The hype about colleges’ heightened admissions standards and skyrocketing tuition in crowded and financially troubled states such as California may be drowning out the surprising reality that many affordable public colleges in less populated areas are eager for students and are willing to cut good deals. Some schools are even willing to extend their generosity to less-than-stellar students.

U.S. News has identified several public universities that waive out-of-state surcharges for many or, in some cases, all qualified out-of-state students.

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