Publication Date

July 2003


This paper examines the divergence of interest between universities and state governments concerning standards for admitting in-state versus out-of-state students. We find that public universities set lower minimum admissions standards for in-state than out-of-state applicants, presumably in response to state pressure; while private universities treat both groups equally. However, we also find that favoring in-state applicants goes against states’ long-term financial interest. This is because marginal out-of-state students pay higher tuition than marginal in-state students, pay more in future state taxes, and are equally influenced in whether they locate in the state after graduation by attending public university there.


Suggested Citation
Groen, J. A. and White, M. J. (2003). In-state versus out-of-state students: The divergence of interest between public universities and state governments (CHERI Working Paper #25). Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.