Geographical residence vs State residency

What is the difference between geographical residence and state residency in common data set?

For example, in MIT’s CDS, the geographical residence is considered but state residency is not considered.

My question is if I come from a over or under represented state, will that impact my chance?

Geographic residence can be region or country. New England or mid-Atlantic as examples.

I am of the belief that state (or country) diversity is not a key factor for top schools. They won’t take an applicant from WY vs another from CA (or Chad vs Ghana) just to put another pin on the map. But they might want to have representation from the western US or sub-Saharan Africa.

State residency only matters at public universities in determining your tuition as in state or OOS. Geographical residence is to show that the college draws a national student body and is usually shown by region, not state. Some private colleges indicate that residence is considered in admission. At MIT if you are from say North Dakota that may give you the slightest edge compared to a similarly qualified applicant from New York.

Thanks @TomSrOfBoston. That makes sense. However, when I check Duke’s (Brown’s as well) CDS, I found that the state residency is considered. What is the difference between these two schools policy on residency (state and geographical)?

Sometimes the CDS is wrong. I would not obsess about things not in your control.

A private school may choose to consider state residency as well as other forms of geographic residency (national, regional, local), but it may not necessarily consider state residency the same way that one may expect a state university to consider state residency.

Private schools are less likely to be transparent about how such things (and others) are considered in their admission process and criteria.

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Thanks everyone.

In the case of Duke University, although private, residents of North and South Carolina are given an admissions boost.

" Students from the Carolinas receive special
consideration in our admissions process"

Thanks @TomSrOfBoston . I know Cornell and UPenn have similar policies for NY and PA applicants. Good to know.

Only elite school I found which doesn’t consider the residency is CalTech.

Geographical residence means the state/region where you live/go to school. State residency is where your parents (until you are deemed independent,) are domiciled (think home, state taxes, driver’s license, vote registration etc.)

Your state residency affects where you are eligible to receive in-state tuition (although there are exceptions such as Ohio, for example, that offers in-state tuition to any graduate of a Ohio high school, though idk the specifics,) and an admissions advantage (most public schools have to maintain a certain In-State/OOS percentage split.)

For most students, your state residency and geographical residence are the same, unless you go to a prep/boarding school or a private school in another state.

For college admissions purposes, coming from a less competitive geographical residence (AL or HI vs. CA or NY,) can benefit you in one of two ways: You’ll first be compared to fewer applicants (as at the UCs, which explicitly compare you to students from your school,) and if applying ED, are beneficial to the school in their marketing campaign to declare that they have students from all 50 states. At this point, however there’s not much you can do to change either values, so apply and hope for the best! :smile:

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

Kinda sorta.
Traditionally, “state resident” refers to the state the college is located in. As said, refers more to publics, which have a mandate to fill seats with x% official state residents.

I wouldn’t lump Penn with Cornell in this respect. Penn, like many competitive privates, tries to include qualified kids from a local radius. But being a PA resident, in itself, is no bump.

Geographic diversity also benefits those from underrepresented areas applying to schools that value a truly diverse class in all ways. It’s hard to know which schools really fall into this category, but it’s certainly a tip at some schools.