2024 by Team College Learners

There are plenty of reasons why someone may want to attend college in a different state than the one they reside in. If you’re moving any time soon and have ties to Cali, you may be worried about how much your tuition will increase. It’s completely understandable that the price of out-of-state tuition would be intimidating.

While searching for colleges in other states, you probably ran across the term “tuition reciprocity.” You might’ve thought it was just a small discount, but it’s actually worth huge bucks. Read on to find out how much it can save you by studying out of state. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education offers the Western Undergraduate Exchange for students in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Basic admission requirements for the Western Undergraduate Exchange program include being a resident of one of the member states, applying to a participating college or university within the program, and meeting the specific admission requirements of the institution you are interested in attending. Each school may have its own additional requirements, so it’s important to thoroughly research the admission guidelines for each institution you are considering.

The admission process for universities participating in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program will vary depending on the school. Generally, you will need to submit an application, official transcripts from high school or college, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and any other required documentation. It’s important to stay organized and meet all deadlines to increase your chances of being accepted into the program. Additionally, you may be required to fill out a separate application for the WUE program specifically, so be sure to complete all necessary steps to be considered for reduced tuition rates.

With recent changes to financial aid, many college-educated Californians are finding themselves with student debt. The state has made some changes to the Cal Grant. For those who are wondering which states have tuition reciprocity with California, worry no more! California has many reciprocity agreements with other states, meaning that California residents can attend college at resident tuition rates in other states. One question that I’m often asked is “what other states have the best reciprocity agreements with California?”

There are many things you need to know about what states have tuition reciprocity, what colleges have reciprocity with california. Use this article to find out exactly what you need to know.

Western Undergraduate Exchange

California has reciprocity agreements with Arizona and Nevada, which allow California residents to attend participating public colleges and universities in those states at the in-state tuition rate.

California is a member state of the Western Undergraduate Exchange which is a limited regional reciprocity agreement among select Western States. Like many states, California has educational reciprocity agreements with other states. Educational reciprocity allows an individual who has already earned a bachelor’s degree to be able to attend certain institutions for little or no tuition. The main goal of these agreements is to expand access to higher education for individuals where it might previously have not existed.

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in California | BestColleges

A Quick Overview

The Western Undergraduate Exchange WUE (pronounced woo-wee!)  is a tuition reduction program administered by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). It is not a need-based tuition program, which means that many students can take advantage of a more affordable out-of-state education.

Western Undergraduate Exchange Information

Program Name
Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)
Program Administrator
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)
Out-of-state students
Tuition Discount
No more than 150% of in-state tuition rate
Regular Out-of-State Tuition Rate
300% of in-state tuition rate
California residents pay $5,742 for tuition at California State University. WUE students pay $8,613, while other out-of-state students pay $17,622.

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What States Have Tuition Reciprocity With California

Did you know that some colleges will allow its students to attend a school in a different state for less than out-of-state tuition? This allows them to have access to programs they otherwise couldn’t afford. It’s known as tuition reciprocity or tuition savings agreements (TSA) and I’ll show you the list of how many states participate in this program. California may not have the lowest costs for post-secondary education, but you can still find affordable schooling if you are determined to make it happen. There are plenty of scholarships available to help you achieve your educational goals. And with the help of tuition reciprocity agreements , you’ll be able to choose from a large number of different schools.

Tuition Reciprocity California

As a high school senior, Arezo Amerzada’s choices for college came down to University of California-Riverside, several California State University campuses and a handful of out-of-state schools, including the University of Nevada in Reno. That was when Amerzada, who grew up in Union City in the San Francisco Bay Area, learned about the Western Undergraduate Exchange.

Are you looking to take classes at a college in another state but can’t find out if it’s out of state or reciprocity? Tuition reciprocity is when a state lowers the tuition to in-state rates for certain students.

The increasingly popular program gives California students steep tuition discounts at dozens of colleges and universities in nearby states. The University of Nevada was one of them. Getting the tuition discount was the “deciding factor of where I wanted to go,” Amerzada said by phone from Reno, where she is a senior majoring in human development and family studies.

what states have tuition reciprocity

There is a common misconception among students and parents that they have to pay out-of-state tuition if their permanent home is out of state but they attend a school within the state where they wish to study. This is not necessarily true.

California is a great place to live, work and play. It also has some of the best schools in the world. This is partly because its higher education institutions are ranked among the top in the country. However, California’s colleges are not cheap. If you are planning to study or pursue an advanced degree in California, you may want to consider out-of-state colleges. These schools have reciprocity agreements with California schools so you can take advantage of lower tuition rates.

Resident students from the following states and U.S. Territories may participate, if they meet eligibility requirements:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

out of state tuition california

schools that offer in state tuition to out of state students

Not all public colleges and universities take part in tuition reciprocity programs. In some instances, it’s because they do not offer majors considered eligible by these programs.

For instance, there is no reason for a school without any healthcare-related majors to participate if the program is exclusive for out-of-state students majoring in healthcare fields.

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Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Alabama A&M
Alabama State University
Angelo State University
Arkansas State University
Arkansas Tech University
Auburn University – Montgomery
Augusta University
Austin Peay State University
Bluefield State College
Bowie State University
Christopher Newport University
Clayton State University
Clemson University
Coastal Carolina University
College of William & Mary
Concord University
Coppin State University
Delaware State University
Delta State University
East Central University
East Tennessee State University
Eastern Kentucky University
Fairmont State University
Florida A&M University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida International University
Florida State University
Frostburg State University
Georgia College
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia State University
Glenville State College
Grambling State University
Jackson State University
Jacksonville State University
Kennesaw State University
Kentucky State University
Lamar University
Lander University
Langston University
Longwood University

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california in-state tuition

how to get in state tuition

Everyone knows that attending a public college or university on an in-state basis is one of the best ways to get a quality secondary education for a relatively reasonable price.

But if your dream school is a public school in another state, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck paying out-of-state tuition.

There are several ways to snag in-state tuition at your school of choice:

1. Establish residency

The obvious way to get in-state tuition is to live in the state of the school you plan to attend. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a resident in the strictest sense.

If your parents are divorced and live in different states, you may be able to establish residency by using your other parent’s address to apply to school. The same could be true of a grandparent or close relative.

You may also be able to establish residency where your school is located after you’ve attended school for a certain period of time.

Students in the City University of New York (CUNY) system, for example, are eligible to apply for in-state tuition after they have lived in New York for one year and one day and  can demonstrate intent to stay.

Another way you may be able to establish residency is to take a gap year or take classes part-time for a year in the state where you want to attend school. Note that you’ll need to do this for one year prior to when you’ll be seeking in-state tuition.

Make sure that however you choose to establish yourself in your new state, you create a paper trail to back up your residency. Setting up a bank account and utilities in your name and registering to vote are good ways to show you aren’t just passing through and you plan to put down roots in the state.

2. Explore reciprocity agreements or regional exchange programs with nearby states

Several regions have exchange programs set up with other states in the region that offer discounts to all college students residing in those states. These include:

  • New England Board of Higher Education
  • Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market
  • Midwest Student Exchange Program
  • Western Interstate Commision for Higher Education’s Student Exchange Programs

Some states have forged agreements with neighboring states that allow students to get in-state tuition at any public school in either state.

For instance, Wisconsin and Minnesota have a tuition reciprocity agreement, which means students from either state can get in-state tuition at public schools in both states. Minnesota also has similar agreements with South and North Dakota as well as Manitoba in Canada.

Even individual schools in states that don’t participate in an exchange program sometimes offer in-state tuition,  scholarships, or will reduce the out-of-state tuition for qualifying students from neighboring states.

The University of Arkansas offers a scholarship for students from surrounding states who meet requirements for GPA and standardized test scores. Georgia Southern University offers lowered tuition to any student from neighboring Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama. 

3. Look into legacy scholarships from the school your parent attended

If your parent or parents attended a university outside of your current state, you might want to see if extra funds are available to help you continue the family trend.

For example, The University of Missouri’s Black and Gold scholarship awards in-state tuition to out-of-state students who are the child of a Missouri grad and maintain good grades.

4. Earn the grades

Don’t make the mistake of determining whether you can afford a school based on just the initial price tag.

Students with exceptional grades who apply for schools on an out-of-state basis sometimes find that their grades have qualified them for scholarships large enough to negate the tuition increase for out-of-state students.

5. Take advantage of your parent’s job

Military brats take note: children of military parents might be able to get in-state tuition because of a parent’s service. Policies vary by school, so contact each school you’re considering to find out if that could be an option for you.

And armed forces members aren’t the only ones who can get this deal. Some schools even offer in-state tuition to first responders and educators. Doing some preliminary research about school policies could mean big savings down the road.

How Out-of-State Students Can Get In-State Tuition

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