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Cheapest Online Colleges (Out-of-State)

Prices can soar if you’re looking to study at an out-of-state college, even online. Discover the best cheapest online colleges and see how you can save money!

Which Online Colleges are the Most Affordable (Out-Of-State)?

Is the program you’re looking to pursue best in another state? Don’t let the out-of-state tuition costs prevent you from reaching your goals! Browse through the list of cheapest online colleges in the United States with our easy-to-use search tool.


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Going the Affordable Route: Cheapest Online Colleges

Why is out-of-state tuition sometimes expensive? Tuition is cheapest for state residents because state schools receive state taxpayers’ money. For “outsiders,” a school adds anywhere from $0 to many thousands per year. Rest assured, you can still experience online education out-of-state for an affordable price. Sometimes, neighboring states make tuition agreements, giving each other’s residents in-state prices or their lowest out of state tuition rates.

Online Colleges: Tips for Getting the Lowest Tuition

  • Find State-To-State Deals
    • Cross the border for low tuition! State schools often let residents of neighboring states pay in-state tuition. In other cases they guarantee their lowest out-of-state cost to people in the region. Here are three top examples.
    • Midwestern Colleges
      • The Midwest Student Exchange Program automatically gives tuition discounts to residents attending eligible state schools in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, to name a few.
    • New England Colleges
      • More than 80 state colleges and universities forming the New England Board of Higher Education give their lowest out-of-state tuitions to residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
    • Western Colleges
      • The Western Undergraduate Exchange includes schools in Alaska and Hawaii along with dozens in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Students must complete extra paperwork in order to be considered. Not all applicants are offered the lowest out-of-state tuition.
      • Many states make independent agreements too. For example, schools in South Dakota give nearly in-state rates to Minnesotans and also have a generous “Border Bonus” for residents of Wyoming.
  • Become a State Resident
    • If you live near school for most of the year, why keep paying out-of-state tuition? Many students forget that they can establish state residency after 12 months. Some ways to help establish residency are registering to vote, getting a state driver’s license and setting up a local bank account.