How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition in each state?

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lsb
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How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition in each state?

Postby lsb » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:06 pm

I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list that shows how easy/hard it is to get in-state tuition (i.e. you must sign a one year lease, you must live in-state for 2 years, etc.) This has been attempted once before a few months back, but it did not work out to well. Now that we are pretty deep into the cycle, more people should have more knowledge about how different states work. If we can get this to work, I think it would be an excellent resource for the TLS community. Thank you for your participation.
Last edited by lsb on Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aeroplane
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby Aeroplane » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:44 pm

.
Last edited by Aeroplane on Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lsb
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby lsb » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:41 am

Good list guys. I'm glad we could put this together.

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los blancos
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby los blancos » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:49 am

This is a good idea. I know nothing about this stuff, though... So that's my contribution. One of encouragement.

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underdawg
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby underdawg » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:56 am

i remember generally

CA: easy
Mich: hard
VA: hard
NJ: easy

but yeah don't take my word for it either

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HipHopAPotamus
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby HipHopAPotamus » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:59 am

Okay I'll add by state.

WA- easy
AZ- hard
IL- hard
WI- hard
OR- hard

chris888777
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby chris888777 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:13 am

CT: Easy

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Ken
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby Ken » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:13 am

I agree that this is a great idea for an article and actually have a pretty detailed analysis below. Note that while this will be an article in our articles section, I have not edited it yet so please forgive any typos of grammatical issues but here it goes:

For anyone applying to TOP LAW SCHOOLS, the topic of residency is one which is sure to come up. Almost every public law school has different tuition rates for in-state vs. out-of-state residents. Often, this can mean the difference between paying roughly $60,000 vs. nearly $150,000 for your JD--in other words, savings so wildly substantial that only a fool (or a private law school attendee) would not take a few minutes to do a little research on the residency requirements for that particular state. Additionally, in some cases, being a resident of the state in which your target law school is located can confer an admissions boost. In other cases, being a resident confers virtually no such boost whatsoever. Being as how 32 of the top 60 law schools (including 3 of the vaunted Top-14, according to the 2008 USNews and World Report rankings) are public law schools, this is a matter of concern to virtually every applicant to top law schools.

What we have done in this article is break down issues of residency by state, listing every state which is home to a top-60 law school. Listed adjacent to the state's name is any T-60 law school found within that state. While law schools outside of this band will not be specifically discussed herein, residency requirements are typically uniform for all of a state's law schools, so looking up information on the state in which you're interested (if it is found here) is still likely to be helpful.


CALIFORNIA: California is home to FOUR of the top-32 public law schools, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Hastings, and UC Davis. The good news is that unlike some states, which makes it notoriously difficult for students to achieve residency, California makes in-state tuition available to students in their second year. However, there are a few caveats. First of all, the individual petitioning for residency must reside continuously in the state of California for one year. This means no spending summers back home if home is not located within the State of California. They must have been in the state for one full year prior to the first day of classes. Students must also furnish evidence that they intend to make CA their home for the long haul, including the signing of a "long term" lease, a CA income tax return, registering to vote in CA elections, getting a CA drivers license or state ID, and/or registering their car in California. Additionally, your parents do not live in CA, then they can not have claimed you as a dependent on their tax returns for the year prior to your petitioning for in-state tuition. Being a CA resident is not a significant factor affecting admission to public CA law schools, however it does help in reducing tuition by roughly $11,000 per year (though this could change very soon--in the form of tuition hikes for both residents and nonresidents--due to CA's budget crisis).


TEXAS: Texas residency is determined by having spent the previous 12 months before attending UT domiciled in the state of Texas. If you are a dependent on your parents tax returns, then they must meet Texas residency requirements as well. Students are either determined to be residents or non-residents at the time their application to UT Law is submitted. If they wish to change this status during their time at UT, then they must submit the "Residency Core Questions." This questionnaire will be reviewed by a Residency Officer and then either approved or denied. If you are denied, the decision can be appealed by writing a letter explaining why you feel you ought to be considered a resident of Texas. Despite these opportunities for law students to gain Texas residency, UT's website does not publish statistics regarding how many petitioners are successful and conventional wisdom seems to be that gaining TX residency is not a walk in the park. Being a resident of Texas helps in gaining admission, as non-residents are capped at roughly 35% of the student body. Additionally, residency reduces tuition from $35,130 to $20,632 per year.


VIRGINIA: To be considered as a Virginia resident, you must live ("domicile" as they put it, meaning either you or your spouse owns property or has their name on the lease of a property in Virginia) within the State of Virginia for 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the semester in which you'd like to be getting in-state tuition. You must also demonstrate your intent to remain in Virginia by doing the usual things: Paying state income taxes in VA, getting a VA driver's license, etc. Being a resident of VA can be helpful for admissions purposes, but, with UVA Law being a T14 school, admissions is incredibly competitive regardless. Being a resident for tuition purposes takes the bill down from $41,800 per year to a modest $36,800.

MINNESOTA: Home of the highly-ranked UMN Law School, Minnesota is another state where gaining residency can be difficult at first. They classify you as a resident initially if you have lived in the state for 12 months prior to the first day of classes and your "primary reason for living in Minnesota is not to go to school." Additionally, the university's website states quite plainly that a recent move to Minnesota combined with a transcript history showing coursework at out-of-state schools will likely result in an initial nonresident classification. Gaining in-state status is not easy, as the university's official residency policy states that if a student is initially classified as a nonresident, then that student "shall remain a nonresident throughout his or her presence as a student." Exceptions to this include residents of Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and Manitoba, with whom Minnesota has reciprocity agreements. As with Texas, students may appeal a nonresident classification, but, again as with Texas, the University does not publish success rates in this endeavor and one is led to believe they are not great. Being a resident of Minnesota does confer a slight advantage on applicants for admissions purposes, and it also reduces tuition to $25,400 from $34,900.

ILLINOIS: An initial residency decision is made based on whether or not the applicant has spent the past 12 months living in Illinois, however UIUC College of Law's website's "costs and tuition" page does clearly state that admitted students may petition for in-state residency. The decision is made by the university's Office of Admissions and Records. Unfortunately, this may be deceptive because on the Office and Admissions and Records (in other words, the folks who make the decision about whether or not your petition for residency actually gets granted) states that in order to be reclassified as an Illinois resident one must be a "bona fide" resident for 12 months; they go on to spell out why this is not good news for those hoping to get in-state tuition for 2L: Bona fide residency involves being gainfully employed and actually living in the state for one year, and taking other specific actions which link you to the state of Illinois. It also requires that you reside in Illinois primarily for reasons that are not related to receiving an education. However, the one bright spot here is that at UIUC, resident tuition is not all that much more inexpensive than nonresident tuition (as compared to other US public law schools): $28,000 a year vs. $36,000. Residency does play a factor in admissions decisions.

IOWA: Iowa is another state where it is difficult to petition for residency. In addition to "domiciling" for 12 months in the Hawkeye State, the University of Iowa's website states that "certain things have probative value" (in other words, no guarantees) to substantiate a claim to residency: Reliance upon Iowa resources for financial support, acceptance of an offer of permanent employment in Iowa. The website goes out of its way to explain that things which often pass for a commitment to residency in other states--paying state income taxes, voting in Iowa elections, registering one's vehicle in Iowa--will not be sufficient for purposes of gaining in-state tuition. Thus, it might be possible for an incoming 3L who has accepted a position with an Iowa-based firm to get residency for their final year, but that seems to be about it. Residency is not of paramount importance for admission, as it is not mentioned at all in their description of selection criteria for applicants, however it does help to reduce tuition by roughly $15,000 a year.

WASHINGTON: Washington is another state where they do not grant in state to individuals in the state primarily for educational purposes. Thus in order to become a resident, they must establish a "bona fide" domicile for 12 months prior to the start of classes. Washington Law's admissions website states that "residency is not a major factor in admissions decisions," however they do aim for a class of around 70% in-state residents. Being a resident of WA reduces tuition from $26,231 to $17,846, a relatively minor reduction compared to many states.

OHIO: A student may apply for residency after 12 months of continuous living in the state of Ohio, however their website does state that the board of regents consciously seeks to exclude those who are in the state primarily for purposes of getting an education. Nevertheless, the option is technically available to students who are willing to present evidence that they are inclined to stay in Ohio after graduation. The law school's website says most students who apply for residency after 1L are able to get it. Residency is not a major factor in admissions decisions.

ALABAMA: Residency is a major factor in admissions decisions for 'Bama, but for those who are admitted out of state the law school's website does state that it is possible to obtain residency after the first year. This is a good sign as many other public schools' websites discourages applicants from considering this option. Conversely, however, Alabama does declare quite clearly that those in Alabama only to pursue an education will not be given residency, so in order to pull this off it will be crucial to shift all documents to Alabama and make a clear case that you intend to make the state your home for the long haul. Compared to other first tier law school, Alabama's tuition is relatively affordable for residents and nonresidents alike ($11,190 and $22,170, respectively).

COLORADO: The law school's website states quite clearly that nonresident students may petition for residency after 12 months of continuous living in the state of Colorado, and there do not appear to be any strings attached. Based on this description, Colorado, along with California, seems to be one of the more friendly states to out of state students who might wish to establish residency. CU states on their website that they do offer admissions preference to CO residents, and being a resident lowers tuition to ~$18,500 from ~$31,000.

INDIANA: In order to become a resident of Indiana, one must reside in the Hoosier State for 12 solid months prior to the 1st day of classes. Additionally, at no point in that 12 months can the would-be resident's main purpose for being in Indiana be to obtain an education. This makes it troubling for those who hope to get residency by 2L year. Important also to note is that, unlike many other states, marrying an Indiana resident and moving to Indiana does NOT confer resident status upon the nonresident spouse. Being an Indiana resident does not give any preferential treatment whatsoever onto an applicant. It does, however, reduce tuition from approximately $37,300 to $20,000 per year.

GEORGIA: An important thing to bear in mind with Georgia residency is that there is not a set of ultimate guidelines, because Georgia state law puts the ultimate authority in residency decisions with the Board of Regents. A person must be a "bona fide" GA resident for 12 months before applying for residency, and they can help their case with proof of residency in the form of vehicle/voter registration, state income tax returns, etc. Also noteworthy is that the wording excludes from consideration those who are full-time students during that 12-month period, but not those who are part-time students. UGA's website states that the vast majority of individuals in the most recent incoming class for which statistics were available were GA residents, a fact which implies (though it is not explicitly stated) that GA residents were given preferential admissions treatment. Tuition is reduced from $29,054 to $12,058.

WISCONSIN: Gaining residency in Wisconsin is no easy task, as is often the case with flagship universities such as UW-Madison that attract applicants from all over the nation. Even after living in the state of Wisconsin for more than 12 months, if the applicant's main purpose for being in the Cheese State is to get an education of any sort, then the petition for residency is likely to be denied. Wisconsin residency is a big help when seeking admission. On the school's admissions website, they state clearly that the four main things they seek in an application are: A strong GPA, a good LSAT score, an applicant who is an underrepresented minority, and Wisconsin residency. Tuition for residents is $14,730 for the year, whereas nonresidents pay $34,655.

ARIZONA: It is difficult for students to become residents if they are initially classified as nonresidents, however if they have lived in Arizona for 12 months, then it is possible. There are a few exceptions however that are not found in other state universities. For example, Native American students from tribes such as the Navajo whose land is located in Arizona and another state are often typically given automatic residency. According to U of A's website, it is "slightly easier" to be admitted to the law school as a resident of Arizona, however they go on to state that more than half of their offers of admission are mailed to nonresidents, so this does not present a daunting obstacle to out-of-staters set on attending Rogers. Becoming a resident of Arizona decreases tuition from $25,991 to $16,201.

NORTH CAROLINA: In order to be classified as a North Carolina resident, one must have lived in NC for 12 months prior to the start of classes. Additionally, this may need to be even earlier because residency decisions are made at the time that applications are processed since the state requires that 75% of those admitted to UNC Law be North Carolina residents. Students may petition to chance their residency status after 1 year living in the state, but they must fill out a 4 page residency questionnaire in its entirety before their petition will be considered. Given the cap on nonresident admissions, it is significantly easier to get into UNC Law if you are a NC resident. Additionally, residency reduces the rate of tuition from $25,365 to $12,947 per year.

MARYLAND: Those seeking in-state status must present "clear and convincing proof" of their being a true Maryland resident. Sadly, a fondness for crab cakes or an ability to quote old episodes of The Wire verbatim will not suffice in this regard. Unlike many states which require those who'd like to be residents to live in the state for 12 months prior to the start of classes, Maryland requires one to have an INTENT to "abandon" one's former state and make MD their new permanent home for 12 moths prior to the registration deadline for classes (not the first day of class). Ways one can prove this intent include: Showing a history of either employment in or financial dependence upon someone in the State of Maryland, registering for Selective Service as a resident of Maryland, vehicle registration, etc. Being in-state takes tuition down from $33,000 to $22,000, but does not confer a strong admissions boost.

FLORIDA: Obtaining residency in Florida by 2L is a relatively straightforward process for those who know what needs to be done and set out deliberately to do so right from the get-go. Living in Florida for 12 straight months without extended time out of the state and getting a Florida driver's license as early as possible should be enough to get the job done. In-state residency does not have a dramatic affect on boosting admissions chances as there is no official cap on residents as a percentage of the law school's student body, however it should be noted that gaining residency is very doable in Florida as the law school's website explicitly states that the majority of students will gain residency after their first year in FL. Being a resident takes tuition from $30,100 for the academic year to $10,800.

UTAH: A person who establishes a domicile for 12 months can potentially apply for residency, however if their primary purpose for being in the state of Utah was to obtain an education, then one must do certain things in order to pull off a reclassification. First , you have to register your vehicle in the state of Utah at least 90 days prior to the start of classes. It is also necessary to furnish some kind of proof of employment in Utah for the 3 months prior to the start of classes, register to vote in Utah, and have your name on utility bills and a lease somewhere in Utah.

TENNESSEE: Tennessee is less specific than most states about what constitutes a bona fide domicile. They simply state that those who wish to prove that they have established a domicile in the state of TN need to "submit any and all evidence" that they think will make their case. Tennessee prefers in-state residents for admissions, and being a resident reduces tuition from $27,762 to $11,502 per year.

KENTUCKY: Students who live in Kentucky for 12 months prior to classes are automatically considered residents, however even those who are initially classified as nonresidents can petition for residency as UK students. Their website just states that cases will be reviewed on a "case by case" basis, however it is safe to assume that doing the usual things--changing one's vehicle registration, paying state taxes, registering to vote, etc.--will help ensure success. Being a resident of KY reduces annual tuition at the law school to $14,392 from $25,570.

MISSOURI: Students just need to live in Missouri for a year and change their relevant documents to Missouri and they can obtain residency after the first year. The entering class is typically 80% MO residents, so being a resident does assist somewhat in the admissions process. Not being a resident adds a $15,246 surcharge to each year's tuition and fees, so gaining residency is well worth the relatively minimal effort it requires.

NEW JERSEY: Students must "domicile" in NJ for 12 months at least prior to the first day of class to become a resident. However those who have not done so can still petition for residency (statistics are not given as to how many of these petitions are successful, but one must imagine that the standard moves--changing driver's license, voter registration, securing employment, etc--would be of service in this quest). Residency does not give a substantial boost in the likelihood of admission, but it does serve to reduce tuition from $31,054 to $20,860.

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aguyingeorgia
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby aguyingeorgia » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:16 am

RE: GA

Huge preference given to in-state residents in the admissions process.

In-state tuition is actually granted as a form of scholarship to students with the right numbers at schools.

The above applies only to UGA and GSU.

Mercer and Emory want your blood, sweat, tears, and cash. :)

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aguyingeorgia
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby aguyingeorgia » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:18 am

The fact that some schools don't care about in-state tuition or even have a different scale based on residency is a very important factor to keep in mind.

Sometimes, deferring a year to get in-state rates can save you 100grand or more.

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HipHopAPotamus
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby HipHopAPotamus » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:29 pm

Ken, one thing to maybe note for the WA section:
While it's hard to get residency, you can pretty easily apply for a non-resident tuition differential waiver. Basically you can get resident tuition for your 2nd and 3rd years if you get a Washington Driver's License and Voter Regestration.
http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/newGRAD-PROF.htm

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MBZags
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition at each school?

Postby MBZags » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:11 am

HipHopAPotamus wrote:Ken, one thing to maybe note for the WA section:
While it's hard to get residency, you can pretty easily apply for a non-resident tuition differential waiver. Basically you can get resident tuition for your 2nd and 3rd years if you get a Washington Driver's License and Voter Regestration.
http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/newGRAD-PROF.htm


Thank you so much for that link! :D

giveitawhurl
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition in each state?

Postby giveitawhurl » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:58 pm

Are you sure you have to be on a lease for domicile in VA?

Their website says:

Q: What is domicile?
A: "Domicile" is the present, fixed home of an individual to which one returns following temporary absences and at which one intends to remain indefinitely. The domicile of a dependent or a minor is presumed to be that of the parent(s).

There is no mention of necessity of being on a lease. Where is this information from?

And also, if someone does not own a car, is it necessary to switch your drivers' license? And if so, does that have to be done a year before as well?

giveitawhurl
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Re: How hard/easy is it to get in-state tuition in each state?

Postby giveitawhurl » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:37 am

anybody have any stories of in-state denial at UVA when they weren't expecting it??




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