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International Student with American Passport, do I get in-state tuition? +other stuff

RakoonBerryRakoonBerry 5 replies2 threads New Member
Hi,
I'm a junior in high school, soon to be senior as a matter of fact, that lives in Dubai, UAE. I've lived all my life here and am studying here. Both my parents aren't American and they don't have American passports. I was born in California and am expected to graduate in 2017. As an international student, do I get in-state tuition and if not is it possible to get? I've heard that you would be required to live in any state for a year before paying in-state tuition, is this true? Also on a separate not, how would American universities compare my transcript to local students? My school (SABIS) is known world wide for its rigorous academic program and I do have pretty high marks (around 90%). I'd really appreciate if someone could answer these questions as there is nobody in my school that can help me. My mother suggested talking to universities and asking these specific questions but I'm afraid they won't take me seriously, any thoughts? Thanks in advance. Cheers!
18 replies
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Replies to: International Student with American Passport, do I get in-state tuition? +other stuff

  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14268 replies297 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    The concept of "in state" tuition only applies to PUBLIC universities, not PRIVATE ones. But many private universities grant generous need-based or merit-based aid.

    Every state has its own rules on state residency requirements for its publuc universities. These rules are easily googled.

    Being a US citizen makes you eligible for US Federal student aid. You will need to fill out a FAFSA form and your parents need to fill in their financial information.

    It's also nearly impossible to get CA residency for the purpose of cheaper tuition, so don't bother.


    edited May 2016
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  • RakoonBerryRakoonBerry 5 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you for replying. My family has considered applying for Federal aid but we aren't poor enough to receive substantial assistance nor are we rich enough to afford paying for college. Am I still able to apply for residency in other states for tuition purposes?
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  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 threads Senior Member
    1) To get in-state tuition rates for public colleges, you and your family have to establish residency, pay taxes, etc. in that state. No state will recognize you as an in-state resident. For some military families, there’s greater leeway. Again, this doesn’t apply to you.

    2) Per GMT’s advice, read each school’s rules. They differ. But like I said, it’ll be a waste of time for you.

    3) US colleges get 100s of transcripts from other countries all the time. They ask for a grading tool template and can convert to their own uses.
    There are several forums solely for international students. Your questions are valid. Good luck.
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14268 replies297 threads Senior Member
    My family has considered applying for Federal aid but we aren't poor enough to receive substantial assistance nor are we rich enough to afford paying for college.
    Then focus on schools which grant merit money. Merit aid is awarded solely on the basis of merit, irrespective of family income.

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  • RakoonBerryRakoonBerry 5 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you for replying. I didn't know that there were forums for international students, hopefully I find someone that has had similar problems.
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  • RakoonBerryRakoonBerry 5 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks for replying again. I will do so.
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14268 replies297 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016


    You are not an "international" student but an American student residing abroad . Your issues are different than those of int'l students.

    We are also American expats.
    edited May 2016
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  • RakoonBerryRakoonBerry 5 replies2 threads New Member
    The plot thickens... So what do you recommend I do to tackle this issue and learn more to be able to find a solution? My parents suggest that I contact my universities of interest about my problems but I believe the universities would take months to reply and I don't have that much time.
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14268 replies297 threads Senior Member
    Solution to WHAT problem?

    I'm not clear on what is it you need to ask these schools that you can't intially attempt to answer by some simple googling.

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  • dscottvbdscottvb 258 replies33 threads Junior Member
  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 threads Senior Member
    You have American citizenship. Granted. But you qualify for in-state tuition reduction at no US public university because are not a resident of any state in the USA.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9741 replies371 threads Senior Member
    You're an American citizen, but you'll pay out-of-state rates at all public US colleges. Every state has its own college system. If you visit their websites you can find the cost of attendance. The SUNY (NYS public colleges) financial aid pages list 3: in state rates (~$22k/year), out-of-state rates (~$30k/year), and international rates (I think it's currently ~$40k/year). As an OOS student, you'd pay ~$30k/year.

    Private colleges charge everyone the same. They're more likely to offer merit aid and need based grants than public colleges. Each college has a Net Price Calculator that you can run to get an estimate of how much they might cost. Run a few with your parents and try to pin down how much they can pay per year.
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  • jym626jym626 57413 replies3010 threads Senior Member
    All above is correct. The "instate" criteria is only if you live in any particular state (have a valid address there, pay utilities and taxes there, etc) which your family does not. You are not an instate resident of any state as you live overseas.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43111 replies470 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    As stated previously, you're not an international student. You're a citizen. You're eligible for any financial or merit aid. If your family makes 200+K a year, then you need to find schools with merit money for your stats (ie., essentially, test scores = prep for the ACT or SAT). In addition, you're automatically eligible for a 5.5K loan.
    Some states allow an 18 year to live and work full time in the state, taking no more than about 6-7 credits at a community college, and be recognized as "instate" after 12 months - you thus need to arrive in August of the latest (say, arrive August 2017, apply January 2018 asking for instate status, providing proofs of residence, driver's license, etc, and enroll Fall 2018.)
    Minnesota and New York State are part of those. Florida and Texas may, but the legislation's changed so check. Missouri and Utah allow you to register as OOS but switch to instate after a year.
    Private universities do not make a difference betwen instate and OOS, and many offer generous merit aid. Look at Colleges That Change Lives, as well as universities in Princeton Review's Best Colleges and/or Fiske Guide.
    edited May 2016
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 13466 replies31 threads Senior Member
    You could also consider UK and Canadian unis, which may be cheaper (though some public's international costs are affordable).

    What can your parents afford to pay?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 10502 replies577 threads Super Moderator
    You need to start doing some research, NOW, to find out which colleges you can get into based on your stats. Do yiu have SAT Test scores? I suggest contacting the admissions offices of colleges you are interested in. Briefly tell them what you have told us. I would say most colleges nowadays are comfortable with international applications and will probably be able to look at your basic details and give you an idea of what they would accept or want to see as part of your application. And I know you are American, but as you won't have standard markers of American high schools, your app might be handled as though you are international, but that doesn't mean it is a bad thing.

    You can use guides like Princeton Review to research colleges, and websites like College Data, Niche, Cappex, and the Supermatch tool in this site. Good luck!
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30593 replies194 threads Senior Member
    The place to start is http://www.amideast.org/uae The counselors there will be able to help you through this process. You are not the only US Citizen studying in Dubai right now. There also should be some people at your high school who have helped other students apply to colleges and universities in the US. Ask your teachers and counselors there and find out who knows about the process.

    You are a US citizen, so you can move here whenever you feel like, and live wherever you feel like and can afford to live. As others have written, in some states you will be able to establish residency for the public universities on your own. However, there is no easy way to find that out. You really do have to check each place separately. You also should investigate community colleges. Often they have more generous policies about establishing residency. Where I used to live, the CC required only three months of in-district residency if the person could demonstrate that they paid the majority of their own living expenses.
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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5331 replies90 threads Senior Member
    In terms of community college, keep in mind that the academics at community colleges often fail to compare with those of 4 year schools. I suppose if the point is to spent one semester at a cc to establish residency it might be ok but I can't see relocating for the purpose of spending a couple of years at one.
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