In-state vs Out-of State tuition. Can you get in-state tution if you work in US for more than year ?

In Application Info MS-MBA by Kumar231 Comments

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…

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Comments ( 231 )

  1. Sergey

    Hi Kumar,

    I came across to the situation here:

    I had an H1B visa since October 2014, and expiring July 31, 2017. I applied for renewal sometime in May 2017. I received only the letter of Receipt Notice, and nothing else. I applied for summer classes in Houston, Texas which started before H1B expired, and I was able to pay in-state tuition. Then I applied for fall, and the school is refusing to honor the in-state tuition because I am still in pending status, and haven’t received any answer from immigration. The prediction of my attorney to receive the final letter of approval/denial is November. School admission officer said if you pay the full out of state amount, and even if you bring the approval letter in November the tuition for fall is not going to be refunded.

    To my understanding, while on pending renewal process of H1B the petitioner is able to work for the same employer, and is required to keep on paying the same taxes, but is not able to qualify for in-state tuition? Am I missing something or maybe bigger picture here, on why they are not letting me pay in-state tuition?

    Please advise regarding H1B renewal rights if there are any, or loopholes to push on the school.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sergey,
      It is a grey area, I am not sure if there is a rule as such that you cannot get in-state when pending status. I had similar situation with Driving License, where they did not give me new DL, Read DL Expired H1B situation , though there is no rule written, it is up to the organization…You can check with your immigration attorney to find there are any legal clauses, I am not sure.

  2. Sergey

    Hi Kumar,

    I came across to the situation here:

    I had a H1B visa expiring July 31, 2017, and applied for renewal sometime in May, 2017. I received only the letter of Receipt Notice, and nothing else. I applied for a summer classes in Houston, Texas which started before H1B expired, and I was able to pay in-state tuition. Then I applied for fall, and the school is refusing to honor the in-state tuition because I am still on pending status, and haven’t received any answer from immigration. The prediction of my attorney to receive the final letter of approval/denial is November.

    Please advise

  3. Filippo

    Hello,

    I’m changing status from H-4 to F-1 for this incoming semester. Until now, I have been granted in-state tuition because of my parents living here. Here is my question, once I change visa to F-1, will I still be eligible for in-state tuition ? My parents take care of my education, and are currently living in the States.

    Thank you

  4. Pratap

    I am not sure if this is entirely true. I am on H1B visa and presently living in NJ. My children are on H4 visa. With multiple sources I came to know that students on H4 visa are required to pay Out-of-state tuition fee as they are not considered as permanent resident, even though they are advanced stage of obtaining GC (I-140 approved for many years). Please refer to link below for more details
    http://forum.freeadvice.com/education-law-47/residency-status-college-tuition-558277.html

  5. Arsal

    If a person works FT in a state for 12 months on F1 OPT and then gets H1B, will they immediately be able to get in-state tuition? Or will they have to complete 1 year on H1B first?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Arsal,
      Well, usually working on F1 status may not get you that benefit of in-state as the taxes you pay would be less. I suggest you check with the school in the state you plan to study.

  6. Rahul

    Hi Kumar,

    If you can answer my 2 questions it will be very helpful.

    First I will tell u about my visa status : I am on H1B with approved I140 case and living in NYC for more than a year. So here are my questions below on behalf of my wife.:-

    1) Can my wife come to usa on f1 visa for MS and be eligible for instate tution fees.?
    2) if not, can she be enrolled in school for MS on H4 visa and work anywhere part time outside campus or in campus (like taking, ra or garden jobs) since my i140 is approved….because I read somewhere that students on H4 visa are not allowed to work as a ga or ra or ta and also not allowed to take opt and cpt…since my i140 is approved I really don’t need to have opt or cpt right….

    It would be really helpful if u can answer my question

  7. Rahul

    Hi Kumar,

    If you can answer my 2 questions it will be very helpful.

    First I will tell u about my visa status : I am on H1B with approved I140 case and living in NYC for more than a year. So here are my questions below on behalf of my wife.:-

    1) Can my wife come to usa on f1 visa for MS and be eligible for instate tution fees.?
    2) if not, can she be enrolled in school for MS on H4 visa and work anywhere part time outside campus or in campus (like taking, ra or garden jobs) since my i140 is approved….because I read somewhere that students on H4 visa are not allowed to work as a ga or ra or ta and also not allowed to take opt and cpt…since my i140 is approved I really don’t need to have opt or cpt right….

    It would be really helpful if u can answer my question

  8. Jessica

    Hi~good article here! I’m wondering if i can get in-state tuition fee in PA, i have studied in PA for almost 6 years and i have a part time job (20 HR/week), can i get in-state tuition fee?
    Thank you~

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jessica,
      Well, if you are a US Citizen ( Not on F1 visa) and lived in the state and paid taxes, you may be eligible. I am not sure, how the part time thing works. I suggest you speak to any State University in this regard, they will advise you the best.

  9. Julia

    Hey, great article here! I wonder if you know if F1 students on OPT (I worked as a student and transferred into a full-time position, have been working for a year already and live in this state for three years) can qualify for in-state tuition?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Julia,
      Well, if you are on F1 visa, you may not be eligible, unless you get some sort of funding from school. You can check with the school you plan to apply to double check.

  10. Uma

    Hi all,

    I have applied for H4 extension.I received my receipt notice in feb 2016 and not yet received the approval notice. I got admitted in University of north Carolina. Will I be eligible for instate tuition fee? I have stayed in NC for more than an year now.

    TIA
    Thanks

  11. Isabel

    I am currently going to school in Florida from NY. My parents still support me but I do have a job here in Florida to have extra spending money. I really needed a license (obviously because there is no way to travel without it) and I got one today. I DONT want to be a florida residence and im worried that I’ll be considered one with this id. Is this the case?

  12. Marco

    I live in Colorado. I have been her for more than a year. I am currently on an F-1 Visa. But i also have TPS (Temporary Protected Status) and employment authorization card. I have worked here for more than a year,
    Will i be eligible to get in state tution fee?

  13. Jake

    Great article, thanks for sharing information.

    If I’m an international student F1, and I got married to a U.S. Women, will I get an in-state tuition?

    Thanks,

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jake,
      If you are on F1, you will not be eligible, unless you get some sort of funding like TA, RA or GA. You will need to have other visa status, if you get Green Card, and maybe live in the same state for one month, you may be eligible. I suggest you speak to the school you plan to apply for better clarity.

  14. H4toF1COS

    Hi,

    I am on H4 visa and I paid in-state tuition fees for the last term. I have applied for F1 COS. If it gets approved, will I still be eligible to pay in-state tuition fees as we have been paying taxes for the last 4 years?

    Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      H4toF1COS,

      AFAIK, you have to pay international fees on F-1. You can’t have it both ways.

      Think about it, someone enrolls in MS program from India on F-1. After 1 year, they can claim domicile and ask for in-state tuition. That will not fly.

      1. H4toF1COS

        Hi Saurabh, thanks for the reply. I agree on your point but I was wondering if there would be any chance since F1 students do not pay tax.

  15. Arun

    Very good website.

    I have one question. I am staying in texas since may 2015 but I got my state id card and DL in Dec 2015 . The university rules for in-state fees is for state residents who complete more than 1 year in texas. .Considering that how many months they will consider for me if they ask my state ID proof. Will they calculate from May 2015 or dec 2015. I am paying taxes since may2015 and I am on H1.

    Help and advice needed

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Arun,
      It has nothing to do with the DL or state ID, if you can show proof to them that you are working and paying taxes from May 2015 and on H1, that should help you with the in-state.

  16. Arun

    Hi I am currently in H1 working in Texas. I am paying taxes from past 13 months. My wife is joining me next month with H4.

    Can she study in US with in-state fees ? Or she needs to complete 1 year to be eligible for in-state fees? Please help.

    Thanks

  17. Jada

    I live in Georgia but I want to go to South Carolina University. I don’t want to pay out of state tuition. My aunt lives in SC so is there any way I can say I live with her so I don’t have to pay?

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