Many students find the cost of college tuition and fees to be a significant obstacle. For those looking for more affordable options, certain Public Schools offer reasonable tuition rates, both for in-state and out-of-state students. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the cheapest out of state tuition universities. These will be all budget-friendly options, focusing on four historically black colleges and universities: Mississippi Valley, Elizabeth City, Alcorn, and Jackson State universities. However, this list does not include U.S. service academies, which offer free tuition in return for military service after graduation, nor colleges in Puerto Rico, which generally have lower tuition than mainland U.S. schools. We will discuss 15 colleges in the USA with the most affordable out-of-state tuition.
Cheapest Out of State Tuition Universities
1. Delta State University
The first on this list, the cheapest out of state tuition university we have is Delta State University in Mississippi. The out of state tuition fee is $8,605. This university began in 1924 when Mississippi used the buildings of the former Bolivar County Agricultural High School in Cleveland. It started with just three buildings. On February 19, 1924, Senators William ‘Bill’ Roberts and Arthur Marshall proposed Senate Bill number 263, leading to the creation of Delta State Teachers College. Mississippi Governor Henry Lewis Whitfield signed this bill into law on April 9, 1924. Nelly Nugent Somerville, the first woman in the Mississippi State Legislature, also supported the bill. The original campus included Hill Hall for administration and classes, Hardy Hall for male students, and Taylor Hall for female students.
2. Bismarck State College
The second cheapest out of state tuition university is Bismarck State College, in North Dakota. In this university, the out of state tuition is $8,790. The city is known for its art deco North Dakota state capitol and the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, which showcase the state’s history. The restored Governor’s Mansion from the 19th century and the Dakota Zoo, with grizzly bears and Bengal tigers, are also highlights. North Dakota’s university system offers international students many academic and technical training opportunities, especially in its large research universities. North Dakota is a leading producer of various crops and honey, and it’s the top producer of several products in the U.S.
3. Nicholls State University
At number 3, we have the Nicholla State University with an out of state fee of $9,249. Founded in 1948 in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Nicholls is part of the University of Louisiana system. It’s one of the universities that offers cheap out of state tuition. Originally called Francis T. Nicholls Junior College, it’s named after Francis T. Nicholls, a former Louisiana governor, state Supreme Court member, and Confederate Army general.
Nicholls State offers unique programs in culinary arts, geomatics, maritime management, marine and environmental science, petroleum services, and safety technology. Located in the Acadiana region, it’s near the Mississippi River delta, Louisiana’s wetlands, and the Gulf of Mexico.
4. Mississippi Valley State University
Located in Mississippi Valley State, Mississippi, near Ittabena, we have Mississippi Valley State University, another cheapest out of state tuition university with fees of $7,474. This is a public, historically black university. It’s part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
The university now provides master’s degrees in various fields such as environmental health, elementary education, criminal justice, business administration, special education, rural public policy, and a Master of Arts in teaching. Dr. Joe Boyer became the third president of MVSU in January 1982. The school, originally named Mississippi Vocational College, was renamed Mississippi Valley State College in February 1969. There was a peaceful student protest, involving 800 students, against President James Herbert White’s Administration. The students called for mandatory black history courses, more library books by black authors, remedial English and math courses, the invitation of notable black speakers, and relaxed curfew rules.
5. Jackson State University, Mississippi
At number 5, we have Jackson State University located in Mississippi. The tuition fee for this university is $9,445, making it one of the cheapest out of state tuition universities. This university is a public, historically black research university in Jackson, Mississippi, with the cheapest out of state tuition. Being one of the largest HBCUs in the U.S. and the fourth largest university in Mississippi by student enrollment, Jackson State is well-known for integrating technology and advanced research into its curriculum.
Jackson State University stands out in Mississippi for being recognized twice as an Apple Distinguished School, thanks to its extensive use of technology, including providing iPads to all students. At Jackson State University, you’ll join a vibrant learning community where you can develop new ideas, and skills, and make connections and friends. The university’s main goal is to offer everyone the opportunity for a brighter future through education.
6. Southwest Minnesota State University
Another cheap university for out of state students to consider is Southwest Minnesota State University. In fact, SMSU offers in-state tuition to nearly everyone—there is no out-state tuition rates. This school charges tuition and fees of $10,304. The Southwest Minnesota State University is a four-year public university, focusing on providing quality education in the liberal arts and professions, aiming to prepare students for both personal and professional success.
Southwest Minnesota State University is ranked between 127 and 166 out of 167 Regional universities in the Midwest. This ranking is based on a range of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Minnesota offers international students a choice of many schools, with 32 public universities and colleges and 20 private institutions.
Six of these are among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country, as per U.S. News and World Report. Popular majors at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities include social sciences, biological and biomedical sciences, business, management, marketing, engineering, computer and information sciences, psychology, education, health professions, and related programs.
7. University of North Carolina, Pembroke
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has its roots in the post-Civil War South. It originated as part of the Lumbee nation’s efforts in North Carolina to maintain their unique identity. Having control over their education system was crucial for the Lumbee people to preserve their culture, foster pride, and enhance their economic and social conditions. This university tuition and fees for out of state students is $7,496.
UNC Pembroke is a public university in Pembroke, North Carolina, offering master’s level degrees and is part of the University of North Carolina system with the cheapest out of state tuition. Its history is closely connected with that of the Lumbee Nation.
8. Alcorn State University
Another university in Mississippi with the cheapest out of state tuition is Alcorn State University. It is a public, historically black, land-grant university near Lorman, Mississippi. Founded in 1871, it was the first black land-grant college in the United States. One of its notable alumni is Medgar Evers, a civil rights activist who graduated in 1952.
Alcorn State has produced generations of successful alumni in fields like education, medicine, law, business, and professional sports. This university has tuition and fees of $8,549. It is nationally recognized for its programs in liberal arts, agricultural research, technology, music, and nursing.
9. Mississippi University for Women
If you are looking to pay tuition and fees of just $8,092, then you should be applying for admission into the Mississippi University for Women. Mississippi University for Women, also known as MUW or The W, is one of the cheapest out of state tuition universities. This school is located in Columbus, Mississippi, and it was initially known as the Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls and later as the Mississippi State College for Women. Men have been admitted since 1982 and currently constitute about 20% of the student body. It was founded in 1884. MUW was the first public women’s college in the United States. It was established to provide a liberal arts education to white women and to prepare them for employment. The college was set up on the grounds of the former Columbus Female Institute, a private college founded in 1847.
10. St. Petersburg College
At number 10, the cheapest university we have is St. Petersburg College, with tuition and fees of $8,513. St. Petersburg, part of the Tampa Bay Area on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is known as the Sunshine City for its pleasant weather. This makes it a great spot for activities like golf, boating, fishing, and beach-going. Notable attractions include the Dali Museum with surrealist art, the Museum of Fine Arts offering a range of artworks, and the Mahaffey Theater, home to the Florida Orchestra.
The college, with an enrollment of 25,060 students as of Fall 2021, is set in an urban area and spans 400 acres. Using a semester-based academic calendar, St. Petersburg College is regionally accredited and was the first state college in Florida to offer bachelor’s degrees. It provides over 180 degree and certificate programs, including high-demand, high-skill workforce certifications.
11. Western Carolina University
Located in North Carolina, Western Carolina is a public university in Cullowhee, that is part of the University of North Carolina system. The tuition fee is just about $8,532.
As the fifth oldest institution in the UNC system, with the cheapest out of state tuition, WCU was established to educate people in the western North Carolina Mountains. High school students with a cumulative average of 3.50 or better, both weighted and unweighted, and who meet all the criteria and deadlines for the Guaranteed Admission Program are assured an offer of admission to WCU.
12. Oklahoma Panhandle State University
At number 12, one of the cheapest out of state tuition universities with low tuition fees is Oklahoma Panhandle State University with $6,854 for 24 hours and $8,539 for 30 hours. This university is a public college in Goodwell, Oklahoma. OPSU grants baccalaureate degrees and is governed by the Board of Regents of the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. It was established in 1909 as the Panhandle Agricultural Institute (PAI), providing secondary agricultural education for the Panhandle area. By 1915, PAI began offering courses to prepare public school teachers. In 1921, it was authorized to offer a two-year college curriculum, changing its name to Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College (PAMC). The college started offering four-year degree programs in 1925. In 1967, it was named Oklahoma Panhandle State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, before adopting its current name in 1974.
13. Minot State University
Established in 1913 as a normal school, it’s now North Dakota’s third-largest university, offering a range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The tuition fee is $7,168. For admission, a high school GPA of 2.75 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) is required. However, if you don’t meet this minimum, you can still be considered for admission if your academic record shows a strong likelihood of success. Minot State University is committed to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement, fostering a vibrant campus life and active learning environments.
14. Elizabeth City State University
We also have the Elizabeth City State University with tuition and fees of just $10,956. Elizabeth University is a public, historically black university with the cheapest out of state tuition. It enrolls about 2,500 students in 28 undergraduate and four graduate programs. This university is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the University of North Carolina system. It was founded on March 3, 1891, as the State Colored Normal School at Elizabeth City, established to train teachers of color for North Carolina’s common schools. The school began as a primary grade teacher training institution.
In 1937, it transformed into a four-year Teachers College and was renamed Elizabeth City State Teachers College, expanding to train principals as well. The first Bachelor of Science degrees in Elementary education were awarded in 1939. Over the next 25 years, the college grew to offer a vocational technical program and 13 academic majors.
15. West Liberty University
Finally, we have West Liberty University, also a cheap out of state university with tuition and fees of $8,550. Located in West Liberty, the university holds the distinction of being West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education, founded in 1837. The university offers over 70 undergraduate majors, along with graduate programs including a master’s in education and an online MBA. As a dynamic and inclusive student-centered community, West Liberty University is dedicated to scholarly exploration, experiential learning, creative expression, and fostering global citizenship.
So, we have been able to look at 15 different cheapest out of state tuition universities. These universities offering the cheapest out-of-state tuition present a diverse and valuable opportunity for students seeking affordable higher education across the United States. They demonstrate that quality education can be both excellent and affordable. Let us know your opinion in the comments section below.