Legal Georgia residents are entitled to pay a lower tuition rate (in-state tuition) than people who are not Georgia residents (out-of-state tuition). The lower tuition rate is a benefit for legal residents of Georgia.
To be considered for in-state tuition privileges, you or your parent(s) must have resided in the state of Georgia for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to enrollment at a college or university. To aid us in clarifying your residency status, please provide a copy of you and/or your parents' (if divorced, both mother's and father's) State Income Tax Return for the immediately preceding year.
If you believe you have been classified incorrectly, you can ask us to review your situation. You will have to provide us documents to prove that you, your spouse, your parent, or your legal guardian, are residents as defined above. This request for a review is called a Petition for In-State Tuition. If you are basing your residency on a relationship to relative, we will also need to see legal evidence of the relationship, such as a birth, adoption, or marriage certificate, or a court order granting legal custody.
There are a number of possible reasons as to why a student might have been listed as out-of-state. Here are some examples of why the student might have been listed as out-of-state:
To be considered for in-state tuition privileges, you, your parent(s) and/or your legal guardian must have resided in the state of Georgia for a minimum of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to enrollment at a college or university in Georgia. It is up to the student to prove that he or she is a Georgia resident. To aid us in clarifying your residency status, the student will need to follow the petition process by first completing the Petition for Classification as Georgia Resident for Tuition Purposes. The petition lists suggested documents to attach to the application. Please submit all requested items at one time.
If you are currently, or have recently been a student at a college or university in Georgia, it is more difficult to establish yourself as a resident for tuition payment purposes. Working in Georgia and submitting proof of self-sufficient income is the first step. However, any time spent primarily studying at a college or university will not be counted towards the 12-month requirement. Additional documents such as a copy of your (and/or your parent’s or spouse’s) Georgia driver's license, most recent Georgia tax returns, and a copy of the student's birth certificate are a few of the documents that are required with the submission of the petition.
If your family relocated to Georgia to accept full-time employment, you may be eligible for the Economic Advantage Waiver [PDF]. After 12 months, you should be able to prove that you and your family (if you are a dependent) have broken ties to other states and have established domicile in Georgia. At that time, you may file the petition for tuition classification change.
You may be eligible for in-state tuition privileges regardless of length of residence in Georgia. Please review the list of waivers that are offered at Georgia State University. All waivers are granted for 12 months only, and must be renewed annually.
If the student has been granted in-state residency, then he or she will continue to have in-state residency. If there is a break in enrollment at Georgia State, there will be a review when you file your Re-entry Admissions Application upon returning to GSU. A brief break outside of Georgia for less than 12 months will not affect your residency status for tuition payment purposes. If you leave the state for more than 12 months, but are a student at an out-of-state institution and paid out-of-state tuition there, you will still be considered a Georgia resident. If you leave the state for more than 12 months, and were not a student, you will be considered to have broken your Georgia residency. You may petition for a tuition classification change and explain your case in the written statement.
Students on work visas or dependents of work visa holders may apply for an Economic Advantage Waiver only if you have applied for permanent resident status. Acceptable proof of this application is the I-485 receipt from immigration. You must also furnish a letter from your employer showing you moved to Georgia to accept that employment.
An F-1 visa holder cannot be classified as a resident. However, they may be eligible for a waiver in specific cases: if the visa holder is married to a Georgia resident, or is a minor dependent of a Georgia resident. You may apply for the Non-Resident Waiver if the Georgia resident is a citizen or permanent resident. If the Georgia resident is a non-immigrant but has applied for permanent residency, you may possibly qualify for the Economic Advantage Waiver.
Permanent residency gives you legal status in the United States, but does not confer residency status in any particular state in the country. You must file a tuition classification petition and attach documentation to prove that your domicile is the state of Georgia, the same process that citizens moving to Georgia must follow.