It's not hard to see why Illinois students are flocking to universities outside of the state.
It costs an Illinois high school graduate about $41,000 a year to go to the University of Missouri. It costs that same Illinois student more than $30,000 to go to the University of Illinois. So a lot of Illinois students pay the extra to go to Mizzou.
But if that Illinois student spend the summer in Missouri, the cost plummets to just over $25,000
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University of Missouri spokesman Christian Basi said a number of Illinois students do just that. "To receive in-state tuition in the state of Missouri you need to have proof of earning at least $2,000 in taxable income. You have to stay in the state," Basi said.
So a simple summer job could cut $15,000 off the price of an education.
"It is definitely something that a lot of students take advantage of," Basi added.
And a lot of Illinois students attend the University of Missouri. University number show 5,701 Illinois students attended Mizzou last fall, or about 16 percent of the school's total student population.
"Illinois is by far the number two state (for students), other than Missouri," Basi explained. Illinois and Texas send more students to their campus than other states. "We had 5,701 students from Illinois compared to Texas at 830."
It's similar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
More Illinois students apply than any other state besides Wisconsin. Only Minnesota sends more out-of-state students.
The University of Iowa said 30 percent of its first year students are from Illinois.
Both Wisconsin and Iowa have similar in-state tuition costs, and similarly low bars to qualify for it.