Reader Question: Saving Money on Tuition and Housing

Reader and parent Krystie posted a question regarding ways for nonresident students to save money on both tuition and dorm fees.

My son has recently started attending college in another state from where we live. We live in California, he is attending college in Idaho. He is currently attending a community college that has many of the same features as a 4-year college, such as dormitories. Are there any hints you can give me to get the tuition and dorm fees reduced for an out-of-state student? The admissions office told us about a WUE form that provides students from other “Western” States with a $950 credit. He is currently staying with a family member but we would like to get him into a dorm. Thanks for your help.

Great question, Krystie.

In response, I have written a new article entitled, How to Pay In-State Tuition at Out-of-State Schools. In addition to the recommendations I have made there, staying in contact with the admissions and financial aid offices at your son's college is always one of the best ways to discover money-saving opportunities.

As far as dorms, I don't know of any special way to save on these costs for nonresident students. To the best of my knowledge, universities charge uniform fees for on-campus housing without regard to residency status. Depending on his exact location in Idaho, the cost of living off-campus may be lower than living in a dorm (as is frequently the case with colleges who have expensive meal plans). If your son lives with a few of his peers and resolves to prepare his own meals each evening, he could save a lot of money this way.

I hope this has been helpful. Best of luck to you and to your son!

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