How to Get In-State Tuition as a Graduate Student

Are you eligible for in-state tuition? Read on to find out!

Just as in college, graduate schools offer discounted tuition rates to students who are residents of the same state or region as the school. The discount is usually substantial and makes the cost of tuition much more affordable.

If you’re relying on student loans to put you through graduate school, or you are trying to cut tuition costs, you should consider applying to schools within your state. The benefits are great, as it decreases the amount of loans you will have to repay upon graduation.

If you live in a county that borders another state, you may also be eligible to receive in-state tuition rates.

There is usually more financial assistance for students pursuing a PhD, so those seeking a masters degree especially should consider applying for in-state tuition.

Traditional Ways to Get In-State Tuition in Graduate School

Each state has its own residency requirements. However, most states require graduate students, or their spouse, to have lived in the state for at least one year prior to the first day of classes. Some states require a two-year residency or a minimum age requirement.

The Office of Admissions at your graduate school will typically be the department to determine whether you qualify for in-state tuition. This means that if for some reason, you transfer to a different graduate school in the state, you will need to apply for in-state tuition again.

Typically, students can apply for residency by their second year at graduate school. However, if you can’t afford to rack up a tuition bill at the out-of-state price for one year, consider moving to the state one year prior attending graduate school. This way you can find a house or apartment near your school, obtain employment and start paying state income taxes. By the end of the year, you will have gained in-state residency.

Other Ways Graduate Students Can Pay In-State Tuition

Decreased enrollment and financial setbacks have caused many schools to lower their tuition rates. For example, Eastern Oregon University charges less than $18,000 to all students attending the school, regardless of their residency status.

Other states and graduate schools are making it easier for out-of-state students to obtain residency. Several schools, such as Southern Illinois University and Northern Michigan University have allowed students who have lived on campus for six months to pay in-state tuition rates. Although additional requirements may apply such as paying income tax and registering to vote, this level of leniency is helping more students achieve their educational and career goals.

Some graduate schools have re-evaluated the boundaries in-state tuition. If you live in a county that borders another state, you may also be eligible to receive in-state tuition rates or other significant discounts.

Are you pursuing a masters degree that is not offered in your state? You may be eligible to take advantage of the Academic Common Market program offered by the Southern Regional Education Board. Out-of-state students who are covered by the program are charged the in-state tuition rate.

When a student assists a professor in research or teaching duties, it is called an assistantship. Most assistantships offer students a lower tuition cost. Some go a step further and offer your in-state tuition rates, although you retain out-of-state status. In the event that you stop your assistantship, you will have to pay out-of-state tuition if you are not eligible for or have not applied for state residency.

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