SEARCH THE DATABASE
Greatvaluecolleges.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Do Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Charge In-State or Out-of-State Tuition?

Students considering getting an online college education likely have questions about online bachelor’s degree tuition. One big and somewhat complicated question is regarding in-state and out-of-state tuition in online degree programs. Because affordability is a major factor in determining whether a student enrolls in a program, it pays to understand this question.

Why In-State And Out-Of-State Tuition Exists

Public schools are funded by the state, and therefore taxpayer dollars. This is why a lower rate is offered to in-state residents because their taxes fund the schools. States assume that in-state students are more likely to get jobs in that state and contribute to the state’s overall economy upon graduation. In-state students are perceived as having stronger roots in a state and less likely to go elsewhere. Out-of-state students do not fund the universities with their taxes and are thought as less likely to get a job or start a business in a state in which they have no roots. This is why the practice has been used for many years and is unlikely to change soon. As more public, non-profit schools begin to offer online degree programs, more students and schools have grappled with the question of what to charge for online bachelor’s degree tuition. Out-of-state tuition rates are always higher than in-state tuition rates, barring odd circumstances.

It Depends On The Program

Whether a student is charged out-of-state or in-state tuition depends entirely on the nature of the program and the individual school’s policies. The issue is non-existent when looking at for-profit schools or private universities. These schools do not offer differing tuition rates depending on residency. In fact, according to U.S. News & and World Report, education at for-profit online colleges is cheaper than out-of-state tuition at public universities or private colleges. In-state and out-of-state tuition only matters at publicly-funded state schools. To complicate the matter, some states have reciprocal programs with neighboring states, allowing students from both states to receive in-state tuition at each other’s universities. Some state schools offer online programs for a separate cost and do not take the student’s residency information into account.

Proving Residency

Students who wish to enroll in online degree programs for in-state tuition rates will need to prove residency as they would when applying to a traditional program. Different states and universities have different requirements, although most require living in the state for a set amount of time. For dependents, most states require that the family moves to that state in order to receive in-state tuition. Residency can usually only be claimed through a legal guardian, spouse or parent. Non-dependents usually must live in the state for a certain amount of time, which is usually a year. In many cases, students also must prove they intend to live in the state for the foreseeable future to qualify for in-state tuition. Documents that can prove residency include car registration, voter registration, income tax returns showing an in-state address, homeownership in the state, involvement in local communities and more.

The subject of in-state and out-of-state tuition becomes more complicated when it’s about online degree programs. Different schools have different policies, so all prospective students should determine what a public school charges for their online degree programs before enrolling. Online bachelor’s degree tuition is one of many factors students should consider when choosing a university.