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Midwest Student Exchange Program helps students go out-of-state


The map above illustrates the eight of twelve Midwestern states currently participating in the Midwest Student Exchange Program.

As the time draws near for high school seniors to finalize what college to attend in the fall, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the decision – cost being the most prominent. Oftentimes students are forced to choose another college based on the price tag; whether it’s not having enough money, not receiving enough aid or not wanting to be in even more debt than originally planned.

For students looking into neighboring out-of-state schools but hate thinking about the out-of-state tuition fee, consider looking into the Midwest Student Exchange Program. The MSEP, in short, is a program that helps out-of-state students of the Midwest get a break on their out-of-state fees. Currently, eight out of twelve schools in the Midwest are participants. Surprisingly, good ole’ Illinois does not participate. Neither do Iowa, South Dakota or Ohio; however, some schools do accept students from the non-participating states.

There are currently 147 schools participating in MSEP. According to its web site, MSEP claims to save students between $500 and $3,000 each school year by having public institutions charge no more than 150% of its state resident tuition rate and having private universities lower their rate by 10%. While this all sounds fantastic there is a catch or two to the wonders of the MSEP program. Some schools only take a certain amount of students per year and some only take those that match a certain criteria. There are also certain schools that won’t take students from certain states. For example, the University of Kansas will not accept students from Illinois. The University of Missouri will accept students from Illinois, but the MSEP does not apply to those that wish to enroll in the university’s School of Journalism. As a heads-up, universities tend to eliminate their more prestigious Schools from the equation; Mizzou and its School of Journalism, KU and its School of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Also, if a student is MSEP eligible at their university but already enrolled ie: a college freshman, sophomore or junior, usually the school will not allow the student to jump on the MSEP train at that point. While it sounds extremely complicated to be able to use the MSEP for college – well, it probably is. But unfortunately that is the case with a lot of programs willing to give this kind of financial aid. For those that are looking into a participating out-of-state school do not hesitate trying to use the MSEP because unless colleges and universities have become more generous in handing out full rides – they have not – everyone can use a little help these days.

For more info: Study up on the MSEP web site, speak to a representative from your college of choice or talk to your academic advisor.

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