Tuition Classification (for the purpose of paying tuition and fees)
- A student is responsible for registering under the proper tuition classification. The responsibility for the determination of a student's residency, for the purpose of paying tuition and fees, rests with the Office Undergraduate Admissions or Cadet Admissions and is based upon information provided on the application for undergraduate admission or Cadet admission.
- A person's legal residence is her/his permanent dwelling place. It is the place where she/he is generally understood to reside with the intent of remaining there indefinitely and returning there when absent. There must be a concurrence of actual residence and of intent to remain to acquire a legal residency in order to qualify for in-state tuition.
- Applicants who have been denied in-state status for the purpose of paying tuition and fees may appeal this decision by completing an application for in-state tuition. Students must complete the application for in-state tuition and submit all required documentation to be considered for in-state tuition. Students who do not submit all requested documentation will not be considered for in-state tuition classification.
- Under the constitution and laws of Georgia, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia was created to govern, control, and manage a system of public institutions providing quality higher education for the benefit of Georgia citizens. The state, in turn, receives substantial benefit from individuals who are attending or who have attended these institutions through their significant contributions to the civic, political, economic, and social advancement of the citizens of the State of Georgia. Because the overwhelming proportion of financial support for the operation of the public institutions of higher education in Georgia comes from the citizens through the payment of taxes, the determination of whether a student is classified as a resident or a non-resident of the state for the purpose of payment of tuition and fees becomes a significant matter. The tuition paid by in-state students covers only about one-fourth of the total cost of their education in the University System. Therefore, Georgia taxpayers are contributing three-fourths of the necessary funds to provide quality education for the citizens of the state.
- The practice followed by state colleges and universities of assessing out-of-state students a higher tuition rate is a rational attempt by states to achieve a partial cost equalization between those who have and those who have not recently contributed to the state's economy, even though there is no precise way to determine the degree to which higher tuition charges equalize the cost of educating in-state and out-of-state students.
- The durational residency requirement (usually 12 months) imposed by most states is considered by the courts to be a reasonable period during which the new resident can make tangible or intangible contributions to the state before being allowed the benefit of attending state colleges and universities upon the payment of in-state tuition and fees. Courts which have been faced with the challenges to residency classification procedures have consistently recognized the right of public institutions of higher education to charge higher rates to out-of-state students and to adopt reasonable criteria for determining the establishment of in-state status. See Martinez v. Bynum, 51 U.S.L.W. 5424 (Sup.Ct.May 2, 1983, Starnes v. Malkerson, 401 U.S. 985 (1971); Sturgis v. Washington, 368 Supp. 38 (W.D. Wa. 1973) aff'd mem. 414 U.S. 1057 (1973), and Michelson v. Cox, 476 F. Supp. 1315 (S.D. Iowa, 1979).
- For the purpose of these regulations, the question to be answered is not primarily whether a student is a "resident" or "non-resident" of Georgia, but rather, whether the student meets the criteria to pay University System tuition and fees on an "in-state" basis. The term "resident" is confusing because it is susceptible to several meanings as it relates to voter registration, drivers' licenses, automobile registration, deeds, contracts, wills, income taxes, and other matters. A student may be a resident of Georgia for some purposes, but not entitled to in-state status for the purpose of payment of tuition and fees. To be considered "a resident" for the purpose of payment of tuition and fees, one must have been a bona fide legal resident of Georgia for at least 12 months preceding the date of registration.
- The Board of Regents has adopted certain policies governing the classification of students as residents and non-residents for the purpose of payment of tuition and fees in keeping with its responsibilities to the citizens of Georgia for an appropriate assessment of fees and to ensure that out-of-state students pay a fair and reasonable share of the cost of their education. The taxpayers of Georgia are thereby assured that they are not assuming the financial burden of educating persons whose presence in the state is not intended to be permanent.