Going for dollars, public universities are taking more out-of-state students

Gigi Douban May 1, 2013

Going for dollars, public universities are taking more out-of-state students

Gigi Douban May 1, 2013

Deposits are due today for students wanting a spot at their college of choice this fall. And for many state public universities, an increasing number of those students will be coming from other states. That means those schools collect much higher tuition.

In-state tuition at the University of Wisconsin Madison, for example, is just over $10,000. Non-residents pay $26,000. In spite of that, out-of-state enrollment there keeps growing.

“So even though we’re seeing a significant growth in interest in international and out-of-state students, we really are looking at enrolling as many Wisconsin students as we can,” says Joanne Berg, vice provost for enrollment management at the university.

She says the University of Wisconsin has a cap on its percentage of out-of-state undergrads. But that ceiling went up this year, from 25 percent to 26.5 percent.

The risk, some say, is shutting out low-income students. Bradley Curs teaches higher education at the University of Missouri, where he recently did a study on the out-of-state enrollment at public universities.

“So we sort of expected that if you bring in more out of state students, you’re more likely to be bringing in more wealthy affluent students,” Curs says, “and we find that finding pretty strong.”

On the other hand, he says, a midwestern school like Wisconsin almost needs to look out of state to diversify its student body.

Education database compiler and provider Wintergreen Orchard House lists the rates of out-of-state enrollment at public universities. Here’s a brief selection from around the country, check out the full list here.

Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ): 23%

Clemson University (Clemson, SC): 29%

College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA): 32%

George Mason University (Fairfax, VA): 11%

University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA): 38%

Kent State University (Kent, OH): 11%

Mississippi State University (Mississippi State, MS): 21%

Pennsylvania State University — University Park (University Park, PA): 29%

Purdue University — West Lafayette (West Lafayette, IN): 30%

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey — New Brunswick (Piscataway, NJ): 7.3%

Texas A&M University — College Station (College Station, TX): 3%

The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX): 5%

University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA): 10%

University of Delaware (Newark, DE): 59%

University of Georgia (Athens, GA): 9%

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (Champaign, IL): 7%

University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD): 23%

University of Michigan — Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI): 36%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC): 18%


We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.