APSU is looking to promote campus diversity by cutting out-of-state tuition by nearly half.

Traditionally, out-of-state tuition rates have been $11,000 per semester but a new rate approved by Austin Peay’s Board of Trustees nearly cuts that amount in half to just under $6,200 for 12 credit hours.

Rex Gandy, APSU provost, recommended the 43.5% out-of-state tuition reduction.

He believed it would promote diversity by attracting new students from other states who have their own unique, cultures, perspectives and knowledge.

“For the Fall 2018 semester, 87.5% of our enrollments were in-state students and 12.5% out-of-state students. If we can increase the percentage of out-of-state students, this will make for a more diverse student experience for all of our students,” Bill Persinger, Director of APSU Public Relations and Marketing said.

Aside from diversity, Persinger also believes the tuition reduction could increase APSU’s growth in terms of enrollment and recognition.

APSU is already experiencing significant growth currently having had a 4.7% enrollment increase in the fall of 2018, making it the fastest-growing public university in the state.

That fall the university also experienced a record enrollment with 10,954 students, including a 23% increase in out-of-state students.

“Many out-of-state students will return to their home after college. This expands the geographical reach of Austin Peay State University over time creating broader brand recognition that will help the University grow over time, both numerically and culturally,” Persinger said.

Offsetting the cost of the tuition reduction Persinger explained would not be difficult as proven by similar programs implemented in the past.

Last year, under a similar program named 250R, APSU grew by 100 students. 250R is a program implemented a few years ago that provided similar rates to anyone living within a 250-mile radius of the campus.

“Because we have a relatively small percentage of out-of-state students, it would only 60 additional students to offset the cost of the discount,” Persinger said. “Not only does it increase the possibility of out-of-state students attending APSU, it increases the likelihood for international students to attend too since the new rate applies to anyone outside of Tennessee.”

If this tuition reduction is finalized this could have a significant impact on APSU out-of-state enrollment.

As it stands right now tuition rates are estimates until budgets are finalized this summer for the 2019-20 school year.

“Out-of-state enrollment grew 23% in the Fall 2018 semester. We anticipate this adjustment to the out-of-state tuition rate to generate similar increases over the next few years,” Persinger said.