Posts Tagged ‘in-state tuition’

Let’s say you want to study Zoology, but cannot find a school in Virginia that offers a degree program in that field. You may still be able to go to an out-of-state school and pay in-state tuition.

Your first step is to make sure that your program is definitely not offered in Virginia.

SCHEV offers a Degree Inventory tool on our web site that might be of some use to you. Simply select “Degree Inventory” in the Students & Parents section of our web site. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the broad or specific program area that best suits your need. Once you hit “Display” the tool will generate a complete list of the public and private college and university offerings across Virginia that fit your description.

The state does help when degree programs are not offered in Virginia through a program known as the Academic Common Market (ACM). ACM is an arrangement among Southern states allowing students to pay in-state tuition rates at out-of-state schools while studying in <select programs not available at Virginia public institutions. Information on the ACM can be found on SCHEV’s website


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Domicile is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “a person’s fixed, permanent, and principal home for legal purposes.”  In Virginia, domicile is important for students at public and private institutions. Generally, state financial aid programs and in-state tuition are reserved for Virginia students who have domicile.

An individual must demonstrate residence in Virginia and an intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely to establish domicile in Virginia. After meeting the requirements to establish domicile, a person must continue to be domiciled in Virginia for at least 12 months preceding the first day of classes.

Demonstrating residence can be tricky.  Several factors are used to determine if a person demonstrates intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely. A college or university may ask for information from you or your parents about the following:

  • Continuous residence in Virginia
  • Social and economic ties
  • Ownership of real property
  • Sources of financial support
  • Current employment in Virginia
  • Employment in Virginia postgraduation
  • Military records
  • State to which income taxes are paid
  • Voter registration and actual voting
  • Driver’s license
  • Motor vehicle registration

 Next time: What is a FAFSA?

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