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Can out of state students get in-state tuition?

July 31, 2020

I get this question quite a bit. Once my child moves to another state to attend a university in that state, don’t they qualify for in-state tuition? Here are the general rules as to how most state universities judge whether your student qualifies for in-state tuition, as identified by

  1. The student must have 12 months of residency
  2. The student would need to provide evidence of residency, such as voter registration, car registration, state driver’s license as proof that they lived in the state for those 12 months.
  3. This is the key one. Most states grant residency if the student moved there primarily for educational reasons. Students must demonstrate financial independence in that state for at least a year prior to enrolling in school.
  4. If parents claim the student as a dependent on your income tax return, the student is often considered a resident of the state where the parents live. If the parents are divorced and live in separate states, that student might qualify for residency in both states, depending on who and how much financial support is being provided.

So, if you can’t qualify that way are you out of luck? Not necessarily. Here are a few other ideas for you.</;p>

New England Regional Student Program (RSP)

This is also known as the Tuition Break program, and generally works like this. If your student is interested in a major that is not offered at a state university in your home state, you may qualify for in-state tuition at another state university within New England who does offer that major. Hit the link above for all the details.

University of Maine

I would be surprised if you haven’t seen a billboard or TV ad for this one. The University of Maine is offering in-state tuition to residents of any New England state, New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Obviously, that means spending what might be a very cold winter in northern Maine! Just a reminder, this still means you are paying the full room and board.

Go West... and South!

There are many of you who’s child wouldn’t mind going to college as far away from you as possible! If that is your case, there are many state universities in the south and Midwest that have out-of-state tuition plus room and board that is comparable to an in-state university here in Connecticut.

Look at states like Iowa, Wyoming, Utah, Kansas, and Florida and you will find many colleges where the total bill for tuition plus room and board falls in the $25,000-$35,000 range.

Legacy Students

Do you have a relative who attended a non-Connecticut State University? You may find there are special programs for family members who have a legacy relationship. For instance, Kansas State has something called the Heritage scholarship, which pays out as much as $12,000 annually. Students qualify as long as a parent or grandparent graduated from there, and the student graduates high school with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Bottom Line?

Ultimately, you and your students need to do your homework. There are many locations on the Internet where you can research information like this. For instance, can provide you with a great starting place. But please reach out to us if you feel you need some help.