In State Residency

September 11, 2012

In state residency

So how do I do it? Get in state residency in another state…

Private colleges charge the same COA (Cost of Attendance) regardless of the student’s home state. i.e. Stanford has the same fees for California student as well as students from Florida, Arizona, Maryland or any other state.

State colleges are dependent upon taxes collected from residence of the state. Meaning people who live in Oregon (or insert other state) pay Oregon taxes. A portion of those taxes is set aside to help the local state college for support of institution and other fees. Because out of state students and their parents do not pay, in this case, Oregon taxes, the college is forced to charge out of state fees to non residence students.

There are several states that have partnered and offered adjacent state residence a special fee. Many states provide Reciprocity with other states, where students from one state can receive In State or reduced tuition to attend a college in another state and vice-versa.

  1. New England Board of Higher Education has a reciprocity agreement among Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
  2. Academic Common Market is a reciprocity agreement among 16 southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  3. Midwest Student Exchange Program is a consortium of six Midwestern states: Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota.
  4. Western Undergraduate Exchange covers institutions in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
  5. Some states have reciprocity agreements with colleges in Canada.


Not every state school participates in reciprocity. As that is the case, the college will charge out of state fees.

Colleges can override the residency status of the student for a variety of reasons, great grades, stellar athlete, etc, all to retain the student.

In state residency is also given to students who intend to make Oregon (or what every state they are attending college in) their home (i.e. pay taxes to the state longer term).

On Cal Poly's website it states: Adult students (students who are 19 years old by the Residence Determination Date for the quarter to which he/she is applying) may establish their own residency for tuition purposes in California if they are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other immigrant; or someone in nonimmigrant status who is not precluded from establishing a domicile in the U.S. The student must establish clear evidence of his/her intent to abandon the derived residence of their out-of-state parent(s) and adopt a new residence.

The big kicker regardless of the state, is that the student must usually prove that he/she is not dependent upon parent funds especially if the parent resides outside the state.

Here is what I recommend. The student should go to their financial aid departments and ask what they need to do to be declared an in state residence. The student should back this up with good grades or some other needed thing. In some situations the college will override the status and grant the student in state residency. The student may be required to fulfill certain requirements to be reclassified as an in state residence.

The student may have to prove that he/she qualifies for in state residency by getting a job off campus, getting an apartment or house other than student housing, live and work there for a year. Just because the student does these things the college may or may not reclassify the student.

The best is for the student to enquire at their school information on being declared an in state student. Some colleges require the student to fill out a form.

Gone are the days when parents do not use the student as a deduction on their taxes. This stratagy is 3 decades old. Gone is the strategy to have the student open a bank account in the state, get a driver’s license and other non applicable tricks. Remember the reason colleges grant in state resedency costs to students is because the student and/or parent paid taxes in that state.

Utimatly it is the decision of the college admissions and financial aid directors to reclassify students. These administrators are given sole atonomy to grant or reject reclassificaiton of resednecy status.

Of course, if you get a full ride scholarship, this is a mute point... see for info on this.


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