Going to Extremes To Cut College Costs

Many teenagers that I meet would love to attend a public university outside their state – or at least they think they would.
Out here in California, teenagers seem to be particularly interested in other flagships in the West – University of Colorado, University of Washington and University of Oregon.
Of course, plenty of teenagers in places where it’s currently cold, snowy and miserable dream about attending UCLA, UC Berkeley or the UC campuses in  San Diego or Santa Barbara. University of Arizona is another popular spot for snowbelt escapees.

Out-of-State Tuition Surprise

What families often don’t realize is that attending out-of-state public universities can be outrageously expensive. The non-resident costs at a public flagship can easily equal a private school tuition. Some public universities discount their prices for out-of-state students, but the top flagships usually only dispense their money to nonresidents with impeccable academic credentials. Frankly, it’s easier to get money from private colleges than public flagships if your child isn’t a superstar.
What’s more, some flagships don’t award out-of-state students any price cuts no matter how gifted they are.  The University of Washington and the University of California campuses fall into that category.
So what kind of prices are we talking about for nonresidents?

A State School as Expensive as Harvard

Here’s a shocking example: the tuition and room and board that nonresidents at UC Berkeley are paying this year is just $75 less than Harvard’s price tag of $50,724! Check out The Chronicle of Higher Education story on UC Berkeley making into the 50k club:

Public University Joins the Expanding 50K Club of College Prices

I’m bringing this up today because I wrote a post today for my college blog at CBS MoneyWatch on dishonest students, who had failed to qualify for  in-state tuition at UC Berkeley.
These students, however, discovered how to game the system. The UC students got hitched in sham weddings, according to an article in The Bay Citizen. Here is an excerpt from my CBS MoneyWatch post:
The Bay Citizen interviewed a woman who married a female friend during the period when gay marriages in California were legal. Both of them are straight. Another student married a childhood friend, who brought along his real girlfriend. Another student found a groom through a post on Facebook.
The newspaper found nine couples who entered into fraudulent marriages and I’m sure there are more. You can read more about this phenomenon by reading my post:

Cutting College Costs: Marrying a Stranger

For those of you who would like to shrink out-of-state tuition costs legitimately, here are three posts:
4 Ways to Cut the Cost of an Out-of-State University
Cutting the Price of Out-of-State Universities

How to Get In-State Tuition

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