dual state residency

Thanks to the ultimate distributed family strategy we claim two residencies :). How does this work - if at all - for med school. One state has but one state med school but the other has several times that… Not merely for financial reasons, but also for admission preferences to in-state residents.

Well…for medical school…it would be the student’s residency that matters…not the parents.

So…where will the Med school applicant be a resident? I doubt that can be two states.

A student can have parents with two different state residencies, but any one person (parent) can only have one state of residency. Some schools do allow a student to claim residency through a parent who doesn’t claim that student on a tax form or if a student didn’t really have any connections to that state. Other states require the parent student is using to claim residency to have a tighter connection like a tax dependent or physical presence in the state with THAT parent.

I checked Colorado because I know it is very liberal for granting instate residency through a non-custodial parent. It appears that as long as the student is under 23, he can claim residency through the parent but at age 23 becomes independent and must establish residency on his own.

@twoinanddone a medical school student would be independent…not dependent. Residency for professional and grad programs is not the same as for undergrad. For undergrad if parents are divorced, for example, some states will grant in state status based on the non-custodial parent residence.

I’m not sure that is the case for medical school.

@WayOutWestMom do you know?

@kelsmom what do you know regarding grad school residency for instate tuition status?

Independent and dependent status are irrelevant for medical school.

On AMCAS and AACOMAS, the applicants can only pick one state to be a resident of. For general screening purposes, whatever the applicant lists will be considered their official home state. The address they list on AMCAS/AACOMAS must be their permanent home address. (It’ll be where all their official correspondence gets sent.)

The state listed generally should be where the student lives at the time of application. This means if a student has graduated from college and has established an independent domicile, that’s the home state/permanent address the applicant will list

If the applicant is a current college student and living in college housing, the applicant will use their parents’ home address as their permanent address. . If an applicant has parent residing in 2 different states–the applicant should list the state of the parent with whom where they most recently resided full time. (i.e. during high school.)

But really, an applicant can list any state they want as their official “home” state–even if they have never resided in that state. Doesn’t mean the med school will consider them as in-state, though.

AMCAS/AACOMAS does not verify residency. Verification of in-state/OOS status is done individually by each med school. Medical schools typically require proof of residency–including, but not limited to-- the applicant’s state & federal tax returns, current utility bills and rental agreements in the applicant’s name, driver’s license and car registration, and the location of the high school from which the applicant graduated. In the absence of proof of an independent domicile, it’s the location of the student’s high school that is typically considered to be their presumptive home state.

It’s quite possible for a student to have no official home state. It’s quite common for recent college grads to have no legal state of residency since some states require as many as 5 years physical presence in the state while NOT attending college to be considered in-state for medical school. (e.g. Massachusetts)

In state vs OOS is less important for grad programs. State residents typically don't get an admissions boost at state universities. The determination of in-state vs OOS for tuition purposes is done by each individual college and in-state status is usually given to grad students who received a TA/RA position or scholarship.

I looked up Colorado and it doesn’t distinguish for grad or undergrad in the state law the defines qualifying for instate tuition. If the student is under 23, it appears a parent can qualify that student for instate residency for tuition purposes. NOT a dependent for FA purposes or tax purposes, but for instate tuition.

“Minor students with a parent or guardian who has lived in Colorado for at least one year and established verifiable ties to Colorado. This petition is not for use by parents of students who will be 23 years of age by the first day of classes.”

Colorado only allows a student to start to establish residency for tuition purposes at age 22, requires a year, so that’s why the ‘under 23’ is the rule. The ‘minor’ in the quote above is to distinguish it from ‘adult’, which was the other category to petition for instate tuition, and not a person under age 17.

Would I want to depend on this? No. I’d want to apply to a med school in my easy-to-prove-my-residency state, but if given the opportunity to save $25k per year being an instate for tuition purposes applicant, I’m going for it and argue that I fit in the definition and should get instate tuition rates! I don’t think there are a lot of applicants who would fit into all these requirements - under 23, one (or more) parents living in Colorado for at least a year, not a Colorado resident on his own AND admitted to the school!


It’s not the number of med schools in the state that’s critical; it’s the percentage of in-state applicants who matriculate at an in-state school.

A state with 1 med school may accept a larger proportion of in-state applicants than a state with several med schools.

See: https://www.aamc.org/download/321466/data/factstablea5.pdf

Virginia has several med schools, but only 19% of VA applicants matriculate at an in-state med school. Arizona has 3 med schools, but only 16% matriculate in-state. OTOH, Indiana has 1 med school, but 36% of in-state applicants matriculate there. And 35% of South Dakota applicants matriculate to its solo in-state med school.

I think the key response here is that a medical school applicant can’t have more than one state of residency…which is what the OP was asking about.

And the second key response is about the %age of instate applicants accepted.


CU-Anschutz campus (the medical school) references the CO state statues and says–

My emphasis.

So it does appear the CO distinguishes between undergrad and graduates students when determining residency.

Regardless, a state med school will ask for residency documentation from the applicant, not the parent.


P.S. I would never recommend anyone list CO as their home state if they have a choice. CO’s in-state acceptance rate is abysmal (11%-- lowest in the nation for states that have a public med school) and CU SOM’s in-state tuition is expensive.

Texas state schools have a requirement to fill 90% residents which means they may have as many as 1600+ seats allocated to residents.

I don’t know if this level of residency advantage exists for any other state.

TX has a state legislative mandate to admit 90% in-state students, but there are other states and med schools that have written mandates to admit a high percentage of in-staters: Louisiana, New Mexico, East Carolina SOM, Mississippi , North Dakota, Nebraska, South Carolina etc. Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana each are guaranteed X seats at UWash solely for residents of that state through the WWAMI consortium. Maine residents are guaranteed X seats at Tufts SOM each year.

We moved when DD was in undergrad. I don’t recall every detail, but I know she had to choose a state and then we read all the residency info regarding the forms completed for each state and ensured that by TWO YEARS before matriculation everything was in line. In other words, you submit the med school app summer of 2019 and you also submit the proof that you have been a resident of that state at that time for matriculation Fall 2020, therefore you have to be a state resident by summer 2018. DD did qualify as our dependent, but we also made sure she was a resident of her chosen state. She switched from a state with a good number of schools to a state with only one school, but it was the state where she wanted to be.

That was how it worked for our state, your may differ. Check carefully and contact the admissions office directly to find out how they handle it. It become obvious to me that with differing rules it would have been possible to be a resident of no state for admissions purposes! If you really want to look into the nitty gritty details, search the SDN forums.

It’s mostly about preferential admissions - if any - for instate. We’re happily ( B-) ) married just happen to live in neighboring states for work purposes. The other state has day 1 residency the moment a parent moves there for work and DD1 took advantage of that without any issue. But I suppose medical or professional school is different.


In-state for professional school is different from in- state for undergrad. Med schools don’t care where the parents live, only where the student lives— as demonstrated by their documentation (driver’s license, tax forms)

@turbo93 will your kiddo be applying to medical school hoping for an acceptance during her senior year of college? If so…and she is at an instate public in one of your two states…just make sure that if she switches states prior to her junior year of college (which is when she would have to apply to start fall right after her senior year)…that she won’t lose her instate tuition status where she is.

Also, until she takes the MCAT, really there is no way to even guess how competitive she would be for admission to any medical school in any state. In my opinion, it is almost impossible anyway to make this guess.


It really does not matter where the student went to school, as long as it is an US 4 year college. It matters if the student is a resident of a state with one of the parents for longer than a year. He must be supported by the DI, tax filing address(as a dependent and/or personal filing), voters registration, jury duty notifications and some times high school graduation records(although not absolutely necessary), to be considered an In State candidate for the med school. It will help a lot if the UG state is the same state of the med school, but not necessary.


This thread has nothing to do with the undergrad school choice. Any is fine. It’s about state residency for medical school applications.

MY point is…if this student wants to establish residency in state 2 for Med school applications (drivers license, voting, state tax filings, etc)…this might need to be done before the kid’s junior year of college. And IF the kid switches residency then…he or she MIGHT lose instate tuition status if he or she is attending a public university in state one.

This parent says that the kid can have residency in either state for undergrad…and that is true,

And the kid can PICK which ONE state he or she wishes to consider as their residency for medical school.

What I’m saying is…if the kid picks the state where he or she does NOT currently declare residency for Med school…that student has the potential to lose instate status at a public university in the state where residency currently is.

E.g. if the student lives on the CA/Oregon border and has chosen instate status for undergrad in CA, that’s fine. BUT if the Med school choice is Oregon…he or she has the potential to lose instate tuition status in CA.

Best to check!

Summary - I checked state 2 and indeed their idea of in-state is well beyond regular college. It may be worthwhile to take a leap year and live with mom, tho… Not a bad thought.

Glad you checked!