Through Tuition Break, aka the Regional Student Program (RSP), students become eligible to pay a significantly lower tuition rate, instead of the regular out-of-state tuition, when they enroll in approved programs at out-of-state public colleges and universities within New England. The actual tuition rates and savings vary by institution, but full-time students saved an average of $8,000 on their annual tuition bills last academic year.
More than 100 additional undergraduate and graduate programs were approved for eligibility through an annual program review, conducted by NEBHE earlier this year and engaging all of New England’s participating public colleges and universities.
The newly approved programs include a number of specialized or unique academic programs, which are offered by only one or a few institutions, such as:
- Music Therapy, offered by the University of Rhode Island, a first-of-its-kind program at New England public higher education institutions (HEIs). Residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont are eligible through Tuition Break, with a full-time student expected to save an estimated $7,700 on their annual tuition bill.
- Public Utilities Management, offered by Southern Connecticut State University and also a unique program. Residents of the five other New England states are eligible through Tuition Break, with a full-time student expected to save an estimated $8,800 on their annual tuition bill. A similar program on the associate degree level is offered through Tuition Break by Gateway Community College (Conn.)
- Global Language and Area Studies, offered by the University of Rhode Island and approved for residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Students can choose one of three tracks: Arabic Studies, Classical Studies or Japanese Studies.
- International Studies and Diplomacy, offered by the University of Rhode Island and approved for residents of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Students must complete two majors, one in International Studies and another in an approved language, and also study abroad in an approved setting for at least one semester. Program graduates will be ready for careers in foreign service, diplomacy, multilateral and non-governmental organizations, and other international careers.
- Esports Management, offered by Central Maine Community College, a unique associate program, approved for residents of the five other New England states.
- Surgical Physiology, offered by the University of Connecticut, a unique master’s program, approved for residents of the five other New England states.
- Horticulture, offered by the University of Maine, a master’s program, approved for residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Examples of other new bachelor’s programs include Adulthood and Aging at the University of Maine at Farmington, Computational and Applied Mathematical Sciences at Plymouth State University (N.H.), Cybersecurity at Central Connecticut State University, Data Science at the University of New Hampshire and University of Rhode Island, Health and Wellness at Framingham State University, Mass. and Theatre Education at Bridgewater State University, Mass.
Examples of other new associate programs include Cloud Services IT at Manchester Community College, N.H. and Springfield Technical Community College, Mass., Facilities Maintenance and Management at Central Maine Community College, and Pharmacy at Mount WachusettCommunity College, Mass.
More flexible programs offered in 2020-21
The growth in number of program offerings is partly attributed to increased participation by some colleges and universities in the “Flexible” programs policy. Approved for eligibility starting with the 2019-20 academic year, the Flexible option allows four-year institutions to offer any of their programs to residents of all other New England states. Previously only community colleges had this option. The institutions choosing to allow this option for 2020-21 include: 13 colleges and universities offering selected or all bachelor’s programs and nine institutions offering selected or all graduate programs.
NEBHE’s website features multiple options to learn about Tuition Break
- New this year! State landing pages to view programs approved for the residents of each state: Connecticut • Maine • Massachusetts • New Hampshire • Rhode Island • Vermont
- Direct links to information on every institution, including their list of approved programs for 2020-21, contact information and 2019-20 tuition rates and savings.
- A searchable database of all program offerings
- 2020-21 Undergraduate Tuition Break Catalog
- 2020-21 Graduate Tuition Break Catalog
- Frequently Asked Questions, such as “how does a student apply?”
NEBHE promotes Tuition Break to high school guidance offices, college and financial aid advisors, public libraries, colleges and legislators, as well as students and families throughout New England. Tuition Break was established by NEBHE in 1957 as the Regional Student Program to enable cost-savings and resource-sharing among the six New England states to advance higher education opportunities for the region’s residents.
Wendy A. Lindsay is senior director of NEBHE’s Tuition Break (Regional Student Program).