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How to colleges determine state residency? (what is the proof?)

priya123mohanpriya123mohan Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
Hi all,
I will be applying to a state university in my state (University of Connecticut) and would like to know how they would verify my status as a state resident.

The common app. doesn't ask much about residency except for questions such as : citizenship, permanent address etc. so how do colleges know if a student is REALLY a state resident or not? How do they verify it?

Thanks in advance for all you who answer. :)
Post edited by priya123mohan on

Replies to: How to colleges determine state residency? (what is the proof?)

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,840 Senior Member
    The colleges will look at a number of things...where you graduated from high school, your place of residency on your applications. Your high school transcripts, etc. If these things come from an out of state public high school then that would be a red flag that you do NOT have instate residency.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    Typically schools can verify residency by the high school sending transcripts, the parent's FAFSA/tax return info, and other source documents that are part of the application/FA process. Why do you ask?
  • priya123mohanpriya123mohan Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I am an international student living on a temporary visa (H-4) and I did all my high in U.S (Connecticut). I will be applying to colleges such as Rutgers, SUNY etc. which are out of state. (NY, NJ)

    My family will be moving with me to the state of my college. So, what if I rent a house at the state of my college and put the "the new one" as my permanent address in the Common App or other college app. Will they verify it?

    FYI, My high school transcript will say Connecticut, and I wont apply for FAFSA. FYI, my dad will definitely transfer this job to NY or NJ and we will start paying taxes for NY or NJ.
  • worried_momworried_mom Registered User Posts: 2,205 Senior Member
    Assuming you are under 24 years old, your state of residency is the state where your parents permanently reside. Be aware that most states (and I'm pretty sure that NY is one of them) require residency for one full year in that state PRIOR TO enrolling in college. In other words, if your family relocates in the summer after your HS graduation, you would not be eligible for in-state status until your sophomore year of college.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,840 Senior Member
    My family will be moving with me to the state of my college. So, what if I rent a house at the state of my college and put the "the new one" as my permanent address in the Common App or other college app. Will they verify it?

    Sorry but this just won't work. Most states require your FAMILY to become residents of that state a full year BEFORE you enroll in college in order for you to be an instate resident of that state. In addition, YOU cannot establish residency separate from your parents as an undergrad student in most cases. If you are a high school senior now, you are not really able to establish residency where your parents do not reside. So if YOU rent an apartment in your new state, that really won't matter at all. If you use that rented apartment as your "residence" on your applications and you really don't LIVE there, that is considered fraudulent.

    Where do your parents live? As an international student, you may not have residency in ANY state...unless you have permanent residency status.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,882 Super Moderator
    At SUNY's State-operated campuses (University Centers, University Colleges, and Technology Colleges), students are generally considered New York State residents if they have established their domicile in New York State for at least twelve months prior to the last day of the registration period of a particular term.

    1.Generally, individuals who have maintained their domicile in New York for a period of fewer than twelve months prior to the end of registration are presumed to be out-of-state residents and are not eligible for the resident tuition rate.

    2.Individuals who are financially dependent and whose custodial parent(s) lives in a state other than New York are generally not eligible for the resident tuition rate. However, students of divorced or legally separated parents may acquire a New York State domicile if the custodial parent is a New York State resident or if the student resides with a non-custodial parent who is a New York State resident and the student intends to continue to reside with that parent throughout their attendance at SUNY.

    3.Individuals do not meet the twelve-month residency requirement if domiciled in New York State primarily to attend college.

    Proof of Domicile
    Campuses rely on documents and circumstances such as, but not limited to, the following to determine if an individual's domicile is in New York State. For financially dependent students, the campus relies on documents relating to the parents or legal guardian.

    1.Duration of physical presence in NY.
    2.State of residency of the student's family.
    3.NY State voter registration.
    4.NY State driver's license.
    5.NY State motor vehicle registration.
    6.NY State real property ownership.
    7.NY State residential rental lease.
    8.NY State income tax returns.

    From SUNY
    Immigrant, Non-immigrant and Undocumented Students

    1.Students claiming to be immigrants must present proof of their status by providing the campus with a valid Permanent Resident Card. Once a student's immigrant status has been verified, the student may then establish New York State residency by meeting the domicile criteria. See Proof of Domicile (above).

    2.Non-immigrants are grouped in categories depending on the type of visa presented at the port of entry. Non-immigrants admitted to the United States in categories that prohibit them from establishing a United States residence are not eligible for resident tuition.

    3.In general, the Federal Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act prohibits students who are unable to present valid documentation of their alien status from eligibility for the resident tuition rate.

    4.Undocumented students who attend for at least two years and graduate from a New York high school may be eligible for resident tuition. See the campus Student Accounts Office (Bursar) for details.

    SUNY: Residency
  • OlymomOlymom Registered User Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    This has been covered in other threads and I'll repeat myself here:

    Do not EVER think you can "game" the system. The people who are reading the forms are EXPERTS at zeroing in on the student who is trying to save some bucks by applying as a resident of the state when they do not qualify. I cannot begin to tell you how easy it is to identify a person who is a recent arrival to the state.

    For starters, there is the school address on your high school transcript. If it doesn't say "NJ" then they know you didn't do your high school senior year in "NJ". A quick email or phone call to the high school registrar and they know that "Priya" is an international student -- and, if the registrar is chatty, they will come away with a whole lot more -- like your shoe size and the details of your last romance.

    Believe me, I know. I used to check fishing licenses (people will try to save $10 by lying that they are a state resident instead of buying the more expensive out-of-state license). I had a couple of dozen ways to sort out the locals from the new arrivals. A state resident fills out every slot -- including giving their in-state driver's license number. A cheater skips those slots. A state resident has utilities in their name -- a quick call to the utility company tells me exactly when "Priya" had her power turned on in her apartment. The list goes on and on.

    If it was worth it to the state to hire me to track down violaters for a $10 license, don't you think it is worth it to the university to have people/mechanisms in place to track down students who are skipping out on thousands of dollars of tuition fees?

    So, what happens if you do enroll as a resident? You run around in constant fear that you are going to be busted. Then you are busted and asked to leave the university -- and they will tell any future employer that calls that you were "requested to dis-enroll for an honor violation" -- not exactly the reference you want out in the world.

    A far better path is to be massively up front with each school. Plainly email each admissions/financial aid office and say you are an international student and ask what you can do to reduce fees. Ask if you can apply for an instate tuition waiver. If they say "fill out the FAFSA" then fill out the FAFSA (even if your family has loads of money). Sometimes the FAFSA is the step needed to get your name in front of the "exceptions" committee. If you are a strong student with strong scores, then they have the option of waiving the out of state fees. Many colleges do this for students they want to attract.

    Then you are there with a clear conscience -- and no fears.
    Good luck.

    Do not EVER lie about who you are. Bad idea. Really bad idea.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,596 Senior Member
    I am an international student living on a temporary visa (H-4)

    As an int'l, you may be considered a "non resident" no matter what you do.
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