State Universities Increasing Number of Out-of-State Students to Boost Tuition Revenue

Studying accounting as a college junior, Kennedy Cole decided to pursue education outside her Nevada roots for a broader experience and interaction with diverse individuals.

On the other hand, Emma Nichols, a sophomore majoring in vocal performance, opted to stay close to home in Corvallis, Oregon.

Both serving as Oregon State University tour ambassadors, Cole and Nichols are convinced that their choices were the right ones.

While facing the challenge of attending a school where many first-year students were already acquainted or attended local high schools, Cole found the majority of students to be welcoming. Nichols highlighted the thrill of engaging with students from different cultures at Oregon State’s campus.

Distinguishing their educational journey, the university charges approximately $13,800 in tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates for the 2023-24 academic year, nearly $36,600 for nonresidents.

Amid tightening school budgets and declining college enrollment, state universities are increasingly turning to out-of-state students to bolster their finances.

From 2002 to 2022, public research universities in 47 states elevated the admission rate of out-of-state undergraduate students, marking a steady increase from an average of 18% to 28%, according to an analysis by University of Wisconsin-Madison education professor Nicholas Hillman.

Regarding the revenue implications and potential impact on in-state students, universities are navigating a complex territory with the influx of nonresident students.

As states grapple with balancing resident and nonresident enrollment at public research universities, some have imposed restrictions to safeguard opportunities for in-state applicants.

Emphasizing the repercussions of increasing nonresident enrollment on in-state students, Aaron Klein, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, underscored the economic and educational consequences of this paradigm shift.

With Oregon experiencing a surge in out-of-state undergraduate students at public research universities, the balance between resident and nonresident inclusion continues to be a point of discussion.

Reflecting on enrollment trends and the evolving dynamics at state universities, the preference for out-of-state students has gained momentum over the years.

Outlining their recruitment strategy, some universities target international candidates to diversify their student body and enhance their revenue stream.

At Arizona State University, the institution’s appeal to international students underscores its commitment to global engagement and academic diversity.

Painting a picture of enrollment demographics, the University of Arizona in Tucson boasts a nearly equal split between resident and nonresident undergraduate students.

As state universities navigate financial challenges, the balance between resident and nonresident enrollment remains a critical consideration to sustain operational effectiveness.

Chanah Tanioka, a senior student from Hawaii pursuing pre-med at Oregon State University, sheds light on the cultural nuances and challenges of attending a mainland university.

Illustrating the impact of nonresident enrollment quotas in certain states, legislatures have implemented measures to prioritize in-state residents in higher education admissions.

From North Carolina to California, states have adopted policies to manage nonresident enrollment and preserve opportunities for in-state students.

In a bid to strike a balance between resident and nonresident students, universities are navigating the complexities of enrollment quotas and financial sustainability.

State lawmakers are actively engaging in discussions to address concerns surrounding nonresident enrollment and its implications on in-state students and the broader economy.

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