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When are you in-state or out of state?

QUESTION: I am from Texas and plan to attend a public college in another state. Public schools always increase tuition for out of state students. By out of state do they mean out of the United States or from another state? Would I have to pay more even if I became a permanent resident of the state? And, how long do you have to live in the state before you are considered an in-state student? Signed, Across the Border

Dear Across the Border: Out of state or non-resident refers to students who do not live in the state of the public college. This means that for Texas public colleges, you would be considered a resident and would receive lower tuition rates than students from outside of Texas. In general, for public colleges outside of Texas, you would be considered out of state or a non-resident and pay higher rates.

Check with the colleges to which you are applying to see how long or if you can be considered an in-state student. To give you an idea of what it takes, the requirements to attain resident status for U.C. Berkeley are:

1. You must provide documentation that you were physically present in California for more than one year before the school year for which you are trying to attain resident status.

2. You must provide documentation that you plan to make California your permanent residence and that you haven’t had residence in another state for at least one year before the school for which you are trying to attain resident status.

3. If both parents are not residents of California, you must provide evidence through income tax records that you have been financially independent of your parents for at least the two prior tax periods.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.