College Tuition – In-State or Out-of-State Fees?

Raghuram Sukumar Admission 9 Comments

Tuition fees in U.S. universities and colleges are very expensive when compared to tuition fees in other countries. But with higher fees come better quality of education.

I’m responding to a comment made by Doniyor in the post, How to select U.S. Universities.

Hi There, I am from Germany, I am heading to the States to study, I am now googling college tuition fees, but there are in-state and out-of-state tuition fees. Am I considered for being out-of-state student?

In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition Fees

To help students understand the difference between an in-State and out-of-State college fee, read the previous post, In-State vs Out of State Tuition Fees.

This will give you a clear understanding about college tuition fees in U.S. universities.

I have answered a similar question about college tuition and residency requirements in a previous post. Find out here if you qualify for In-State Tuition fees.

U.S. Students (Citizens and Permanent Residents) College Fees

For example, let’s assume Stacey lives in Florida and decided to attend college in Texas. She will be considered an out-of-State student for 1 year.

So in the first year of her bachelor’s or graduate studies, she has to pay out-of-State tuition fees.

After completing 1 year of stay in Texas, she can now claim residency in Texas, which means she can pay in-State fees starting on her second year and will be considered as a resident of Texas. This example applies to all the States in America.

University of Texas at Austin – Quotes

Q. How do I establish residency?

A. One must be an independent (not claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes) US citizen or permanent resident (have a green card, also known as card I-551 or the evidence of I-551 stamp in the passport) or international student who is eligible to establish a domicile in Texas and live in the state of Texas for 12 consecutive months and establish a domicile in Texas prior to enrollment.

Q. How do I establish a domicile in Texas?

A. A domicile in Texas is presumed if, at least 12 months prior to the census date of the semester in which he or she is to enroll, at least one of the following applies:

1) The person owns real property in Texas
2) The person owns a business in Texas
3) The person is married to someone who has established a domicile in Texas, and
4) The person has had gainful employment other than work-study and other such student employment in Texas. (For more details, read visit UT Autsin.)

Can International Students claim Residency in State?

International students are considered as non-residents for tuition purposes.

Unless a student gets scholarship or some form of RA or TA, the student will have to pay out-of-State college fees, even after completing 1 year of stay in any U.S. State.

University of Texas at Brownsville – Quotes

An international student, for example a student on an F-1 or J-1 visa, who is not permitted to establish domicile in the United States, does not qualify for the in-district tuition rate.

University of Texas at Austin – Quotes

I am an international student and I want to know how I can establish residency?

The following international students are eligible to establish a domicile in Texas under the law and can obtain Texas residency if they meet the basic residency requirements as listed in the first question on this list:

  • Parolee, holder of asylum status or refugee
  • A student who has applied for adjustment of status to permanent residency (must have received an I-485 notice of action for the green card application)
  • Holder of a visa that is eligible to domicile in the US. See the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Body (THECB) list of eligible visas.
  • High school graduation in Texas after 36 months of residence in the state.


  1. Hello,

    Some universities like St. Cloud State University offers in-state tuition for international students via the Academic & Cultural Sharing Scholarship, which saves almost $7000 per year.

    There’s no need to apply for the scholarship for new international students, it is granted to you on your first semester. Then all you need to do is complete two cultural sharing activities and maintain other requirements to qualify for the ACSS scholarship.

    More information here:

  2. I have a house in north carolina but we dont live there. We are livivg in virginia. If my daughter decide to atten to north carolina university. Will she have to pay for out of state tuition fer?

  3. My dad just moved to Alabama for a job offer and will remain there. The rest of my family, my little brother, mother, and me, are staying in Virginia until i graduate this year. My dad says i have to go to college in Alabama because he does not want to pay out of state tuition in Virginia. Ive lived here for 8 years, have a Virginian license, and im going to graduate in a Virginian high school; if i want to go to college here in Virginia am i considered instate or out of state even if my parents are in Alabama. Btw im turning 18 in 5 months if that effects anything…

    1. You have to establish residency in Alabama to get In-State Fees. Check with the school for specific requirements for residency.

  4. Hi, I’m currently enrolled and studying basics in San Antonio College. I was under an E-1 visa but it was going to expire so I changed it to an F-1 visa.
    I did my four years of high school here in San Antonio, Tx, graduated 2008 and I’ve been doing basics here. Changed my status and last semester I paid in-state tuition (under the F-1 visa) but now they’re trying to make me pay out of state.
    Do I qualify to pay in-state tuition? I did my 4 years of high school here and in total, I’ve lived in Tx for about 9 years already…
    Thank you!

  5. My husband has been working fo 5 years in GA on H1. If join in a school for higher studies am I eligible for instate fee

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