KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Out-of-state students are becoming increasingly important at universities in Kansas and Missouri, which are searching for ways to offset rising costs and cuts in state funding for higher education.
About 35 percent of the University of Missouri’s freshmen this fall are from outside the state, more than double the 17 percent 10 years ago. And this year, for the first time, Missouri received more applications from other states than from Missouri residents.
An influx of nonresident students and applications from other states also has been recorded at the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and University of Missouri-Kansas City, The Kansas City Star reported Monday.
The universities are recruiting more out-of-state students in part because nonresident students typically pay at least twice as much in tuition as residents, which helps the schools’ operating budgets.
For example, tuition made up a quarter of Missouri’s operating budget 20 years ago. Today, it accounts for 60 percent. Tuition at Missouri for a state resident taking 14 credit hours is $9,272 a year. For an out-of-state or international student, it’s $22,440.
“It helps us balance our budget,” Vice Provost Ann Korschgen said. “If we had not brought in more out-of-state students, maybe we would be laying off people. It’s extra millions of dollars. Huge.”
Missouri’s 10,634 out-of-state applications this year are up 2,300 from the previous year, Korschgen said. Overall, non-residents make up 30 percent of Missouri’s student body.
Nonresidents are becoming more important to Kansas colleges as well, where enrollment of in-state students at the state’s six public universities declined by 1.7 percent from 2005 to 2010. During the same time, out-of-state students increased by more than 25 percent, according to the Kansas Board of Regents.
The University of Kansas had more nonresident than resident applications this year.
“Out-of-state applications are up everywhere over the last three or four years,” said Matt Melvin, Kansas’ vice provost for enrollment management. “Applying online makes it easier for students to apply to six, sometimes a dozen, different schools.”
Out-of-state interest in Kansas State University also has been growing.
“We have experienced record applications and enrollment from out-of-state students for the last six years,” said Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and the dean of students at Kansas State. He said the university has increased its international undergraduate enrollment from 200 to about 600 over that time.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City has seen a 12.6 percent increase this year in applications from out-of-state students, not including those students from nearby Kansas counties, who pay in-state tuition. Over the past 10 years, Missouri-Kansas City’s student body has gone from 14 percent out of state and international to 33 percent.