Editor's note: A previous version of this story accurately reported there were 1,392 MSEP undergraduate students and 694 MSEP graduate students from affected states, according to the university factbook. However, not included in the factbook is the number of students who receive MSEP tuition. Those numbers are 586 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students. The story has been edited to reflect these changes.
The cost of a diploma for some incoming Ball State students just got $47,000 more expensive as Ball State pulled out of two programs granting in-state tuition to out-of-state university students.
As the university plans strategically for Ball State’s future enrollment, it decided not to participate in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) and the Ohio Reciprocity Agreement, said Kathy Wolf, vice president of marketing and communications for Ball State.
“These agreements have previously held us to set rates for tuition,” Wolf said. “Moving forward, it is important for Ball State University to have more flexibility in awarding financial aid to all out of state students.”
Current students who utilize the plans will not be affected by the decision, but students from Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin will no longer be able to apply for these programs after the 2019 spring semester.
There are currently 1,392 MSEP undergraduate students and 694 MSEP graduate students from those affected states enrolled at Ball State. However, of those, only 586 undergraduate and 20 graduate students receive MSEP tuition, Wolf said, because the university requires at least a 3.3 high school GPA to qualify.
For one MSEP undergraduate, Gina Massa, money for college was tight.
“I was considering other schools that would have been much cheaper if I wouldn’t have received in-state tuition, and college was not very affordable to begin with,” the senior social work major from Schaumburg, Illinois, said.
Under the Midwest Student Exchange Program, the total tuition for an out-of-state student is reduced to 150 percent of the total tuition cost for an Indiana resident, rather than paying the full out-of-state fee.
Students applying through the Ohio Reciprocity Agreement could also save more than $66,000 over four years compared to out-of-state rates, depending on which county the student resides in.
Jeff Robinson, Director of Communications for the Ohio Department of Higher Education, said the primary purpose of the reciprocity agreements is to allow students who live on the state border to have access to programs in a neighboring state that may be closer to them than programs in their home state.
The agreements also serve to expand and lower the cost of educational programs for out-of-state students through state collaboration.
Universities can make their own rules for achieving the MSEP and Ohio Reciprocity awards, such as minimum ACT and SAT test scores, maintaining a required GPA or having a limited number of reciprocity recipients.
Here’s how Ball State stacks up to other schools with reciprocity programs:
- Students pay 150 percent of the in-state rate.
- Incoming freshmen must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.75 before enrolling.
- Transfer applicants must have a minimum 2.50 cumulative college GPA from the most recent college upon enrollment.
- The award covers online courses required for a student’s on-campus degree program and summer courses taken on IUPUI’s campus.
Purdue University North Central
- Midwest Student Exchange Program limited to 100 undergraduate students (excluding nursing students) and 25 graduate students
- MSEP tuition is 125 percent of regular in-state tuition
Ball State University
- MSEP reduces tuition for out-of-state students to 150 percent of the tuition cost for an Indiana resident student.
- Students are not allowed to receive both the MSEP award and other scholarships or grants. Students will receive the award with the greatest value.
- The university will provide a transfer student the MSEP benefit if the student achieves the four semesters of eligibility for the Academic Distinction Award and met the MSEP criteria.
- Transfer students must have 3.0 college GPA or higher and 15 transferrable credit hours. Graduate applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Freshman applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.3 or higher.
Contact Adam Pannel with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.