The New England Board of Higher Education’s Regional Student Program (RSP), also known as Tuition Break, provided more than $56 million in tuition savings this academic year to 9,533 participating students, according to the recently published 2013-14 Annual Report of the New England Regional Student Program (RSP).
Among highlights from the 2013-14 RSP annual report:
- Total enrollment in the RSP reached 9,533, up 2% over last year. RSP enrollment at the community colleges increased 6%.
- Participating students and families saved a total $53 million on the year’s tuition bills, with a full-time student saving an average of $7,200.
- New England public colleges and universities received nearly $66 million in tuition revenue from RSP students enrolled at their campuses.
- Four states saw RSP enrollment increases at their public colleges and universities: Rhode Island (21%), Maine (14%), Connecticut (7%) and Vermont (2%).
- Three states saw increases in the number of their residents enrolling under the RSP: Massachusetts (13%), Connecticut (3%) and New Hampshire (1%).
- Undergraduate programs at New England’s state colleges and universities accounted for 52% of RSP enrollment; community colleges, 41%; and graduate programs, 7%.
- Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine saw the highest percentage of their residents enrolled under the RSP in undergraduate programs at the state colleges and universities—76%, 58% and 54%, respectively. New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island saw the highest percentage of their residents enrolled under the RSP at the community colleges—55%, 51% and 46%, respectively.
The annual report provides current and historic data on RSP enrollment by state, institution and program, as well as RSP tuition savings and revenue by state. NEBHE calculated annual 2013-14 data based on a fall 2013 survey of the participating institutions.
Because of the RSP, New England residents are eligible for a tuition break when they enroll at out-of-state public colleges and universities in the six-state region and pursue approved degree programs not offered by their home-state public institutions. In some cases, eligibility extends to students whose home is closer to an out-of-state college than to an in-state college.
More than 750 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered under the RSP, many of them in specialized and high-demand fields. Program offerings expand each year. In 2013, the region’s public colleges and universities approved 33 additional programs:
- Associate degree programs (8): Allied Health Administration, Business Management/International Commerce, Digital Marketing, Environmental Literacy, Fine Woodworking and Cabinetmaking, Integrated Agriculture Management, Mechanical Design Technology, Sustainable Building Technology
- Bachelor’s degree programs (16): Applied Technical Leadership, Business Psychology, Cinema Production, Community Recreation, Digital Media and Design, Ethnic and Gender Studies, Francophone Studies, Game Design, Health Information Systems, Human Rights, Outdoor Recreation Business, Respiratory Therapy, Risk Management and Insurance, Sustainable Business, Wildlife Ecology, Youth Development
- Graduate programs (9): Adventure Therapy (Dual Degree), Educational Coach (6th yr, post-master’s), English: Creative Writing (master’s), Global Studies (PhD), History: Archives (master’s), History: Public History (master’s), Literatures, Cultures and Languages (master’s, PhD), Nursing (BS-DNP), Secondary Education: Pedagogy (M.Ed)
Now in its 57th year, the RSP was established by NEBHE in 1957-58 to fulfill the purposes of the congressionally authorized New England Higher Education Compact: expanding educational opportunities for New England residents and sharing higher education resources. The RSP helps the individual New England states avoid the high costs of establishing and operating academic programs already offered in the six-state region.