In an effort to boost sagging enrollment, five South Dakota colleges, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and other regional universities will offer in-state tuition to nonresident students from neighboring states, reports the Omaha World-Herald.
Several colleges in the region already participate in the Midwest Student Exchange Program, were member colleges agree to cap tuition at 150% of the in-state rate for select programs. Wayne State University and Northwest Missouri State University also offer big discounts to nonresidents.
But many flagship universities have not made the leap to offering large discounts and tuition deals like these to all nonresidents. As one American Association of State Colleges and Universities representative noted, in-state tuition prices are afforded by state subsidies.
Regional exchange programs, like the Midwest Student Exchange Program, help students get a more affordable education while enabling participating universities to boost enrollments and reduce the need for duplicative education programs. With slowing traditional student enrollment and rising tuition costs, these relationships can be springboards to even stronger collaborations.
Building on existing relationships can help universities stay financially strong in a tough economic environment, and it's a good sign that university leaders are thinking outside the box. Many educators have noted that a part of institutions' future success depends on years of experimentation and partnerships.