Ryan Lytle

These schools have the lowest tuition and required fees for out-of-state students

Students looking to venture beyond their home state to pursue a college education might consider public schools to get a discount on tuition. While many students could benefit financially from looking at colleges near home, there are schools that offer competitive out-of-state tuition packages that rival many universities' in-state offerings.

Among the 452 public institutions that reported tuition and fees data to U.S. News in a 2010 survey of undergraduate programs, the average for out-of-state students was $16,678 for the 2010-11 school year. (Additionally, 121 public colleges surveyed did not report tuition data.) By comparison, the 10 least expensive public colleges for out-of-state students cost an average of $6,643 -- more than $10,000 less than the national average.

New Mexico Highlands University , a regional university in the West, offered the cheapest tuition and fees package for out-of-state students with a cost of $4,632 for the 2010-11 school year. The university also had the distinction of offering the least expensive tuition and fees package for its in-state residents.

Of the top 10 least expensive public schools for out-of-state students, eight are located among Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and five of the top 10 are ranked in U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges. The five military academies, which charge $0 in tuition and $0 in fees in return for postgraduate service, were excluded from this tuition list, as were schools designated as Unranked by U.S. News.

These are the 10 least expensive public schools for out-of-state students, based on tuition and required fees (figures do not include room and board, books, transportation, and other miscellaneous costs):


University Tuition U.S. News Rank
Source: U.S. News & World Report
New Mexico Highlands University$4,632RNP*, Regional Universities (West)
Minnesota State University - Moorhead$6,91884, Regional Universities (Midwest)
Minot State University (ND)$7,047RNP, Regional Universities (Midwest)
Southwest Minnesota State University$7,240104, Regional Universities (Midwest)
Bemidji State University (MN)$7,49692, Regional Universities (Midwest)
Midwestern State University (TX)$7,620RNP, Regional Universities (West)
Northern State University (SD)$7,84848, Regional Colleges (Midwest)
South Dakota State University$7,941RNP, National Universities
Mayville State University (ND)$8,07264, Regional Colleges (Midwest)
University of South Dakota$8,259RNP, National Universities

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of its ranking category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.


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10 Least Expensive Public Colleges for Out-of-State Students