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…