August 22, 2014

Nebraska colleges making strong effort to attract out-of-state students

Wayne State’s play for South Dakota high school students is just part of the larger effort by Nebraska colleges to reach out-of-state students.

Wayne State is part of the Nebraska State College System. Another member, Peru State, was the first to offer a tuition break for students from other states. Chadron State followed suit.

Nebraska State College System Chancellor Stan Carpenter says the effort grew out of the LR174 Task Force study.

“Part of that task force said to higher education you need to find a way to bring more students from out-of-state into higher education in Nebraska, because we know that a good portion of them will stay here,” Carpenter says.

The Nebraska College System Board of Trustees added South Dakota residents to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact tuition rate of 150% of the in-state tuition rate. That move makes tuition to Wayne State or Chadron State comparable to that of the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University.

Peru State uses the lower out-of-state tuition rate as a pitch primarily to Iowa high school students.

The University of Nebraska-Omaha is making the same move for Iowa high schoolers.

University of Nebraska President J-B Milliken notes UNO began giving graduates in three metropolitan Iowa counties nearby a break on tuition.

“Now, it’s expanded to 10 counties along the western Iowa border,” according to Milliken. “We want to be the four-year college of choice for western Iowa and we think we are having great success with that.”

Under the Metropolitan Advantage Program, UNO students from those bordering counties in western Iowa pay 150% of UNO’s in-state tuition, which makes the cost of UNO competitive with the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa.

MAP started with three Iowa counties: Harrison, Mills and Pottawattamie. It has succeeded in attracting 500 students to UNO from Iowa. It has been expanded to residents in the Iowa counties of Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Shelby and Woodbury.