Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville, Washburn University in Kansas, and Northern Michigan University, to name a few, allow students to apply for in-state tuition after living on campus for just six months (and taking other steps such as registering to vote and paying local taxes).
Students at North Dakota universities who pay rent there for at least one year and make other efforts such as registering to vote, paying local taxes, and switching car registration can apply for in-state status. In-state tuition at the University of North Dakota this year is about $7,091, less than half the out-of-state rate of $16,766.
Many other schools waive out-of-state fees for students who meet minimal qualifications.
The University of Louisiana–Lafayette awards out-of-state tuition waivers to students with ACT scores of at least 23 (or SATs of 1,050) and GPAs of at least 2.5. For 2010-2011, the most recent data the school reported to U.S. News, in-state tuition was $4,456; out-of-state tuition was $13,028.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University awards in-state tuition to any student with an ACT score of at least 20 (or a two-test SAT score of at least 940) and a high school GPA of at least 2.7. Those who can't match that can still qualify for a waiver if they are recruited for a sports team or college activity such as band. In-state tuition for 2011-2012 is $4,888; out-of-state students pay more than double: $10,978.
The University of South Carolina–Upstate offers a half-dozen scholarships to out-of-state students with high GPAs and test scores. The annual awards range from $500 to $15,000 and can bring down out-of-state tuition significantly. The tuition for in-staters currently attending the school is $9,596; for non-residents, it's $19,022.
Many state universities also offer in-state tuition (or, in many cases, a significant reduction in out-of-state charges) to students from neighboring states that participate in compacts such as the Midwest Student Exchange Program or Western Undergraduate Exchange.
[Read more about how to get a regional tuition break.]
And some schools near state borders, such as Youngstown State University in Ohio and Rhode Island College offer deep discounts on their standard out-of-state charges to applicants from neighboring counties in another state.
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