College Education Concerns in the 21st Century
(c) M. Ryder
He found a match at Pittsburg State in
That was when Strobel learned about the Midwest Student Exchange Program, which enables students from eight states to attend any one of more than 140 public and private universities in the region while paying no more than 150 percent of the cost of in-state tuition. In Strobel's case, the hefty discount would make Pittsburg State a reality. "I definitely wouldn't have been there if I had not been part of the program," he says. "I'm thankful that I got in, and it's a really good deal."
Know no boundaries.
Not many parents know about these reciprocity agreements, and for some you'll need a knowledgeable college counselor because they're very local. The
These programs are not exactly alike, but their basic purpose is the same.
Most of the schools that students can attend are public; there are a smattering of private ones, too. Admissions requirements vary from program to program and from school to school. Some students can get a break only if they are pursuing a specific major, but certain programs automatically give students a discount if they are admitted to a particular university from an eligible state.
The Academic Common Market is the strictest; students are eligible only if they are pursuing a specific major listed in the program's catalog. But these students get the biggest discount: All pay in-state tuition. "Originally, Southern states needed students to cross state lines for specialized programs because they literally couldn't offer even the basic professional programs they needed," explains
Aloha! Schools that participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange are often more liberal with discounts.
In all four programs, schools can choose to participate or not.
The programs aren't heavily advertised, so interested students must do some research. "There's kind of a delicate balance here," explains
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(c) 2009 U.S. News & World Report