States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

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FrugalProfessor
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States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by FrugalProfessor »

I'm unsure how this happened, but my oldest is a senior in HS this year.

She is contemplating going out-of-state for college. I would like to avoid paying out-of-state tuition for 4 years because I'm stingy.

I recently learned that Utah is uniquely permissive with qualifying for residency and in-state tuition after 12 months of continuous residency --- including time spent in school. Most other states exclude time spent in school (e.g. the U of U's policy: https://admissions.utah.edu/information ... xceptions/). This means that my child would simply have to work in UT for the summer after her freshman year to hit the 12 month requirement (assuming she changes her driver's license, voter registration, does not leave UT for more than 29 days, etc), but that seems pretty easy to accomplish. If my child could pull this off, then we'd pay out of state for 1 year + in-state for 3 years. Much more palatable than out-of-state for four years.

She's a good student, so merit-based aid is potentially at play at non-elite schools. Not sure how that plays into this whole equation.

I have three questions for my fellow Bogleheads:
* Are you aware of any other states that are similarly permissive?
* Has anyone's kid successfully pulled this off (in UT or elsewhere)?
* Am I overlooking any other obvious strategies?

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by FrugalProfessor on Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Normchad »

I can’t help you with your actual question.

But, for good but not amazing students, sometimes out of state schools will offer scholarships that are basically “just pay what the in-state kids” do….

So don’t be shy about applying OOS.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Pdxnative »

I know several kids, not my own, that did this in Utah from out of state with no problems. There were significant merit scholarships too which made things cheap.

I don’t know other states doing this but you should be aware of WUE if you’re in the west:
https://www.wiche.edu/tuition-savings/wue/

As mentioned, merit scholarships are pretty plentiful for the right student. Some of these might be cheaper than in state, some not. Schools in Arizona, Alabama, NM, etc are known to make schooling cheap for out of state kids with great stats. Or at least have in the past (my knowledge is dated).
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by FiveK »

Depending on her interests and test scores, University of Oklahoma Scholarships might be worthwhile.

Or, if she would get a tuition break due to your position, having her not live at home (to get "the college experience") might be an option....

Good luck!
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Cruise »

The University of Hawaii at Manoa allows residency to be established while attending school in the first year. However, one is limited to taking 5 credit hours per semester during that first year.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Most if not all states participate in regional tuition reciprocity/discount programs.

For a national overview: https://www.nasfaa.org/State_Regional_Tuition_Exchanges
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Halastrope »

Pdxnative wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:51 pm I know several kids, not my own, that did this in Utah from out of state with no problems. There were significant merit scholarships too which made things cheap.

I don’t know other states doing this but you should be aware of WUE if you’re in the west:
https://www.wiche.edu/tuition-savings/wue/

As mentioned, merit scholarships are pretty plentiful for the right student. Some of these might be cheaper than in state, some not. Schools in Arizona, Alabama, NM, etc are known to make schooling cheap for out of state kids with great stats. Or at least have in the past (my knowledge is dated).
Are there any restrictions or pitfalls when participating in the WUE?
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by 3cat »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:36 pm I'm unsure how this happened, but my oldest is a senior in HS this year.

She is contemplating going out-of-state for college. I would like to avoid paying out-of-state tuition for 4 years because I'm stingy.

I recently learned that Utah is uniquely permissive with qualifying for in-state residency after 12 months of continuous residency --- including time spent in school.

<snip>

I have three questions for my fellow Bogleheads:
* Are you aware of any other states that are similarly permissive?
* Has anyone's kid successfully pulled this off (in UT or elsewhere)?
* Am I overlooking any other obvious strategies?

Thanks in advance!
I suggest you check the financial services web site of potential universities for their requirements. The regional university I work at in Missouri allows you to apply for residency status after one year. Other schools I have been at as a student (back in the day) in Alabama and Louisiana are similar:

1. Show proof of residency (rental agreement, mortgage, etc) in the state for one year. Utility bills in the student’s name may also be useful/required to document the address.
2. A drivers license for that state.
3. Employment within the state.
4. Evidence that the student remains in the state during summer break.

When I did it as a student, the process was simple: fill out the form after living in the state for one year, provide the required documentation, then await approval.

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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by ChicagoBear7 »

Missouri is one of the most lenient states for gaining residency as a student. Unfortunately, it is an outlier. You can become a resident of any state easily by renting an apartment and changing your drivers license, voting registration, getting a job etc. However, residency for tuition purposes often requires that you graduated from a high school in the state, or the students parents have actually relocated and become employed in the new state. Otherwise, the student needs to move to the new state and work full time for at least a year, and then apply to college.

Since Missouri is rather permissive, the University of Missouri even encourages out of state students to consider changing their residency. My niece and one of my daughter's best friends went to Mizzou and got instate tuition Soph - Senior years - it was easy. The only real pain is that you are limited to spending no more than 14 days outside of Missouri May through August. Fortunately, the student can "go home" for Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks without losing residency. Here is a link. https://registrar.missouri.edu/residency/
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by FrugalProfessor »

Pdxnative wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:51 pm I know several kids, not my own, that did this in Utah from out of state with no problems. There were significant merit scholarships too which made things cheap.

I don’t know other states doing this but you should be aware of WUE if you’re in the west:
https://www.wiche.edu/tuition-savings/wue/

As mentioned, merit scholarships are pretty plentiful for the right student. Some of these might be cheaper than in state, some not. Schools in Arizona, Alabama, NM, etc are known to make schooling cheap for out of state kids with great stats. Or at least have in the past (my knowledge is dated).
Thanks for everyone for sharing your thoughts!

Pdxnative, thanks for confirming the change-of-residence to UT thing works. It almost seemed too good to be true.

While touring the U of U a week ago, many of our tour guides were from out of state and using the WUE program you mentioned. Our guides also mentioned how common it was for out-of-state students to formally change residency after the summer of their freshman year.

We'll certainly check out the out-of-state merit options as well. I think my kid is a plausible candidate for some of those scholarships.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by FrugalProfessor »

Halastrope wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 6:26 am
Pdxnative wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:51 pm I know several kids, not my own, that did this in Utah from out of state with no problems. There were significant merit scholarships too which made things cheap.

I don’t know other states doing this but you should be aware of WUE if you’re in the west:
https://www.wiche.edu/tuition-savings/wue/

As mentioned, merit scholarships are pretty plentiful for the right student. Some of these might be cheaper than in state, some not. Schools in Arizona, Alabama, NM, etc are known to make schooling cheap for out of state kids with great stats. Or at least have in the past (my knowledge is dated).
Are there any restrictions or pitfalls when participating in the WUE?
https://financialaid.utah.edu/types-of- ... change.php
The WUE Tuition Discount is a merit award at The U that reduces the amount of standard tuition for eligible non-resident students. With the WUE Tuition Discount, the recipient pays no more than 150% of the standard resident tuition rate....

The WUE Tuition Discount is available beginning the Fall 2024 semester and is renewable for up to eight semesters (fall and spring only), or until you receive a baccalaureate degree (whichever comes first), as long as you continue to meet WUE good standing and renewal requirements as established by The U and listed below
The WUE seems like a great deal, but it's not as generous as in-state tuition discounts. During our tour of the U of Utah, most of our tour guides were from out of state and exploiting this program.

Unfortunately, we life outside of the WUE region, but rather live in the Midwest Student Exchange Program region, which seems less generous: https://msep.mhec.org/
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by bltn »

My daughter was offered in state tuition at the University of Florida medical school after attending the first year for the out of state tuition rate.

Both of my kids received offers for merit scholarships at nearby state universities as well as in state.

My understanding is that now merit based scholarships are more available than in the past. I would check In state as well as out of state opportunities.

Good luck.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by FrugalProfessor »

Cruise wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 2:22 am The University of Hawaii at Manoa allows residency to be established while attending school in the first year. However, one is limited to taking 5 credit hours per semester during that first year.
Thanks for sharing!

That 5 credit hour restriction would certainly be a tough sell for my daughter. "You can go to school in paradise, but you can ONLY take 2 classes per semester. You'll have to stave off boredom by surfing all day. Darn."
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by FrugalProfessor »

FiveK wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 12:08 am Depending on her interests and test scores, University of Oklahoma Scholarships might be worthwhile.

Or, if she would get a tuition break due to your position, having her not live at home (to get "the college experience") might be an option....

Good luck!
Thanks for the recommendation on Oklahoma!

She'd indeed get 50% off (the already low) in-state tuition at my university, but I can't blame her for wanting to spread her wings a bit more. I know I grew tremendously by attending school a thousand miles away from home.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by celia »

If you go to a private school, you will be charged the same, whether in-state, out-of-state, or foreign. And it's easier to get merit and financial aid at a private school.

UCLA admitted more students from my son's class than they had done before. But none of them ended up going there as they found it cheaper to go elsewhere. Half of them ended up in privates using grants and scholarships.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Harmanic »

If she wants to go to Utah, BYU is cheap. If she converts to Mormonism, she can get a further 50% discount.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Watty »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:36 pm She is contemplating going out-of-state for college......
....
Am I overlooking any other obvious strategies?
Just say "no"?

What does she want to get a degree in?

It is one thing to go out of state when there is some very desirable college program and you would want to figure out how to pay in state tuition for that desirable degree. For example there might be a good reason to go to Georgia Tech as an out of state student to get a STEM degree.

It makes no sense to me though why you would want to just find some other random state university and go there just because you can get in-state tuition.

Just tell her that you will pay the same that you would if she went to an instate college and anything else is up to her to figure out or pay for herself if she wants to go out of state without a good reason.

I obviously don't know all states but my impression is that all the states have viable accredited colleges that she could go to with instate tuition.

Part of the problem is that even if she can go to some other state university for the same tuition there will be a lot of other expense like most likely she will not be able to stay on your healthcare plan or the family car insurance policy. Flying home for things like Christmas break can be very expensive too since there may not be many cheap flights then.

There will also be the risk of Murphy's law situation like if she gets sick she will not be able to come home if there is a limit on the number of days she can be out of state.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by the_wiki »

Harmanic wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:35 am If she wants to go to Utah, BYU is cheap. If she converts to Mormonism, she can get a further 50% discount.
I wouldn't send my kids there and I live in Utah. College is hard enough without having a nanny "honor code" where you can be kicked out for just doing normal kid things. And 50% off on tuition by paying 10% tithes for life after conversion probably not a winning financial decision. And aside from that, BYU is mainly a commuter school, so community may be lacking for an out of state student.

Utah State University is the only real residential school in Utah. Most students live on or near campus. it has the largest out of state population. It's in a college town. They also have a great out of state merit scholarship program. It's about 90 minutes from a big airport.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by walkabout »

viewtopic.php?t=433927

This long thread from a few weeks ago has a lot of information about, among other things, state schools that offer significant merit aid. If your child has good grades and a good ACT/SAT score, there is a good chance of receiving very large awards (relative to the cost of tuition and room and board).
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by rogue_economist »

Private schools don't differentiate between resident and not which is the way to go
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by rogue_economist »

the_wiki wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:57 am
Harmanic wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:35 am If she wants to go to Utah, BYU is cheap. If she converts to Mormonism, she can get a further 50% discount.
I wouldn't send my kids there and I live in Utah. College is hard enough without having a nanny "honor code" where you can be kicked out for just doing normal kid things. And 50% off on tuition by paying 10% tithes for life after conversion probably not a winning financial decision. And aside from that, BYU is mainly a commuter school, so community may be lacking for an out of state student.

Utah State University is the only real residential school in Utah. Most students live on or near campus. it has the largest out of state population. It's in a college town. They also have a great out of state merit scholarship program. It's about 90 minutes from a big airport.
I would consider an honor code a plus in terms of keeping the kid out of trouble at an out of state college where there is little to no supervision.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by miket29 »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:36 pm * Am I overlooking any other obvious strategies?
Check with HR at your university to see if they have any tuition reciprocity agreements for children of faculty or belong to a consortium that has such agreements. For example https://www.middlebury.edu/human-resour ... dependents This may be less common at public U's than privates, though.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by the_wiki »

rogue_economist wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:11 am
the_wiki wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:57 am
Harmanic wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:35 am If she wants to go to Utah, BYU is cheap. If she converts to Mormonism, she can get a further 50% discount.
I wouldn't send my kids there and I live in Utah. College is hard enough without having a nanny "honor code" where you can be kicked out for just doing normal kid things. And 50% off on tuition by paying 10% tithes for life after conversion probably not a winning financial decision. And aside from that, BYU is mainly a commuter school, so community may be lacking for an out of state student.

Utah State University is the only real residential school in Utah. Most students live on or near campus. it has the largest out of state population. It's in a college town. They also have a great out of state merit scholarship program. It's about 90 minutes from a big airport.
I would consider an honor code a plus in terms of keeping the kid out of trouble at an out of state college where there is little to no supervision.
Going off topic, but It's much deeper than that. Dress codes, permitted facial hair styles, who you are allowed to date, religious adherence rules, etc.
Just want to make sure anyone looking at BYU knows what they are getting into. It's designed to be a school for practicing LDS, and even many LDS students find it stifling.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by calwatch »

Halastrope wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 6:26 am Are there any restrictions or pitfalls when participating in the WUE?
The WUE generally is restricted in terms of popular schools and for majors. For example, in California, the WUE is valid for the lower tier CSUs and UC Merced. Flagships are often excluded, or very limited (i.e. University of Arizona which has two programs eligible). And normally you can't claim residency once you are on the WUE, in the example of Utah, recipients on the WUE will pay that 50% premium for the four years they are part of the program. Based on current rates (https://financialaid.utah.edu/tuition-a ... ndance.php) and Utah's lenient residency rules, either you pay a 180% premium for year one and zero premium for future years, or 50% premium for four years, BUT under Utah law the parents cannot claim the child as a dependent, although that is only $500 for adult children, but may be an issue if there are other credits or benefits where family size is useful.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by srt7 »

Watty wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:20 am
FrugalProfessor wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:36 pm She is contemplating going out-of-state for college......
....
Am I overlooking any other obvious strategies?
Just say "no"?

What does she want to get a degree in?


It is one thing to go out of state when there is some very desirable college program and you would want to figure out how to pay in state tuition for that desirable degree. For example there might be a good reason to go to Georgia Tech as an out of state student to get a STEM degree.

It makes no sense to me though why you would want to just find some other random state university and go there just because you can get in-state tuition.

Just tell her that you will pay the same that you would if she went to an instate college and anything else is up to her to figure out or pay for herself if she wants to go out of state without a good reason.

I obviously don't know all states but my impression is that all the states have viable accredited colleges that she could go to with instate tuition.

Part of the problem is that even if she can go to some other state university for the same tuition there will be a lot of other expense like most likely she will not be able to stay on your healthcare plan or the family car insurance policy. Flying home for things like Christmas break can be very expensive too since there may not be many cheap flights then.

There will also be the risk of Murphy's law situation like if she gets sick she will not be able to come home if there is a limit on the number of days she can be out of state.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by rogue_economist »

the_wiki wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 12:05 pm
rogue_economist wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:11 am
the_wiki wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 10:57 am
Harmanic wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:35 am If she wants to go to Utah, BYU is cheap. If she converts to Mormonism, she can get a further 50% discount.
I wouldn't send my kids there and I live in Utah. College is hard enough without having a nanny "honor code" where you can be kicked out for just doing normal kid things. And 50% off on tuition by paying 10% tithes for life after conversion probably not a winning financial decision. And aside from that, BYU is mainly a commuter school, so community may be lacking for an out of state student.

Utah State University is the only real residential school in Utah. Most students live on or near campus. it has the largest out of state population. It's in a college town. They also have a great out of state merit scholarship program. It's about 90 minutes from a big airport.
I would consider an honor code a plus in terms of keeping the kid out of trouble at an out of state college where there is little to no supervision.
Going off topic, but It's much deeper than that. Dress codes, permitted facial hair styles, who you are allowed to date, religious adherence rules, etc.
Just want to make sure anyone looking at BYU knows what they are getting into. It's designed to be a school for practicing LDS, and even many LDS students find it stifling.
All of those are pretty inconsequential compared to the value of higher education. And they are extremely inconsequential compared to the financial cost of one good sized mistake in college. Getting a DUI or having a kid when you are 20 is going to damage your financial future far more than having to dress halfway respectable or shaving.
For parents that know they can trust their kids its probably not a big benefit, but for others it might be a good insurance policy.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by FrugalProfessor »

Thanks all for the valuable input.

I agree entirely with the sentiment that going to school out of state for the sake of going out of state seems like a foolish proposition. But I have a few rebuttals:

* The flagship school in our state is 5 miles from our house and I teach there. It's not the most appealing option for her but she'll certainly apply. There are slim alternative options in our state.
* I think the amount of personal growth that comes from leaving the nest (and city/state) is a bit underrated. My wife and I were beneficiaries of this as we both went to undergrad a thousand miles from home.
* My daughter has no intention of staying in our sleepy midwest state post-graduation. I don't blame her. Our (geographically large) state has the population of the city where I did grad school.
* Going out of state can be remarkably cheap at the right school. Utah State, for example, provides the following scholarships for non-residents, https://www.usu.edu/admissions/images/N ... ndex_3.png. My friend just sent his kid to USU from New Mexico. He got a good scholarship his freshman year (essentially the very low in-state tuition rate). He qualified for UT residency after his freshman summer. He is studying mechanical engineering and having a good experience so far.

The cheapest option would be for my daughter to live in her bedroom for the next 4 years, utilize my 50% tuition discount, add on any scholarships on top, and maybe go to school for free. That's not a terrible option. She could add some modest expense to this scenario by living on her own to gain some autonomy (and expenses). Or we could pay a relatively modest amount (at the right school), push her out of the nest out-of-state and see if she flies (which I think she will).

I guess I'll see in the next few months how this thing unwinds. Thanks all for your input.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by Watty »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:17 pm * The flagship school in our state is 5 miles from our house and I teach there. It's not the most appealing option for her but she'll certainly apply. ......
......
The cheapest option would be for my daughter to live in her bedroom for the next 4 years, utilize my 50% tuition discount,
There is no reason that she could not live on campus even if she stays in town so she can get the college experience, I recall people doing that when I was in college.

Assuming that your finances are not an issue then many colleges have programs where she could study abroad for a semester or during the summers which would also help her get out of town some. If there is a choice of working summers in some place like Utah or being in Europe for the summer that could be a deciding factor. There are lots of summer programs in the US too where she could travel to other parts of the US to take a six week course during the summer and get some college credits.

That 50% savings would really add up and might also be enough to mostly pay for grad school or a house downpayment for her if you wanted to pass that on to her.

Even if she can get some merit aid at an out of state university that sometimes comes with a requirement that they keep a certain GPA and many kids do not keep it for the full four years. Likewise financial aid may only be good for four years and it may take her longer to graduate so if she needs an extra semester or two that could be expensive and taking more than four years is not uncommon especially if she switches majors. There is a risk that the total cost could turn out to be higher than hoped for so be prepared for that.
FrugalProfessor wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:36 pm but my oldest is a senior in HS this year.
This implies that you also have younger kids too.

Another factor is that you should also figure out how this will work for your other kids.
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Re: States with permissive change-of-residency policies for undergrad?

Post by ncbill »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:17 pm Thanks all for the valuable input.

I agree entirely with the sentiment that going to school out of state for the sake of going out of state seems like a foolish proposition. But I have a few rebuttals:

* The flagship school in our state is 5 miles from our house and I teach there. It's not the most appealing option for her but she'll certainly apply. There are slim alternative options in our state.
* I think the amount of personal growth that comes from leaving the nest (and city/state) is a bit underrated. My wife and I were beneficiaries of this as we both went to undergrad a thousand miles from home.
* My daughter has no intention of staying in our sleepy midwest state post-graduation. I don't blame her. Our (geographically large) state has the population of the city where I did grad school.
* Going out of state can be remarkably cheap at the right school. Utah State, for example, provides the following scholarships for non-residents, https://www.usu.edu/admissions/images/N ... ndex_3.png. My friend just sent his kid to USU from New Mexico. He got a good scholarship his freshman year (essentially the very low in-state tuition rate). He qualified for UT residency after his freshman summer. He is studying mechanical engineering and having a good experience so far.

The cheapest option would be for my daughter to live in her bedroom for the next 4 years, utilize my 50% tuition discount, add on any scholarships on top, and maybe go to school for free. That's not a terrible option. She could add some modest expense to this scenario by living on her own to gain some autonomy (and expenses). Or we could pay a relatively modest amount (at the right school), push her out of the nest out-of-state and see if she flies (which I think she will).

I guess I'll see in the next few months how this thing unwinds. Thanks all for your input.
Or join the National Guard for tuition coverage at public schools in many states.

One of my kids came close to doing so for a flagship, out-of-state public school (though not in UT)

https://ut.ng.mil/RESOURCES/Service-Mem ... -Services/
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