Becoming a Resident for Academic Purposes

To be considered a resident for school purposes and pay in-state
tuition, you must be a permanent resident (have a Green Card) or a U.S. citizen
and must be living in the state where the chosen institution is located. As we explained
in the previous Blog, the tuition at Community colleges and Universities will
vary according to the program chosen and mainly by the student’s residency
status which can be divided into 3
categories: In-State tuition, Out-of-State tuition, out-of-country tuition.
If you are an international
(with a Visa F1, J1), you are not considered permanent resident,
and, therefore, you are not qualified for in-state tuition. This status might
change if you apply for permanent residency (Green Card).

If you are a U.S.
citizen who lives out-of-state or permanent resident
, in order to be considered
resident of the state that you will be studying, your spouse, or parents (or
legal guardians) have to be living in the state for at least one year prior to your
enrollment to the University. Other family members, does not count.
PS: In order for you to pay in-state rates you should establish residency one year before you
enroll school. If you buy a house, but do not live there, you are not eligible
for in-state tuition.

To prove or change
residency status, gather the following documentations:

  • Copies of lease agreements or home purchase (a student
    residence hall contract may not be used to establish residency)
  • Obtain the Illinois state driver license or ID card (identification
  • Have your vehicle registered in the state of Illinois
  • Open/transfer your checking account to a bank branch in
    Illinois state.
  • Student’s prior year Federal/State income tax return
  • Register to vote in the state of Illinois (if you are a
    citizen or permanent resident).


  • Keep a copy of any documents that show you are changing/or applying
    for Permanent Resident Status (if applicable)
  • Conditional Permanent Resident (Temporary INS stamp in VISA)
  • Permanent resident status with an alien registration receipt
    card (I-151 or I-551)
  • I-94 with any one of the following designations: Refugee,
    Asylum Granted, Indefinite/Parole, or Cuban-Haitian entrant – are considerate
    resident. Check the IRS/your host institution’s website for more details.
  • + All the above documentation as well. 


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