In-state Tuition vs Out of State Tuition for Internationals - F1 Students - H1B Visa Holders

In-state vs Out-of State tuition Fee ? Eligibility for F1 Students, H1B, L1 ?

In Application Info by KumarUpdated : 243 Comments

If you plan to study in the US, tuition fee is the biggest expenditure of all your student life. If you work in US for some time, you maybe eligible for certain benefits like in-state tuition fee and can save on tuition fee.  I will try to explain the difference and tell you various options on how to get it and tell you why you can not get at some places.

What is Out of State Tuition or International Student Tuition Fee ?

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 … Just Kidding 😉 … 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 Fee in US ?

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 H1B or L1 Visa ?

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 and live there. You will need proof to support these, like  a driving license, W2 tax return, car registration, rental, etc.  All of these are to verify that you meet the residency requirement.  The key point is that 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.  Also, 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?.  The best way to check is to email or call any of the state schools that you plan to study in and ask them the residency requirements for in-state tuition, they will ask you some details or ask you to fill out a form and they will tell based on that. Again, you need to check with the school to ensure you qualify, you cannot assume this as it all varies by state.

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 ( 243 )

  1. Dhinesh

    I am US greencard holder, but rightnow i am staying in INDIA for the past 3 month. my green status is in georgia, so will i get instate tution waiver, if i plan to do MS in georgia university.
    please reply me

    1. IndiGuy

      For getting in-state tuition waiver, one have to show 6 months continuous residency (This might be different for different universities) of that state. If you are living n GA for past 6 months then you should be eligible for the waiver. Please check with the university for further details.

  2. Heli

    I m having Greencard. But I was wondering I still can get in state tuition fees if my mothers sister is a resident of Illinois and if I stay at her place during my studies.

  3. krishnan

    Hi Kumar,

    I chanced about your post while looking for some information on H4 visa. I start work with the university of Arkansas this August and my wife has been accepted into the MBA program on another campus of the same university system. They are telling us that she can stay on H4 and get in-state but if she transfers to F1 she has to pay out of state. Their rule book on the website says that if a person moves to Arkansas for employment, his spouse can quailfy for in-state. We have submitted my proof of employment but we have still not heard back from them and it has been more than 40 days. Can you please share some information that can help our case? Can she be eligible for in-state because of that rule?

    1. administrator

      If the University promised that she would be eligible for in-state on H4, then she should be. I would go with University’s advice. In fact, I was reading the In-state Arkansas FAQs and felt the same. Your wife should be eligible.

      If you have not heard back fromt them, just call them. It is summer time, most of the offices are closed and few work part time, so there could be delay. Dont worry. You can call the Office of Financial Aid and follow up.

      1. Krishnan

        Hi Kumar,
        Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, we have been told about the in-state option if she goes to school on H4. However, as she is starting the MBA program, we both believe that F1 is the best option as then she can do internships and OPT. We want to know whether she can get In-state tution benefit if she changes her visa to F1. For this the university asked my university employment offer letter, marriage certificate and visa copies and we submitted the same on 31st May. Could you please shed some light on this? As I am going to be employed with the university, can she get in-state as my spouse on F1? ( website says spouses are eligible but is it true for her case too?)

        1. administrator

          Well, in my view, she many not be eligible for In-state tuition on F1 as she will be an international student ( not on dependent visa) , unless she gets any sort of funding like Teach Assistantship ( TA ) or RA

          I understand it is a catch 22 situation for you guys Fees vs employment options…You may have to take a call. You can double check with the school financial aid office and international students office.

          1. Krishnan

            Thank you very much for your reply. I guess she will have to go to school on h4 as the fees would double on f1. Thanks again.

  4. Jerome

    Hey Kumar,

    I am a documented immigrant here in Virginia and I’ve been living here for 4 months now. My dad has been living here in Virginia for about 10 years already. I’m 20, no part-time job yet (since I’m just new here) and I considered myself dependent to my dad, am I eligible to become an in-state student too? or do I have to wait one year in order for me to become one?

    Your site is really helpful. I am hoping to get a quick response! More power!

    1. administrator

      Every state is different…I am not sure how your parents have included you for taxation purposes. You may be eligible for in-state based… Check out these In-State Virgina FAQs Just call up any state school in Virginia or visit them and explain them your situation, they should help you out. We just cannot assume.

  5. RS

    I did my MS from Texas, now doing job from last 2 years, I wanna do PhD, current status is my employer is filing the H1 tomorrow also he said he will file for GC next month. what to do, I cannot live without PhD and I wanna get a good visa status like GC.

    1. administrator

      RS, Well, you can do PhD by converting your visa to F1. If you get admission and full funding, you should be able to study for free and get paid as well. If you do exceptionally well in PhD, you may be eligible for EB1 category to file GC directly.

  6. Tiffany B.

    I am orginally from GA, but moved to FL for the past 5 years. I went to college in FL after I had been there for a year and received instate tuition. I recently moved back to GA and want to continue going to college. Do I have to wait a year to be a resident again to recieve instate tuition or because I am from GA I can automatically get it?

    1. administrator

      Typically universities can look at various factors to consider you for in-state, like :
      Were you born in that state and you went to high school ?
      Do you own property and have been paying taxes ?
      Are your parents from that state and you were their dependent, etc.

      Every state is different, I have not lived in GA, so cannot advise…

      I would call up a state school in GA and ask them, they will clarify it.

  7. Gayathri

    Hi Saurabh,

    Great site with lots of information.

    I currently work in NJ and live in PA(lease, dl are in PA), and its been a year i am in US. Will i be considered an In state student in any of the state? Please let me know your thoughts

    Thanks in advance.


    1. administrator

      DO you mean in-state for PA or for NJ? PA definitely but not sure about NJ. If the NJ school is ready to accept work location document to prove domicility, then yes you can be in-state for NJ as well.

      1. Gayathri

        Hi Saurabh,

        Is that only certain govt funded colleges offer this In state tution facility, because couple of colleges i enquired said that as we are interantional students irrespective of the duration of stay in US we cant be offered in-state tution. Any information about this?

        1. administrator

          I am not sure if different schools can have their own rules around domiciliary. If you are not on F-1 then you should not be considered as international student (but schools may want to take you as that to pay higher fees).

  8. heli

    I m having a greencard of illinois and i want to do masters from there. So I would be considered as a in-state student? and neither me or my parents have worked there..

  9. Alice


    I’m working right now on H1B, have worked for more than a year.
    I’m thinking of going to grad school full time, which means I will be switching to a F1.

    Would I still be eligible for in-state tuition because I have worked more than a year?
    Or not, since I will be on F1 when I study?

    Thanks for your reply!

  10. Damdam

    Hi, I am currently on F1 pursuing a 2nd master’s degree at a private school. I obtained my Bachelor’s and MBA degrees from colleges in Florida. After each degree, i got my OPT work permit and worked full time for a year and a half in Florida, and i claimed my taxes for both years. Now im considering transferring in the fall, to a a state funded school – FIU. Now my question is will i qualify for in-state tuition? based on the fact that i worked and paid taxes here for over a year

  11. tina

    hi i am in nj for 12 months ,i have green card, i just start working for 2 months,my parents has green card,but they don’t have jobs in usa,so me and my parents never paid tax .i am leaving with my sister so how can i prove my college for instate fees

  12. janpac

    Thanks for this article. I am on H1B, 3 yrs residence in IL and planning to enroll for masters at Governor’s State University in Illinois. The Admissions office says that my requirement and tuition fee would be considered F1 and out of state. I don’t think that person even know what to do about my situation. I demand for them to show me their university policy on qualifying me for the out of state than in-state tuition fee. Do you have any idea if Illinois university qualifies h1b visa holders with more than a year residency pays in state TF?

  13. Rick

    My wifes neice is here on a F1 studend Visa. We are paying her tuition and all cost, living with us. Can I claim any part of the tuition cost on my federal taxes?

  14. Swapnil

    Hi. Very nice website indeed!
    I am on H1B working in New York and residing in Jersey City, NJ. My wife on H4 is planning to do an MBA after a year or so. I want to know if she will be considered an in-state. And if yes for which state – NY or NJ? What are the most important things that we should keep in mind while planning her MBA. I will be waiting eagerly for your response.

    1. administrator

      If you have been living in NJ for more than 1 year, then she will be considered in-state for NJ. However, as NJ and NY are so close and lot of people have that kind of arrangement, you can check w/ individual schools if they would accept her as in-state in both NJ and NY.

  15. Jason

    Hi, I appreciate your web very much! It really does a lot of help to me.
    And I have some questions as well.
    I’m currently having my freshman year in a public university in California and I’m studying here on my F-1 visa. As mentioned in your article, the only methods for me to be qualified for in-state tuition is to get 0.5 FTE, TA, RA, or GA. But since I’m only a freshman, i dont think the last three options will be practical for me. So does it mean that once I work in Cali 20 hours per week, and work for a whole year, i can be qualified for in-state tuition? Will working in my school’s library and dining hall counts?

  16. peter

    Hello can you advise me…… Am filling the i-485 form and they wants to know my current uscis status as a student have been out of status what should I fill in? And which number is the I-94 number? is it the 11# at the top? Pls let me know…

  17. JS

    Great website!!!
    I have a question too. My boyfriend lives in NJ on his H4 visa. He has his state-id for 6months ONLY. He is willing to come to my place i.e.,California(CA) to continue his bachelors degree(he discontinued his degree in India due to some personal reasons). So, I am wondering whether he can come to CA on his H4 visa and study here, and will it be okay if his H1 visa holder is still in NJ?? Does it effect his visa status and what other consequences may arrive?
    And by the way I am not worried about any tuition fees.

    Please help

    1. administrator

      Technically it is possible for him to study in CA while H-1 visa holder is in NJ.

      However, his primary focus should be maintaining H-4 visa status. So if H-1 visa holder leaves US then he will have to leave US as well (family members cannot be “parked” in US) or when his H-4 is about to expire then H-1 visa holder needs to file for extension (or at least be involved in the extension process). Also, if the H-1 visa holder goes out of status, then the same would apply on H-4 visa holder.

      H-4 visa is more of a family reunion visa. So you need to be careful on how to use it if they are staying on different coasts for long time.

      1. JS

        Thanks a lotttt Saurabh for your immediate response. And I am just concerned about your last statement, “So you need to be careful if they are staying on different coasts for longtime”.
        Long time is for how many years approximately so that we can plan it accordingly.

        1. administrator

          I don’t know how many months/years they can stay away w/o generating suspicion. But like I said, H-4 is a family reunion visa, and if USCIS determines it’s being misused they can raise questions. The H-1/4 visa holders will then have to provide a reasonable response, which may be easy of tough depending on how long they have been staying separately.

          1. JS

            Ummm,,that’s an important thing to remember and I guess it is okay if the h4 holder will meet his h1 once in every two months.

            Anyways thank you so much.

  18. L

    Hi, I think I’m on a grey area. I will contact the schools, but I wanted to ask here as well. I have lived in FL for 6 years, working on a H1B. I’m considered a resident alien for tax purposes, since I have paid taxes and contributed to social security. If I change my status to F1 to pursue a full-time master degree in FL, is there a possibility to get in-state tuition? Thanks in advance.

  19. Lyndsay

    I have a question. I am a student from Canada. I currently live in North Carolina under my dad’s TD visa. I have lived her for over 6 years now, I graduated from a NC high school, and my parents pay taxes here. I was wondering if there’s any way I could qualify as an in-state student?

    1. Angie

      Hi Lyndsay,

      My daughter is in the same boat as you. We have lived and paid taxes in NC since 1997!!! UNC is charging her out of state tuition. However, my older daughter and I went there in 2006 and were charged in state. Let me know if you find out anything.

  20. Cynthia

    Does my school need to sevis certified to attend with an f1 visa.? Are there outside organizations that can do the application process for me? Or is it possible to get an i20 form from a sevis certified school then after the visa is issued change the school designation to one not on the sevis list?

    1. administrator

      I am not 100% sure, but I don’t think it is possible. One needs to have I-20 in order to apply for F-1 visa, and so the school needs to be SEVIS certified. Also, once you are enrolled in a school you can only move to another SEVIS certified school that can issue another I-20 to you.

  21. Wellington Kweku

    #1.I am currently more than 21 on a two years more valid h4 visa .. Can I still apply for college to get my status changed ??
    #2 . If no, what can I do to get that done ??

  22. Gil

    I worked on a J-1 visa for 10 months in Poughkeepsie , New York from August 2008 -until June 2009.

    I am applying for an MBA at CUNY starting spring 2011. Is it possible that given the status I had as a J-1 visa holder for that time I would be eligible for in state tuition?

  23. Joanna

    My parents don’t live in the same state I do, but I have lived here for over a year now. Not only that, but I am underaged and am still in need of financial support from my parents. Will I be able to receive in-state tuition because I have lived in this state or will in-state tuition not be applicable to me?

      1. Joanna

        I live in California, but my parents live in Alaska. I’m currently living with my older sister and her family, who have included me in their tax forms.

        1. administrator

          Although domicile requirements may vary from school to school, here is one example I am quoting:

          It seems that if you are dependent upon parent for financial support, then the parent also needs to satisfy domicile requirements. You can call the school to discuss your specific case. Also, this is just one school and I don’t know which school you are looking at. It would be better to discuss your specific case w/ the school in question.

  24. Primrose

    Hi Im an F1 student for 2.5 yrs now after I became 21 and my dad and mom are on E2 visa for 5 yrs. They pay taxes so is it possible for me to get instate? I am over 21 though but they are my sponsors?

    1. administrator

      Generally, if one is on F-1, then in-state tuition fees is not applicable. You are considered an international student and need to pay international fees.

      However, you can check w/ the specific school to see if they have different way to establish domicile.

      1. Primrose

        But my parents pay taxes.
        I want to apply to Georgia Tech. Here is the link for the policy site for instate from out of state:

        could you tell me if i can apply being an international student with my parents on E2 visa paying taxes?

        1. administrator

          I read the document behind “Non-immigrant Out-of-State Tuition Waiver for Undergraduate Students” and they have specified the requirements when a student on F-1 can be considered for tuition waiver. I don’t see parents paying taxes as one of the requirements, but there are few other requirements. Do you satisfy all of those? If yes, then you can argue your case and submit all required documents to ask for waiver. Else, you will have to pay fees for an international student.

  25. marius

    I have been in the united states (in Virginia 7/7) for the past 7 years. I started and finished high-school, while I was under H4 visa also 1yr of community college, then I turned 21 and had to switch to a F-1 visa. Now I am attending a 4yr college for my last 2 yrs. My question is can I apply for instate tuition if I am still living with my father (H1-B) and still am a dependent on his tax returns?

    1. administrator

      You will most likely have to pay international fees as you are on F-1. You can also check w/ your school as different states/schools have different domicile criteria.

  26. Vaidhi


    I am a MS student with a teaching assistantship in NC. I have lived in the US for more than 5 years and now I am listed as a Resident Alien for Tax purpose. Can I qualify for In-state tuition?

    1. administrator

      Usually students on F-1 are not eligible for in-state tuition, but your case is little different as you are listed as Resident Alien for tax purposes. As different states have different eligibility criteria for in-state tuition, it’s best to check w/ the school you are studying at or admitting into.

  27. peter

    My friend has been in the state for 4months and he is on f1 visa but out of status and want to get married with a us citizen I want to know if its possible for him to get work permit if he gets married or can apply for green card.

  28. Sourabh P.

    Excellent Post!
    However I still have a question.
    I have been working full time offcampus(initially on CPT (jan-aug’11) and then on OPT from August ’11 onwards to date), considering that my employer dosent sponsor me for H1B this year, I will continue my OPT till august ’12…….In this situation do I qualify for in-state tuition fees if I begin my MBA in Fall 2012.

    P.S. My Inst Student service office infoms student that they can qualify for in-state tuition after working for atleast 1yr on H1B, is this true? I studied at a Cal State Univ.

    1. administrator

      Will you be studying MBA on F-1? If yes, then you will not be eligible for in-state tuition but international fees.

      Your current visa status is F-1 and such aliens are considered as non-resident aliens (that is why they don’t have to pay for social security while working on OPT). As such, you will not be considered for in-state tuition if you have spent less than 1 year on H-1 (resident alien). Your DSO is right.

  29. peter

    Am an F1 student in texas and schooling here, have been trying to get job in and off campus but they said I need SSN before I can work and each time I try to get Job in compus they say no Job pls can you advice me on what to before they check me out of status.

    1. administrator

      Yes, it’s a chicken and egg situation. See if you can find an employer who can give you a joining date of one month in advance. During that time, you can get your CPT from your school and then request SSN from SSA office.

      SSN is required for taxes and probably for background check. I don’t know why a company would emphasize on it besides these 2 reasons.

      1. peter

        Thanks for the comment so you mean its possible for me to apply if I can get employment letter. And can take it to my school.I thought its a must I get Job inside the School. Well then I will hit you up and let you know what’s going on, Thank you.

        1. administrator

          Some schools issue CPT when working off-campus as long as the job is related to your course work and is part-time. You will have to check w/ your school about their policy on off-campus work on CPT.

  30. Chandramohan

    I am currently working on H-1B visa in Washington state since Feb 2011. I am planning to enroll in a Masters degree, but wondering If I will be eligible for in-state tuition?
    Also, my H-1B Visa is expiring on August 2013 and I am not sure If I will be completing my degree before then. So, If my company is not applying for my extension, is it possible to change the status to F1 without issues?

    Appreciate your feedback.


    1. administrator

      If you have been living in the state for more than 12 months now, then you can be qualified for ni-state tuition.

      In case your H-1 expires and is not extended, you will have to leave the country immediately or move to another visa status that allows you to continue studying (like F-1). You cannot move to B-1 and continue your studies.

      1. Chandramohan

        Thanks for your reply.
        Is it risky to rely on H-1B to F-1 transfer if my h-1b extension is not applied? I am trying to understand if there is any difficulty on the transfer. And also, does universities allow modifying the class schedule from weekend to weekdays, when I change my visa status?

        1. administrator

          There shouldn’t be any issues as long as you have been maintaining legal status in US, have funds for your studies and show intent of returning back to India after studies.

          For your other question, you will have to check w/ the university. If they have classes being offered on weekdays, then I don’t see an issue.

        2. administrator

          Regarding modifying class schedules, it can be tricky based on the program you are enrolled in. Some schools do not let students change from Part time program to Full time program classes as the admission process is different. As you become a full time student, if you change status to F1 visa, you need to clarify the same with the school officials.
          Talk to admissions counsellor and International student advisor.

  31. Shipra

    I am currently an employee with an Indian company and i have filed for an H1b visa with my current employer..I am expected to leave for Atlanta in december 2011…This oppertunity would give me a good chance to earn for my MBA which i plan to do in September 2012 from California…My question is whether 6 months is a good enf time to fall into the category for an in-state tution fee or do i require more work ex…..

    1. administrator

      You will be travelling to Atlanta, which is in Georgia. If you want to pursue MBA in CA w/ in-state tuition fees, then you need to be a CA resident for at least a year before becoming eligible. Unfortunately, working in Georgia doesn’t qualify you for in-state fees. It has nothing to do w/ work experience, but everything to do which how much time you have resided in that state.

      BTW, do you want to pursue studies on H-1 or F-1?

  32. AK

    Thank you in advance for any guidance provided for the posting below:

    I came to the US to do my Masters in 2007. I have been living in NJ, but my grad school was in NY. I finished my masters and am now working fulltime in the same grad school in a IT posting on H1B from last year. In 2011, i got married, and my wife came here on H4. (I am still living in NJ).

    I will be moving to a new apartment in new york in a month or so. She has now gotten admission for a Masters (leading to PhD program, hopefully) at one of the NYC public universities. I have three scenarios — don’t know which is appropriate, or which one is the right one:

    1. Would my wife qualify for in-state tuition considering that I have been working in NY for over a year now?
    2. Or will she not, since I have been living in NJ, even though i work in NYC?
    3. Or, it does not matter where i work and where i live — but she does not qualify since she has been in the US for less than a year???

    (She might eventually get funding as RA, GA, TA, etc — but probably not in the semester she is enrolling in. )

    Any help is appreciated, since she is joining from this Fall and it would help me determine paying the tuition.

    1. administrator

      Here are the requirements for SUNY, which I suppose would be valid for any other New York college as well, but you can check particular schools about their requirements: SUNY – Guide to Resident Tuition Policy

      Normally, place of residence determines domicile and not place of work. You need to be living within New York state to be considered New York resident. But as New York-New Jersey are so closeby, I don’t know if they have exception as lot of people live in NJ, but work in NY.

  33. BL

    I have a pretty important question. I’m originally from Tennessee (resided there for 24 years). I just recently moved down to Florida to work a little and enjoy the warm weather for a year and then my intention was to move back up to Tennessee. My question is – when I move back to Tennessee, will I immediately be eligible for in-state tuition? Or would I have to start all over again with the whole “must live in a state for a year” thing before I would be eligible again? What would I have to do during my time down here in FL to assure that I still have TN residency?

    1. administrator

      Tennessee is the only state that doesn’t require any minimum stay in the state to be called a resident of the state. One can be considered domicile as long as you have a permanent house in the state, or maintain a state driver’s license etc.

      I guess you should be ok as long as you have a residence in TN and maintain that state’s DL.

      Read the document for TN in this link:

      1. Jessica

        Hey I just seen this post. Since your coming up on a year and all, I was wondering if you found anything out about in-state tuition? I was born and raised in Tn, but a couple months ago my husband and I got pcs’d to Hawaii. Im doing an online program in TN and they are trying to make me pay out-of-state tuition.

    2. Jessica

      Hey I just seen this post. Since your coming up on a year and all, I was wondering if you found anything out about in-state tuition? I was born and raised in Tn, but a couple months ago my husband and I got pcs’d to Hawaii. Im doing an online program in TN and they are trying to make me pay out-of-state tuition.

  34. Amber bae

    Hi i have quetions im trying to apply for montgomery college in MD
    Im a F1 student but graduate both middle and high school in oklahoma
    Will i able to get a in state tuition fee?! Or does it has to be local high school
    Graduater?! Im also a montgomery county residents

    1. administrator

      If you are an international student on F-1, you cannot get in-state tuition fees. You have to pay international student fees.

      1. Amber bae

        Well i spoke with the montgomery college counselor few days ago n i was able to get a in state tuition fee because of dream act that had been passed in maryland. Anyone who graduate highschool in US will automatically get a in state tuition fees. N if you can proof ur residency then you will get in county tuition, too

  35. Tricia

    I recently moved her to the us in march and i have a green card, but my mom has been living in this state for over 3 yrs, am i eligible for in-state tuition? And i’m 21

    1. administrator

      The laws vary from state to state. You will have to check your state specific laws, or talk to the university about it.

  36. Miz

    Dear Kumar/Saurabh,
    I met some problems with my school application.
    I have been in NY state over 3 years and 2 years in NYC. I am on H1B and was accepted by one of the City colleges recently as a part time undergraduate student. But when I prepared to register to the class I was told that my study will be Non-Matric and I have to pay a much higher tuition even more than the out of the state tuition. I was so confused because I got the confirmation that it will be a in-state tuition before I started to apply to the college. Please provide the policy or rule related that I can use to prove I should be a matriculated undergrad as well as the in-state tuition.

    Thank you for your attention

    1. administrator

      I don’t know any link to NY state law. You can check on the college website about their domicile criteria.

  37. Miz

    Hi, I have been in NY state over 3 years and 2 years in NYC. I am on H1B and was accepted by one of the City colleges recently as a part time undergraduate student. But when I prepared to register to the class I was told that my study will be Non-Matric and I have to pay a much higher tuition even more than the out of the state tuition. I was so confused because I got the confirmation that it will be a in-state tuition before I started to apply to the college. Please provide the policy or rule related that I can use to prove I should be a matriculated undergrad as well as the in-state tuition.

    Thank you for your attention.


  38. Peter

    I am currently on an F1 visa. I am getting married in August. What can I do to get in state tuition? I live in Illinois. Could I get married in March in a courthouse and get the green card before August, thus qualifying me for in state tuition???

  39. annant

    Hi, is SSN necessary for the in-state tution fee, also its only been a month I am here on h1b visa, am i eligible for in-state tution. Does Texas state gives in-state tution?

    1. administrator

      Texas residency requirements:

      Look at point 3 (B) in Sec. 54.052. You need to be a resident for at least 1 year prior to your academic term before being qualified as Texas resident.

  40. Rinki


    I am currently on L1 visa, but want to do my MBA from on of the university in US. Can i continue to work and study ? Also what about the instate tuition fee?

    1. administrator

      Yes, you can do part-time course while on L-1. You will have to check w/ the college to see if you qualify for in-state tuition. Different states have different rules.

  41. Ldis


    I have a question. If I work in a state for > 1 year and then leave to India, later apply for F1 and come back to study in the same state, will I be eligible for instate tuition fees.

    Thanks in Advance.

  42. Ratan

    Hi kumar,
    I am little confused with the different scenarios presented here which seem little contradicting with my own situation. According to your comments above, a student in F-1 visa is not eligible for in state tuition unless he changes his status to H1B.

    Here is my situation, I received an acceptance letter from a US university. In the letter the university has suggested me to apply for out of state tuition waiver sooner so that I can avail in state tuition. Now I will be given an F-1 visa if I happen to go to the university. Aware of this status of mine, how can the university recommend me to apply for in state tuition if only students in H1B visa are eligible for in state tuition fees.
    I am not clear. Please suggest

    1. administrator

      I highly doubt that university would allow a student on F1 to pay in-state fees. Did you talk to someone in DSO who handles international students?

      1. Ratan

        Thanks Saurav for addressing my query.This was the statement I received from the department. It is an excerpt from my admission notification.

        ‘As a non-resident of the State of Idaho, I encourage you to apply to the Graduate School for a waiver of Non-resident tuition. These waivers are awarded on a competitive basis, so it is important that you apply as soon as possible. Foreign students may apply for on-campus work positions.’

        Amending on this statement I have already made an application for non resident tuition waiver. Please suggest…

        1. administrator

          I believe they are talking about financial support/scholarships that would reduce the fees to in-state levels. Yes, you will be eligible for that even on F1 status.

          However, not everyone on F1 (or for that matter outside of Idaho) will be eligible for that. Just like w/ any scholarship program, they would evaluate each application and determine case by case basis, and select only few applicants.

          So when you enroll in this college, be aware that you may or may not be able to make through this scholarship program. If you don’t make through, then you will have to pay fees applicable for international students.

          1. Ratan

            Hi Saurabh,
            Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I will confirm this with the international students office in the university.Things are really getting clearer now.


        2. administrator

          Saurabh is exactly right ! I know few of my friends, who got in-state tuition using the scholarships/support programs…they are very limited and you have to be prepared to pay out of state. If you apply early and the school awards these scholarships early, it will be reflected on your I20. But, if they do not, there is no guarantee.

          1. Ratan

            Hi Kumar,
            Thanks for clearing my doubts and helping me through this period of apprehensions. I must say that the service you are doing to the readers of this website is very appreciable. It is a website of exhaustive resources and has issues covered of every aspect of living and studying in USA. Many of the information’s and insights here cannot be easily searched and it has brought all of it in one platform which has reduced the time and searching of students who want to know about US education and living overall. You have really put a lot of time , effort and research in this website which is very plausible. Keep the great work going….
            Kudos to you and your website!

  43. Johnny

    If I came on a F-1 then I could not go to school been out-of-status for over 2yrs but I have been working for over 4 and paying taxes at the end of the year.
    Can I qualify.
    Say if the school wants to accept me even if Im out os status could they accept to let me pay in-state tuitions since I’ve been paying taxes even though I am not supposed to?


    1. administrator

      Johnny, If you are not citizen or GC holder, typically schools ask for your current legal status papers including passport and I-94. I think it can get complicated because you are out of status…I think concern is your current legal status and not in-state at this point… Talk to them about admission first and then about in-state…

  44. john


    I currently have a H1B visa.

    I am currently a junior in high school in GA. I am not a USA citizen but my mom has worked for Atlanta Public Schools for 3 years and will have worked for 4 years full time by the time I go to college next year (She has paid taxes and we have resided in GA for 4 years).

    Do you know if I will be eligible for in state tuition in GA ?


    1. administrator

      John, I think you must be eligible. Read the last paragraph in the link If you attend a state school, you must be eligible because you are technically dependent of your Mom. The best way to check this is to call up any state school and ask them, they will clarify for you. Also check this too :

  45. Sriram Koppaka


    Will I be eligible for in-state tuition fees if I’m on H1 work visa and have paid taxes for atleast an year? please tell me the texas laws


    1. administrator

      I think yes, but I would recommend you to Read this and . Call one of the state schools Financial Aid or residency determination office and talk to them for clarification, they must help you and thats the best way to clarify this.

  46. Krupesh

    Hey Guys,

    I am here on H1 B Visa, I came here back in 2008. I used to live in NY till 2010 Feb but then i moved to New Jersey which is like 10 miles from NY Border. I am working for the same company since i joined which is based in NY. Can someone suggest me if i am eligible for In-state Tuition and other advantages? Thanks!!

    1. administrator

      Krupesh, I do not know in specific about New York or NJ. You just have to look up in the School you are applying to how they handle in-state tuition. In general, if you have lived in a state for one year and have paid taxes, you are eligible for in-state. It depends on the state. Quick way is to check one of the state schools website in NY and NJ or ask someone in the school.

  47. Jaden

    Hi, Kumar.

    Thanks for the information. I have been NC for five years now. Currently, I am on OPT and I have worked almost a year as a full-time employee. I paid my taxes as a NC resident alien. I wonder whethere I am eligible for in-state tuition in this case. If I change from F1 visa and H1b in the future and work part-time, will I be eligible for in-state tuition in the schools in NC? If I am in the process of applying for H1B, so in another word I am still on F1 visa and working with OPT, will I be eligible for instate tuition as well? Thank you very much for your helps.


    1. administrator

      It seems tricky…Based on my discussion with people in our school, they do not give in-state for F1 status students. In reality, on OPT you are on F1 visa classification. So, I wonder if they would give you in-state. They will consider in-state tuition for H1B visa status for sure. But, I do not if you need to work for one year on H1B visa. You may file for re-classification of your in-state tuition. My suggestion is, Just call one of the state schools and explain your situation or email them. You will get correct answer. They are the people who decide and they make have additional rules as your case is not straightforward.

  48. Vanessa

    I was just wondering because you wrote “YES, you can get In state tution if you are on F1 visa too. If you get 0.5 FTE ( i.e., 50% of full time employment, which is 20 hrs a week)”.


    1. administrator

      Vanessa, I was addressing 0.5 FTE in the context of TA, RA or GA. Read this for more info:

      The point is, though it may seem logical to apply the rule to other on campus jobs, but not true. 0.5 FTE rule applies in context of TA, RA or GA with few exceptions based on type of job.

  49. Sharath

    Hi Kumar,
    I am in NC for more than a year and am on H1B and my wife holds H4 visa. She wants to pursue her MBA in NC and as I am in NC so I guess she’s eligible for Instate fees in NC. Please correct me if I am wrong and currently even she stayed in NC for more than a year.
    But the thing is, I want to convert her visa to F1 so that she won’t be dependent on me for Visa. If she converts her H4 to F1 visa will she be eligible to instate fees as she stayed in NC for more than a year.
    Please let me know.

    1. administrator

      Sharath, Your wife will not be eligible for In-state if she converts to F1 visa(from my knowledge and discussion with my school people). Also, I do not know if she will be classified for in-state if she is on H4, because she is a dependent and does not pay taxes directly. I talked to my school in WI for some clarification about in-state and they said, if I convert to F1 visa, I will lose my in-state tuition automatically. Also, they ask for Driver’s license and Tax returns for classification of in-state. I doubt if your wife has Tax returns on her name and if she has a SSN too. You can read more about NC in-state rules . I do not know much about H4 status and in-state, if you are on H1B and pay taxes and Driving license, then you are for sure. Please call the school you are planning on sending your wife for more details they should clarify. Honestly, it is just waste of time asking others, because the school is the one who decides it, so just reach to them… Hope it helps.

  50. Vanessa

    I am an F-1 student and I work on campus (20 hours per week)as a receptionist of the F-1 student office, I paid taxes last year, and I’m going to declare taxes this year as well. With this type of job could I get in-state tuition?

    1. administrator

      Nope. If you are on F1 Visa and work part time(20 hrs) , you will NOT get in-state. You have to work full time(40 hrs ) and be on H1B visa.

      1. Vanessa

        I was just wondering because you wrote “YES, you can get In state tution if you are on F1 visa too. If you get 0.5 FTE ( i.e., 50% of full time employment, which is 20 hrs a week)”. And since I do work for 20 hours at my college i though so.


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