College costs have risen quickly in recent years, and people often end up saving for college with a 529 plan. Many times, the best way to reduce the cost of higher education comes from getting in-state tuition at a public university. However, this can often be very difficult for people who have recently moved and for those who would like to relocate to a new state. Paying out-of-state tuition can often be several times higher than what individuals who have residency are charged. Luckily, there are a number of things that people can do in order to qualify for in-state tuition.
Get the Right Documentation
People will need to reside in many states for a specific period of time while not studying at a university in order to qualify for in-state tuition. However, there is a bit more to the story that that. Universities spend quite a lot of time determining whether individual students are eligible for in-state tuition as they make significantly more money from students who are deemed out-of-state, and each can have their own guidelines. With this, one of the best first steps to take when moving to a new state is to get documentation.
In general, it is best for people to get several government issued IDs immediately after moving to a state in order to make sure that they will definitely be eligible for in-state tuition rates as soon as possible. Many people make the mistake of believing that things like utility bills will be enough to convince a school that they are a state resident. In reality, this is often not the case. However, universities cannot deny the credibility of government issued IDs, and these can always be used to establish how long a person has lived in the state.
Identify State Rules
Different states vary widely on their rules regarding who is eligible for in-state tuition, and it is essential for people to know exactly what they need to do in order to gain residency before they apply to study at public universities. Knowing that a person is in compliance with state regulations will help them make a good case for why they should be receiving a lower tuition rate. In addition, it can be a good idea to look into regional tuition agreements. These allow people to attend universities in neighboring states for the same cost as residents. While not every state has these agreements in place, they can be a great benefit in many situations where people want to attend university across state lines.
Look at the University's Requirements
People who know what university they would like to attend should look at the policies in place regarding residency. This is generally the best way that people can get an understanding of exactly what to expect when applying to a school after moving to a new state. Residency requirements are usually spelled out very clearly on university websites, and it is always possible to call the financial aid or registrar's office to ask about when a person can expect to get in-state tuition.
Now there is a place to help you find out more information about the various public colleges and universities out there. There is a wide variety of statistics and data available on the various higher education systems across the country. Sometimes the data is collected nationally and sometimes it is local to each state. We provide our analysis of the education data that is available on higher education systems in the USA.
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