Seeking students, public colleges reduce out-of-state prices

As high school seniors and their families try to decide where they might afford a college education, they might take a fresh look at out-of-state schools. The Associated Press has counted at least 50 public colleges and universities nationwide that have lowered nonresident tuition by more than 10 percent in recent years without making similar reductions for in-state students.

The idea is to reverse declining enrollments and attract enough students to raise revenues overall. The trend is particularly pronounced at public universities that have been squeezed by declining rural populations and drastic budget cuts by state governments.

The University of Southern Mississippi has joined this trend, sharply reducing out of state tuition while increasing the price for home-state students by 4 percent.