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Instate tuition if working in PA but living in IL.

cheani1cheani1 4 replies2 threads New Member
I am illinois long time resident and my son is in junior year high school. I am looking for a potential opportunity in pittsburgh. If I take up that position I will be moving to Pittsburgh , rent an apartment there but plan to travel to family on weekends. My wife and son will continue to live in current resident until my son finishes high school. My wife has full time employment but it is entry level job with low pay(~20K per annum).

My questions are :
- If I take up new job my paystub will be from PA state but my family and primary resident will be in IL. If so will be I be considered resident of Illinois or PA for instate tuition purposes?
- If I pay state taxes in PA and my wife pays in IL, is it possible for me to pick and choose which state to claim for in-state tuition purposes?
- In short am I eligible to claim in-state residency for both states?
15 replies
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Replies to: Instate tuition if working in PA but living in IL.

  • sybbie719sybbie719 20777 replies2016 threads Super Moderator
    edited November 17
    Welcome to CC
    I think that you already know the answer to this question

    While you can have multiple residences, you can only be domiciled in one place. Your family are residents of Illinois because that is where you live. You have taken an apartment in Pittsburgh for work (because it would be impossible for you to commute). You and your wife are still married with no intention of divorce. You are separated by work, but live as a family in Illinois.

    Your son would be eligible for in-state tuition in Pennsylvania one year after the family moves there,
    edited November 17
    Post edited by sybbie719 on
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 245 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Pennsylvania has some very good state schools but they're expensive. Same in Illinois from what I've gathered on CC.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75535 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    edited November 17
    @chmcnm

    Will you be domiciled in Pennsylvania? In other words, will you be filing taxes as a Pennsylvania resident? Registering to vote there? Changing drivers license?

    In SOME states, when parents are truly separated, the student MIGHT be able to claim instate residency for tuition purposes. But I don’t think PA is one of those states. @mommdc ?

    It does not sound like this is the case for you. It sounds like your primary residence will continue to be Illinois, and you will continue to maintain all things Illinois. Just working in another state does not make you a resident of that state.

    Plus, your son actually lives in Illinois and will graduate from an Illinois high school. Right? He is a resident of...Illinois.

    Sample of one...my husband worked in a neighboring state for the years when our kids were applying to college. He could have rented a room or something...but regardless...they would not have been considered residents of the neighboring state for tuition or admission purposes because his residence remained our home state.
    edited November 17
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7858 replies66 threads Senior Member
    We had a similar situation - primary residence in OH but H was working in MD. We actually purchased a home, paid property taxes, etc....in MD for 4 years. Still were considered OOS for UMD because the primary residence was in OH.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79114 replies703 threads Senior Member
    Unfortunately, neither IL nor PA is particularly good for its in-state students in terms of public college cost and financial aid.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3450 replies11 threads Senior Member
    ^ True.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11518 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I'm not sure about the rules for being considered a resident of PA for tuition purposes. You might have to contact some of the schools to find out more.

    But I do believe PA cares where your domicile is.

    If your wife could get a job in PA after your son graduates, maybe you could all move there?

    But, yes instate public colleges in PA range from $20,000-$30,000 or so for tuition, fees, room and board.
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  • cheani1cheani1 4 replies2 threads New Member
    Thanks for responses so far. Few followup questions :

    - In PA or IL : Is there any difference in applying for schools in-state vs out of state? All things equal what are the chances of getting accepted because of in-state (or) rejected due to out of state?

    - My son wants to pursue engineering(possible majors chemical, aeronautical, computer science). My research shows in IL main flag ship school for engineering is UIUC but admission to CS there is quite competitive. PA has multiple schools Pitt, PenState(don't know much about Temple and CMU/UPenn are competitive). Am I better of moving family(incl. my son's high school) to PA for senior year?

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79114 replies703 threads Senior Member
    CMU and Penn are private, so in state admission, tuition, and FA is not a factor for them.

    UIUC admits direct to major, but it can be hard to change major.

    Pitt and PSU admit to engineering undeclared. At Pitt, such students can choose any engineering major. At PSU, demand for majors exceeds capacity, so students need high college GPAs to declare majors.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11518 replies31 threads Senior Member
    Pitt is a good choice for engineering or CS.

    I don't think there is bias of instate versus OOS applicants, they should have the same acceptance chances with same stats I would think.

    The timing of your move is up to you, but I believe you will need to have lived in PA for 12 months to qualify for instate tuition rates, but do confirm that.

    Can you afford $34,000 a year for Pitt and Penn State?
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29670 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Whether a student gets in state tuition is up to each school. Check with each school.
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  • thumper1thumper1 75535 replies3310 threads Senior Member
    You know...I’m not sure i would move a student before his senior year of high school....unless the whole family was planning to do so anyway.

    1. Your kid will be applying to college during his senior year of HS. If he is at a brand new school, no one there will really know him and be able to write a decent reference. Even his GC statement will be based on only a month or two of the student being at the new school.

    2. Presumably your kid is applying to a broader range of colleges. What happens if he doesn’t even attend a college in the new state?

    3. What about his activities? If he is playing a varsity sport or sits first chair on some instrument in his school ensemble, are you expecting him to assume the same distinction at his new high school.

    4. Friends. Presumably your high school senior has a cohort of friends with whom he would like to graduate with.

    Obviously, if your family must move, then your whole family might need to go. We have known families where the Parent got a new job senior year, but made arrangements with the school district so that the kid could stay and graduate with his HS classmates.

    Your choice.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11518 replies31 threads Senior Member
    If you do move to Pittsburgh, your son might be able to commute to school to save money. Also Pitt has a good coop program that engineering and CS majors can participate in.
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  • cheani1cheani1 4 replies2 threads New Member
    @thumper1 : Thanks for the feedback, agree with what you said.

    @mommdc : My son prefers to stay on campus than commute. I am prepared to spend $35K per year.
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  • chmcnmchmcnm 245 replies3 threads Junior Member
    We kicked around the idea of moving when our kids were in middle school to NC, FL, GA, or Texas. Cheaper schools and better weather. Wouldn't do it their senior year though. Too much change and stress based on comments above.

    We live in Pittsburgh and I'm a Pitt grad from many years ago. Nice school but you have options. Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa State, Dayton, or WVU give merit that would get you $ below what IL/PA state schools would cost if your son has good stats.
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