Tuition Break Eligibility and FAQs

If your question is not answered below, please contact us by email at or telephone at 857-284-4879.

Who is eligible for Tuition Break?

Permanent residents of the six New England states—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont—enrolled in an eligible academic program or major at one of New England's public community colleges and universities. Residents of other states (e.g., New York, New Jersey) are not eligible for Tuition Break.

How does a student qualify for Tuition Break?

As a permanent resident of a New England state, a student is eligible for Tuition Break when enrolled in a degree program offered by a specific public college or university in another New England state. Approved degree programs (associate, bachelor’s and graduate) for residents of each New England state are listed on the Find a Program page.

Can a student be eligible if an out-of-state college is closer to their home?

Some colleges allow students to be eligible based on the proximity of their home to the college. These colleges are flagged with [P]. Approval is made at the discretion of the institution. Students need to confirm their eligibility with the college’s admissions office. Refer to Tuition Break Policies: Proximity-Based Programs of Study [3B2].

How does a student apply to enroll in an approved degree program?

A student first determines that a program is offered through Tuition Break by the college or university where they wish to enroll. A student then completes the college’s application for admission and declares the Tuition Break degree program as their intended area of study. Once accepted to the college, a student should confirm that the college or university has granted Tuition Break status.

Note: Some programs may have special requirements or may not be available to freshman students. NEBHE does not require a separate application.

How are degree programs approved for Tuition Break status?

Undergraduate and graduate majors are approved for Tuition Break status on an annual basis. The colleges and universities determine which programs will be eligible. Program eligibility and availability vary depending on the college.

Many colleges allow eligibility only for programs that are not offered in a student's home state, according to the Specialized Programs of Study Policy [3B1].

Certain colleges allow eligibility for residents of all five other New England states, and eligibility is not dependent on the program not being offered in the student's home state. These programs and colleges are flagged with [F] to indicate they are made available under the Flexible Policy [3B2].

Eligible programs are published on NEBHE's website under Find a Program.

Can a student already enrolled at a college declare a Tuition Break major at that college?

Usually. An enrolled student needs to contact the registrar and/or the college’s Tuition Break campus representative, listed in our Tuition Break database, under Find a Program.

What happens if a student changes from an approved Tuition Break major to one not approved?

The student will be charged the full out-of-state tuition rate from that point forward.

How much of a discount is provided by Tuition Break?

The average annual tuition savings per full-time Tuition Break student is currently $8,600. Tuition Break allows an eligible student to pay a lower tuition rate, that is significantly less than out-of-state tuition. The rate is based on a percentage (up to a maximum of 175 percent) of a college’s in-state rate. Example: In-state tuition = $6,000; Out-of-state tuition = $18,000; Regional tuition = $10,500 (discount of $7,500). Current rates are available on the Data & Reports page, as well as on the individual colleges’ websites.

Why are certain programs, which aren’t offered in a student’s home state, not offered under Tuition Break?

Sometimes a college or university decides not to offer certain majors, such as high-demand programs, through Tuition Break. Also, a few programs are not offered by any New England public college (Examples: Professional Golf Management, Aerospace Engineering) and therefore are not available through Tuition Break.

What happens if a college decides to discontinue offering a major through Tuition Break?

If a college withdraws a major from Tuition Break, but still offers the major, students currently enrolled through Tuition Break are grandfathered as long as they continuously pursue the program and required courses.

Can Tuition Break be used to attend a private college or a college outside New England?

No. Tuition Break is only available at New England’s two-year and four-year state colleges and universities.

Is a Tuition Break-eligible student eligible to apply for financial aid?

Yes. A student should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any financial aid applications required by the college(s) in order to be considered for any type of financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans and/or work-study). Tuition Break is a tuition discount and not a scholarship or grant.

Financial aid is awarded based on need and/or merit at the discretion of the institution. Note: If a student has been accepted for admission and received a financial aid award prior to declaring a Tuition Break program as his/her intended major, the institution may revise the financial aid award. Note: There is no guarantee that a student’s Tuition Break status will provide an additional discount; however, it should not result in a net increase in out-of-pocket expenses.

Click here to access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Click here to view a list of Financial Aid Resources.

How long has Tuition Break existed?

The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) established Tuition Break in 1957-58, known originally as the New England Regional Student Program (RSP). All of New England’s public colleges and universities participate in Tuition Break. Tuition Break has helped New England families with discounts on more than 300,000 annual tuition bills.

Tuition Break Policies

Tuition Break Policies
Click here to download the policies in PDF format. (Note: The policies are also listed in the annual catalogs.)

Preguntas Frecuentes (FAQs in Spanish)