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Colleges Recruiting More Out-Of-State Students

By Yaffa Klugerman
November 16, 2009

Some colleges and universities are stepping up efforts to attract students from out-of-state in an effort to boost enrollment and tuition dollars.

The Washington Post reports that some universities are so intent on recruiting non-residents that local students have experienced much more difficulty trying to be admitted. At the College of William of Mary in Virginia, for example, the percentage of out-of-state students in the freshman class has grown from 34 to 37 percent. Similarly, at the University of Washington the percentage has grown from 19 to 25 percent, and from 35 to 44 percent at Penn State.

The difference between resident and nonresident tuition and fees can be significant. The Post notes that tuition and fees for residents at the University of Maryland total $8,053, while the price for nonresidents is $23,990. As a result, the university has been recruiting heavily from other states to help boost tuition dollars.

"It's a matter of fiscal realities," explained Mark Emmert, president of the University of Washington, who was quoted by the Post. "Public universities survive on a combination of tuition revenue and state financial support. If one goes down, the other has to go up if you want to maintain your capacity."

But some institutions in sparsely-populated areas are trying to increase out-of-state enrollment without charging the more expensive nonresident tuition and fees. The Billings Gazette in Montana reports that Dickinson State University in North Dakota cuts the out-of-state tuition and fees in half for students from Montana and South Dakota. Additionally, Dawson Community College in eastern Montana offers a special tuition rate to Canadian students, while Miles Community College allows many students in the Dakotas, northern Wyoming and southern Saskatchewan to pay the same tuition and fees as Montana students do.

In a related story, the Sacramento Bee reports that California students are applying to out-of-state colleges and universities in greater numbers because the University of California and California State University are reducing the number of freshmen they admit.

"There's not nearly the reliance on the California schools that there was in the past," said Margaret Amott, a private college counselor in Sacramento, who was quoted by the Bee. "I always used to have students who would only apply to UC and CSU. Now I'm not seeing that anymore."

Cindy Cutts, director of the college and career center at Rocklin High School, told the Bee that 42 students were admitted to the University of Nevada in Reno at a recent recruitment event--10 percent of the senior class. In addition, she said that many students are looking into the Western Undergraduate Exchange, which offers discounted nonresident tuition at some public colleges.

"We're definitely seeing a bigger interest in out-of-state applications than we have in prior years," she told the Bee.

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