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Kentuckians Use In-State Tuition Agreement More Than Hoosiers

More Kentucky students attend Indiana colleges and universities where they can get in-state tuition than the other way around.Kentucky and Indiana officials have announced that they're extending the agreement that allows students to pay in-state tuition at certain colleges and universities across the Ohio River. The extension was approved by the two states' higher education agencies as its expiration date approached this summer.Five Indiana schools and seven Kentucky schools allow the other state’s students to receive in-state tuition. This allows students living closer to an out-of-state college the option to attend that school.Jason Bearce, associate commissioner at Indiana Commission for Higher Education, says both states monitor where students are going to school to ensure a balance within the reciprocity agreement.In the past four years, more Kentucky students have taken advantage of the program. Student enrollment in both states under the agreement has increased since 2008, when 2,565 Kentucky students and 2,319 Indiana students attended schools in the neighboring state, according to ICHE.In fall 2011, those numbers were 3,224 and 2,236, respectively. Data from Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education shows that more Kentuckians attend participating Hoosier schools, but the CPE’s William Payne says the numbers aren't significant enough to raise concern.“We haven’t seen huge shifts in year to year in terms of the students either going from Kentucky to other states or vice versa. So it’s been relatively stable, but it’s just something we want to keep track of," he says.Payne says there were some changes made to the new agreement that should help close the disparity. “We’re implementing a process now where we’re going to be monitoring that on an annual basis and I think we’ve reached agreement with all of the states that we have reciprocity agreements with that that’s what we’ll be doing in the future," he says.Kentucky has reciprocity agreements with four other states, including Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee and Illinois. Indiana University Southeast Chancellor Sandra R. Patterson-Randles says the agreements are important in states like Indiana and Kentucky, which have lower than average educational attainment.“It’s [the agreement] a major, major contributor to educational attainment for this region and also for economic development,” she says.According to IUS fall 2012 data, there were 2,027 Kentucky students who took advantage of the reciprocity agreement, Patterson-Randles says. Overall about 30 percent of the IUS student body comes from Kentucky, she says. IUS may be a competitor of the University of Louisville in some ways, she says, but IUS offers a different culture more suitable for some students, she says.“It depends on what the student wants. Many first generation college students feel more comfortable on a smaller campus."Individual schools  choose whether to participate in the reciprocity agreement.(Image via Shutterstock)