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States with the cheapest in-state public colleges

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Charlie Nguyen // Wikimedia Commons

States with the cheapest in-state public colleges

Paying for college is not an easy task; families often start saving nearly as soon as their children are out of the womb, and some start planning where to live even before that so as to get the best value right in their home state. With the right research and accurate data, however, college planning doesn't have to be a daunting task. To that end, Stacker collected data from the College Board's “Trends in College Pricing 2018” and did some of the work for you.

Stacker ranked each state's public colleges by their cost, from most to least expensive, and used the average out-of-state tuition and fees as a tiebreaker. Where possible, Stacker also included information about the tuition assistance programs available in each state to eligible students, and compared the states' public universities to their private universities of comparable size and scope.

Read on to find out where you can get the most bang for your buck in each state of the union, whether you live there or simply want to spend four years of your life in a new setting.

You may also like: Best value colleges in every state

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Redjar // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Vermont

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $16,610
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $39,400 (#50 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $22,790
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 33%

Vermont is known for its idyllic landscape and skiing—in winter—and it may be for those reasons that it is a big draw to out-of-state students. Only 33% of the state's residents remained in Vermont for college, while out-of-staters were not deterred by the relatively expensive tuition at public universities such as University of Vermont and Castleton State College.

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Millyard800 // Wikimedia Commons

#49. New Hampshire

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $16,460
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $29,170 (#37 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $12,710
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 43%

As compared with Dartmouth College, the most prominent private college in the state and a member of the Ivy League, in-state tuition at one of University of New Hampshire's two campuses is a bargain at a third of the price ($16,000 vs. $49,000 per year). New Hampshire is one of six participating states in the New England Board of Higher Ed's Tuition Break program, which offers tuition assistance to students within those states, attending public universities out-of-state.

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George Chriss // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Pennsylvania

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $14,770
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $27,180 (#34 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $12,410
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 74%

Similarly to New Hampshire, there is a huge gap between the cost of tuition at the state's Ivy League institution, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and the public universities such as University of Pittsburgh and Penn State. Pennsylvanians seeking financial aid for undergraduate education can benefit from the PA State Grant Program funded by PHEAA.

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Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia Commons

#47. New Jersey

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $14,180
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $26,430 (#28 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $12,250
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 90%

There are multiple public universities in New Jersey, including Rutgers, William Paterson, and NJIT, all of which are significantly more affordable than Princeton. There are a variety of loan redemption programs that you can read more about at HESAA.org.

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Ken Lund // flickr

#46. Illinois

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $13,970
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $26,470 (#29 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $12,500
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 86%

Of the midwestern states, Illinois offers more than usual financial aid to non-veteran students. Some of their programs include the MAP (Monetary Award Program) and the HELP (Higher Education License Plate award program). Both programs offer need-based grants to undergraduates attending college in Illinois.

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Jayron32 // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Virginia

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $13,490
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $33,640 (#48 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $20,150
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 78%

In addition to offering an affordable selection of public colleges and universities at a variety of locations throughout the state, Virginia offers tuition assistance grants to students who choose to enroll at private colleges or universities. These $3,000 awards are non-need-based.

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Andrew Horne // GoodFreePhotos

#44. Michigan

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $13,420
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $36,000 (#49 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $22,580
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 80%

The biggest public university, and arguably the best value in the state, is the University of Michigan. Whether or not you cheer for the blue and gold, you can apply for tuition assistance through a program called TIP if you live in the state of Michigan and are receiving Medicaid.

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Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Massachusetts

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $13,200
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $29,180 (#38 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $15,980
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 84%

Though Massachusetts is best known for private colleges in Boston such as Harvard and Boston University, there are a plethora of public options throughout the state, most notably those in the UMass network. Students with demonstrated financial need can apply for aid through MASSGrant.

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Mike Burton // flickr

#42. South Carolina

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $12,950
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $32,150 (#46 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $19,200
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 62%

There are a variety of public universities in South Carolina, including Clemson, Charleston, and Coastal Carolina University. Students attending selected in-state colleges can apply for need-based grants through a state-funded program.

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John9474 // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Connecticut

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $12,760
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $32,560 (#47 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $19,800
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 82%

In Connecticut, your best bet is the state university UConn, which has locations including Storrs, Avery Point, Stamford, and Hartford, among others. When you're not cheering on the basketball team at Storrs or pursuing your studies, you can rest easy knowing you are saving nearly $20,000 per year as compared to out-of-state attendees at the institution.

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Cargoudel // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Delaware

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $12,700
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $31,680 (#45 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $18,980
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 37%

The smaller size of Delaware means there are fewer colleges and universities in the state, and there are only two public institutions. Whether you choose to attend Delaware State or the University of Delaware, you may be eligible for the need-based Scholarship Incentive Program (ScIP) administered by the Delaware Department of Education.

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Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Rhode Island

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $12,530
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $28,780 (#35 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,250
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 53%

Rhode Island is small but mighty when it comes to its concentration of colleges and universities, especially in the Providence area, which is home to Brown University, Johnson and Wales, and Rhode Island School of Design to name a few. Options with in-state tuition include the University of Rhode Island (also in Providence) and Rhode Island College in neighboring Kingston. Tuition assistance is available for current National Guard members pursuing a college degree at either URI, RIC, or CCRI.

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Steve548 // GoodFreePhotos

#38. Arizona

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $11,540
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $30,550 (#41 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $19,010
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 58%

Arizona residents who stay in state for college save nearly $20,000 per year as compared to students attending the same schools from out of state. Eligible options for these students include the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.

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Alexius Horatius // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Minnesota

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $11,540
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,020 (#16 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $11,480
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 74%

A large percentage of Minnesotans choose to remain in state for college—one of the higher percentages on this list at 74%. With tuition averaging around $11,000 per year while some elite private institutions have climbed as high as $50,000 per year, staying close to go to the University of Minnesota or Minnesota State seems like a sensible decision.

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Rainer Ebert // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Colorado

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $11,140
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $30,390 (#40 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $19,250
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 73%

Colorado entices its students to stay in state with a generous College Opportunity Fund stipend that is available on a non-need basis to students attending participating colleges. Some of the public universities eligible for this grant include University of Colorado (at three locations), Colorado State University, and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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Dtg84 // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Alabama

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $10,870
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $26,730 (#31 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $15,860
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 60%

Like many other states on this list, Alabama offers a combination of state and federal aid options for students attending college in state. At its public institutions such as Alabama State University, Auburn University, and Alabama A&M, students may be eligible for a need-based grant through the Alabama Student Assistance Program as well as federal aid such as PELL grants.

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Rachel // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Hawaii

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $10,800
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $31,090 (#43 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $20,290
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 71%

The University of Hawaii dominates the islands as the only public institution in the state. Its flagship location, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, offers scholarships for academic merit as well as research and study abroad opportunities.

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Sam Howzit // flickr

#33. Ohio

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $10,790
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $24,880 (#25 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,090
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 79%

There is no shortage of public universities in Ohio: the list includes Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, and Kent State, each of which serve 20,000 students or more. Bowling Green and Miami University of Ohio are slightly smaller, serving roughly 15,000 students each. As compared to big-name liberal arts schools such as Oberlin and Kenyon, each of which have student bodies of around 3,000, these schools are behemoths.

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Brett Streutker // GoodFreePhotos

#32. Kentucky

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $10,710
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $24,730 (#24 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,020
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 73%

In Kentucky, schools such as the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville are popular among in-state residents with 73% of first-year students coming from the state in 2016. Undergraduates at in-state schools may be eligible for need-based aid through the College Assistance Program (CAP) administered by the state's Higher Education Administration.

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Visitor7 // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Oregon

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $10,610
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $30,750 (#42 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $20,140
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 61%

Students attending college in Oregon who are also Oregon residents may be eligible for the Oregon Promise grant or the Oregon Opportunity Grant to help cover their education-related costs. The University of Oregon and Portland State University are two of the state's large public universities, serving approximately 25.000 students each.

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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Texas

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $10,300
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $26,790 (#32 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,490
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 94%

The University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech are a few of the public university options available to in-state students, who overwhelmingly (94%) choose to remain close to home for college. This may be due to the generous College for All Texans program, which provides tuition remission for eligible students attending in-state public colleges.

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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Maine

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $10,230
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $27,170 (#33 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,940
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 68%

As a nod to the aging population—and aging workforce—in Maine, the state has started a program designed to alleviate student debt to encourage college grads to live and work in the state. Those choosing to attend college there can attend Bates or Bowdoin, two well-known liberal arts colleges, but the University of Maine's multiple locations are a cheaper option for in-state students.

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The Peep Holes // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Tennessee

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,950
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $25,130 (#26 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $15,180
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 85%

Students choosing to stay in Tennessee for college may be eligible for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program (TSAA), which offers grant aid for college at a rate of up to $4,000 per academic year. Some of the public universities in the state include the University of Tennessee, which has multiple locations, Tennessee State, and the University of Memphis.

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Bgervais // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Maryland

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,900
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,930 (#22 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,030
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 74%

Just outside of the nation's capital exists an abundance of affordable options for Maryland students seeking an affordable education. University of Maryland's College Park campus is its flagship location, but it also has outposts in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore. There are a number of grants and scholarships available and outlined on the Maryland Higher Education Commission's website.

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Charlie Nguyen // Wikimedia Commons

#26. California

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,870
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $31,360 (#44 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $21,490
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 89%

The state of California is known for its beaches, laid-back attitude, and excellent state university system; from Berkeley to CalTech, there are many options available for students who are able to gain entrance to these institutions at a fraction of the cost of Stanford or Pomona. It's no wonder that 89% of California students choose to remain in state for college.

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Meganp // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Washington

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,760
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $29,790 (#39 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $20,030
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 79%

The University of Washington has campuses in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. A public research university, its main location in Seattle is home to a robust array of programs including strong science, business, medical, and engineering coursework. Washington's State Need Grant offers up to $9,475 as of the 2018–2019 school year for students at public universities in the state.

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Jcarriere // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Louisiana

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,550
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $22,200 (#13 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $12,650
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 87%

Some of the most affordable options in Louisiana for college are large state universities such as Louisiana State, University of Louisiana, and University of New Orleans. These schools and others participate in the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) award program to help defray the cost of tuition.

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Max Pixel

#23. Indiana

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,490
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $28,980 (#36 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $19,490
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 73%

There are eight campuses of Indiana University, including its flagship campus at Bloomington. This school, and other public institutions such as Purdue, administers benefits for veterans or children of veterans through the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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Arnhem // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Kansas

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,100
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,040 (#17 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $13,940
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 71%

There are six state universities in Kansas, including Kansas State and University of Kansas. If they meet certain financial requirements, students who are residents of Kansas attending one of these schools or one of the 18 private universities in the state may be eligible for the Kansas Comprehensive Grant to help with their tuition costs.

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Max Pixel

#21. Wisconsin

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,080
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,850 (#20 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,770
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 72%

There are an impressive 170,000 students at any given time attending school at the University of Wisconsin's 26 campuses, including the school's flagship location in Madison. Students attending from in-state may be eligible for a variety of aid, including grants, scholarships and loans through the state's Higher Educational Aids Board.

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marchinileo0 // Pixabay

#20. Iowa

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $9,080
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $26,550 (#30 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $17,470
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 58%

University of Iowa, Iowa State, and the University of Northern Iowa are the three options for public universities in Iowa. The Iowa National Guard Education Assistance Program may be used by eligible students in conjunction with other awards such as the GI Bill.

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Center for Teaching Excellence // flickr

#19. Oklahoma

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,750
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $22,420 (#15 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $13,670
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 70%

The Sooner State offers the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant to eligible students who choose to remain in state to attend college. They may attend a variety of the University of Oklahoma campuses or Oklahoma State University among others.

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Intrepidsfsu // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Arkansas

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,710
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $21,410 (#9 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $12,700
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 72%

With in-state tuition costing less than $9,000 per year, Arkansas students have a bargain in their backyard with schools such as the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State. Their peers from around the country get a good value as well, as the average out-of-state tuition is the ninth-cheapest on this list.

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Jack Boucher // Wikimedia Commons

#17. South Dakota

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,690
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $12,160 (#1 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $3,470
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 56%

South Dakota State and University of South Dakota students who are members of the National Guard may be eligible for tuition discounts. Their peers from out-of-state get good bang for their buck, as the tuition at the state's public colleges is the lowest in the country for out-of-state residents.

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Rough Tough, Real Stuff // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Missouri

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,670
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $20,220 (#5 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $11,550
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 76%

Similar to South Dakota, students who are members of the Missouri National Guard may be eligible for tuition discounts at University of Missouri or Missouri State. The average out-of-state tuition, at $20,220, is the fifth-lowest in the country.

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Brianna Glaus // Wikimedia Commons

#15. North Dakota

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,660
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $16,190 (#2 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $7,530
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 40%

University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, and Minot State University are a few of the public universities that North Dakota residents can choose to attend for an in-state tuition discount of $7,500 on average. There are also tuition assistance programs available for students in a number of branches of the military.

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Skapunkskatedude // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Georgia

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,580
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $25,160 (#27 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,580
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 87%

Atlanta is home to top-ranked Emory University, but for those looking for a more affordable option, the University of Georgia or Georgia State may do just as well. The State of Georgia also runs a tuition assistance program (TAP) for students who qualify.

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Kiley // flickr

#13. Nebraska

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,510
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $22,190 (#12 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $13,680
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 76%

Nebraska residents wishing to remain in state for college can choose to attend one of the multiple locations of the University of Nebraska. This may be the cheapest option for those seeking financial aid, as the CollegeBound Nebraska program runs exclusively at the University of Nebraska for PELL grant recipients.

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Ken Lund // flickr

#12. Mississippi

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,420
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $21,890 (#10 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $13,470
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 53%

Mississippi is quite generous with the funding it offers to students attending college in state: The state provides $40 million to students each year through programs such as the HELP, MTAG, and MSEG grant programs. Students can choose to attend school at University of Mississippi or Mississippi State, among others.

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Ryan Stanton // flickr

#11. West Virginia

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,290
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $22,380 (#14 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,090
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 63%

Institutions in West Virginia such as West Virginia University and West Virginia State offer tuition assistance to National Guard members through the West Virginia Educational Encouragement Program (WVEEP). These schools cost on average slightly more than $8,000 for students in state and $22,000 for out-of-state attendees.

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Nikopoley // Wikimedia Commons

#10. New York

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,190
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $20,030 (#4 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $11,840
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 92%

With such a robust network of public colleges and universities in the State University of New York System (SUNY) system, it's no wonder that so many (92%) New York State students choose to stay in state for college. Unlike many other public university systems that have large campuses of 15,000 students or more, the SUNY system has a range of campus sizes from Geneseo (5,500 students) to Buffalo (21,000 students). Aid is available through the state's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

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Mike Czyzewski // flickr

#9. Alaska

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $7,820
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,990 (#23 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,170
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 92%

The University of Alaska system looms large here with three locations in the state. Other options include Alaska Pacific University, a private college, but tuition costs significantly more than at the public university system. The Alaska Education Grant is available to eligible students attending participating post-secondary schools within the state.

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Ken Lund // flickr

#8. Nevada

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $7,660
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $21,890 (#10 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,230
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 77%

Some of the public universities in Nevada—at an average cost of less than $8,000 per year—included the University of Nevada and Nevada State University. The state participates in a prepaid tuition plan, or 529 plan, to make college more affordable.

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Apstrinka // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Idaho

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $7,590
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,720 (#18 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,130
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 69%

Schools in Idaho such as Idaho State, University of Idaho, and Boise State offer reduced tuition to qualifying students who are members of the National Guard through the GI Bill and Federal Tuition Assistance. Sixty-nine percent of Idaho students chose to remain in state for college in 2016 and take advantage of the fact that college costs on average less than $8,000 per year.

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Caroline Culler // Wikimedia Commons

#6. North Carolina

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $7,220
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,860 (#21 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,640
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 87%

Tar Heels fans and research aficionados are no doubt familiar with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its affiliate institutions, North Carolina State and Duke University. At a fraction of the cost of Duke, North Carolinians would be wise to remain in state if possible and attend Chapel Hill for the combination of high-stakes basketball and world-class research.

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Eugene Kim // flickr

#5. New Mexico

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $7,130
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $20,790 (#6 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $13,660
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 79%

University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University remain big draws for the state's residents with 79% choosing to remain there for college. At $20,000 per year, these institutions are also affordable to out-of-staters as they offer the sixth-cheapest rate for out-of-state tuition in the country.

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Tim Evanson // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Montana

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $7,100
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $23,830 (#19 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $16,730
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 60%

Montana State University and the University of Montana are the two dominant public colleges in the state. Some scholarships are available from the Montana Board of Regents, including the Montana University System Honors Scholarship, which provides up to $20,000 in aid over four years to recipients.

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Phanatic10 // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Utah

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $6,990
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $21,100 (#8 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,110
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 76%

If you're a National Guard member seeking to attend college in Utah, you're in luck. There is a Utah National State Guard Tuition Waiver Program that will cover the full cost of tuition at Utah public colleges or universities such as Utah State or the University of Utah.

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Looking for an A // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Florida

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $6,360
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $20,840 (#7 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $14,480
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 85%

Florida's Students Assistance Program (SAP) may be used at many of the state's public colleges or universities, such as Florida State or University of Florida. The lottery-funded Bright Futures Scholarship is an appealing option for high-achieving students graduating from high school.

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Allan Henderson // flickr

#1. Wyoming

- Average in-state tuition and fees: $5,400
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $17,490 (#3 cheapest)
- Difference between in-state and out-of-state: $12,090
- 2016 first-year students who were state residents: 51%

Wyoming is home to the cheapest in-state tuition in the country, averaging just $5,400 per year. Students at the public universities there, such as the University of Wyoming, may still be eligible for further discounts if they have National Guard experience.

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