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My scenario for claiming residency

btpayne13btpayne13 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
edited April 2010 in College Admissions
How hard would it be to claim myself (a minor) on a family member's tax return who lives in another state? I live on the extreme western side of a state, where a well-known public university is less than an hour away from my home. I've always wanted to go to this university, considering my state's public university that is comparable to the one in the other state is over three and a half hours away. If I'm on their tax return, but I go to a school in my home state, will the admissions into the university still accept my residency?

The reason I'm trying to do this is because instate tuition is more than 3 times cheaper than out-of-state tuition, and I've felt more connected to this state, because the public university in my home state is more than three and a half hours away.
Post edited by btpayne13 on

Replies to: My scenario for claiming residency

  • btpayne13btpayne13 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I forgot to mention this. My family member lives about a mile from where I live, even though we live in 2 different states.
  • GardnaGardna Registered User Posts: 1,013 Senior Member
    Will you be living with this family member for at least 12 months before starting college? I got to tell you, it's extremely unlikely that this plan will work. People who work at colleges actually aren't that stupid; if you claim to be living in Connecticut but you have a high school transcript from New York, they're going to notice that and charge you out-of-state tuition. Having someone else claim you on their tax return is a start, but it's nowhere near enough to be convincing to anyone.
  • ChedvaChedva Super Moderator Posts: 30,033 Super Moderator
    This will not work in most states. Your residency follows that of your parents, not your "relative," unless your relative legally adopts you; not even legal guardianship is sufficient.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 37,358 Super Moderator
    Every state is different! In Texas, you can use your first year of school to gain residency. You have to either own a business, buy property, or get married. You can buy just a tiny lot in west Texas. You also have to register to vote, get a driver's license, and go out-of-state only for brief visits. My son will be the fouth generation of our family to attend Texas, but we live in Maine, so we're planning on his getting in-state tuition starting his sophomore year.

    This information is available online, and I verified it with the woman at UT in charge of verifying residency.
  • btpayne13btpayne13 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    What you might not understand is that I live right next to the state I want to claim residency in. I mean literally two or three miles apart. I want to stay at my current high school in my current state, so when the admissions office sees my transcripts, couldn't I just say that I moved to the new state during my senior year, and that I was allowed to stay at my old high school for my last year in high school?
  • greenwitchgreenwitch Registered User Posts: 8,422 Senior Member
    Having filled out application forms for a state school, it seems they are most concerned with where you, and especially your parents, have been paying taxes. I live close to 2 different state boundaries, but none of that matters to the bean counters.

    Also, rules vary state by state. Texas may be easy to establish residency in. Florida is nearly impossible. What states are you talking about? It's possible you can claim the regional consortium to get in-state rates. If you choose a major which is available at your preferred school, and not available in your state, it should be easy. There may be other ways depending on the rules of your regional consortium.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,735 Senior Member
    You also need to find out if that university has a specific policy for granting in-state tuition/fees status to residents of "adjoining counties" in the next state. Some public community colleges and universities do.

    Good luck!
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Registered User Posts: 4,327 Senior Member
    Yeah, it isn't usually so much about where you claim to live, but where your parents have been paying their state taxes. I live just a few miles from California, but that's no help in my kids getting in-state tuition there because we --their parents-- do not pay state taxes there.

    However, you can ask whether they have a reduced tuition agreements with neighboring states, as other posters have suggested.

    And the rules that determine residency can be different from one state to another, but generally it's rather difficult to get residency status if your parents are not residents of the state. (Texas appears to be easier, but it's certainly not typical of most states.)
  • coureurcoureur Registered User Posts: 11,386 Senior Member
    >>What you might not understand is that I live right next to the state I want to claim residency in. I mean literally two or three miles apart.<<

    I understand that you live close to the border, but unfortunately you live on the wrong side of it for what you want to do.


    >>I want to stay at my current high school in my current state, so when the admissions office sees my transcripts, couldn't I just say that I moved to the new state during my senior year, and that I was allowed to stay at my old high school for my last year in high school?<<

    You could say that, but you'd be untruthful if you did. Colleges take a very dim view of untruthful applications.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,653 Super Moderator
    Like others have already said, this is unlikely to work, but do check to see if the university has provisions for allowing students who live in counties very close to the border to pay in-state tuition at the university.
  • btpayne13btpayne13 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I'll contact them and ask for details, but in the mean time, I have another question. If I attend a small, private college in my home state for my undergraduate, and if I go to a public university out of state for graduate school, is there a way to claim residency before you attend the graduate school?
  • gadadgadad Registered User Posts: 7,772 Senior Member
    The key is generally "establishing domicile" in a new state for at least 12 months before enrolling in school in that state. That means that you'd need to go there, live there (if on your own, showing an income that would be sufficient for self-support without financial support from out-of-state), and show the normal evidence that one would have when committing to a new home in a new state - apartment lease, driver's license, change voter registration, etc. The rules are designed in order to not be gamed.

    Now in your case, if the family member would be willing to have you move in with him or her, you could go there and enroll in a high school in that state for your senior year of HS. Without going to HS there, it's a no go. Graduating from high school in a state after having an address in that state for at least 12 months is usually a no-brainer. But even then, you'd have to apply for in-state tuition when you apply to college and keep your fingers crossed.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    Residency requirements for Grad school are different from UG. Many times if you have a graduate teaching or research assistantship, it comes with an OOS tuition waiver. And many states will permit independent graduate students to change residency after residing in state for 12 months, even though they are attending school.
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