Tuition fee is the biggest expenditure of all your student life if you go to school in US. If you work in US for some time, you get benefits and save tuition. I will try to explain the difference and tell you ways how to get it and tell you why you can not get at some places.
Out of State Tuition :
As the name says, it is tuition fee that you pay if you are NOT from that state. i.e., if you go to school in Texas and you are not from Texas, you have to pay Out of state tuition. So, all the international students on F1 visa fall under this category. Unless, you can convince immigration you are from Texas…may be by wearing a cow boy hat and behave like a true Texan 😉 Anyways, we cannot convince them, so we will stick to the basics and say, all internationals are Out of state tuition. Typically the out of state tuition is double the in-state tuition. So, lets say if your in state fee was 3000, your Out of state tuition would be 6000.
In- State Tuition :
Well, as it says, it is tuition you pay if you are from the state or have lived in the state or your parents are from that state. As said above, it is HALF of out of state tuition. First question we get is WHY ? Second question WHY ? Third question WHY NOT ME ?
Because, you are from state or your parents are from that state, it is assumed that you or your parents paid Income taxes for state and other taxes on vehicle, property, etc. Bottom line, your taxes are doing the trick here and getting you a big saving on Tuition. In fact, the State Budget has allocation for all the State Schools. Thats where the money is coming for schools to give you in-state. Why NOT You ? Simply, because you haven’t paid taxes as you are on F1 and just came to US. The concept of In state tuition only works for State funded schools and NOT private schools. So, if you go to a private schools, there is only one fee…that is TUITION FEE 🙂
In State if you Worked in a State on H1 ?
YES and YES, most of the states ( I do not know about every state) give you In state tuition if you worked in that particular state for more than 1 year ( some places more than 6 months). They assume, you paid taxes. You will need proof to support these, like a driving license, W2 tax return, car registration, rental, etc. But, the point is, you get benefit on tuition if you consistently lived in a state for more than one year. This is very important if you want to pursue higher education like MBA where the fees is RIDICULOUSLY HIGH. H4 visa holders can be eligible for in-state tution. Read this article : H4 Visa Study MS/ MBA in US: In-state Tuition and other advantages?
In-State tuition for F1 students ?
YES, you may get In state tuition if you are on F1 visa too. It depends on the school and their rules. In some schools, if you get 0.5 FTE ( i.e., 50% of full time employment, which is 20 hrs a week) Teaching assistant (TA) , Research assistant(RA) or Graduate Assistant (GA), you may be eligible for in-state tuition fee. The pay varies by state for these positions, but typically, if you have a 0.5 FTE TA, RA or GA, you may be eligible to get in state tuition. Another way is if you get scholarships or any grants. So, talk to your professor about funding you for TA, RA or GA and get in-state. Some states, have FULL Tuition waiver if you are GA, TA or RA. It depends on school and state. So, it all varies, but worst case is you at least get in state tuition. Some schools may not have the provision of in-state tuition for positions like GA, TA or RA as they pay higher hourly rate to students…so, it totally depends on the school and their rules in their campus, you are better of checking with the financial aid or your academic dean of students.
Any questions…drop a comment…