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Financial Planning / Paying For College


Subject:  Re: split residency Date:  12/11/2012  9:24 PM
Author:  JAFO31 Number:  7992 of 8345


inparadise: "We live in PA and own a place in VA. With Youngest approaching college age, we are looking at the possibility for me to establish residency in VA to multiply his options for in-state tuition. DH would join me in VA after he retires and Youngest graduates high school.

I am assuming I would have to do things like get my license there, register my car, register to vote, and pay VA taxes on my limited investment income. I would commute back and forth to PA and probably not get a job beyond continuing to work on our place."

This may be the same URL the PSU posted (I did not double check:

General -

Virginia -

"The Code requires that independent students, emancipated minors, or the parents/guardians of unemancipated minors or dependents prove Virginia domicile to receive in-state tuition. Applicants must prove by clear and convincing evidence that they have abandoned any previous domicile and have been domiciled in Virginia for at least twelve months prior to the first day of class for which the student is registering.

. . .

The domicile of an unemancipated minor or dependent student 18 years or older may be [1] the domicile of the parent with whom the student resides or [2] the parent who, for the previous and present year, has claimed the student as a dependent for Federal and Virginia income tax purposes."

I am assuming that your kids are neither independent students nor emancipated minors.

Definition [1] seems to be inapplicable because your son will be residing with your spouse in Pennsylvania and gradutating from a Pennsylvania high school.

I am not a tax lawyer, but definition [2] also seems to be a reach. I have no idea what the requirements are for claiming a dependent under Virginia tax law, but Federal income taxlaw has a four point test:

"1. Relationship — the person must be your child, step child, adopted child, foster child, brother or sister, or a descendant of one of these (for example, a grandchild or nephew).

2. Residence — for more than half the year, the person must have the same residence as you do. [emphasis added]

3. Age — the person must be
•under age 19 at the end of the year, or
•under age 24 and a be a full-time student for at least five months out of the year, or
•any age and totally and permanently disabled.

4. Support — the person did not provide more than half of his or her own support during the year."

Part 2 seems to be the downfall of your plan.

Now, one thought, and I am unsure of its validity, but you may want to determine if it might be possible (especially if status at time of application is not permanent), and assumeing that your son might be admitted while a non-resident, after you move timely, for your son to apply, be accepted (presumably), graduate from HS, move to Virgina with you, then defer admission for a gap year so that he could establish Virgina residency, and then meet the requirement of Virgina residency of "at least twelve months prior to the first day of class for which the student is registering".


If students wish to be considered legal residents for the purposes of admission and tuition, they must apply for Virginia status by completing the Application for Virginia In-State Educational Privileges, which is a part of our application for admission. For more information, please read About Virginia Domicile.

If you are a dependent and your parent(s) or spouse moves to Virginia while you are in school and fulfills the requirements of domicile, you should petition for a change of status effective 12 months after the move. If you entered classified as an out-of-state student, you must present clear and convincing evidence to rebut the presumption that you are residing in the State primarily to attend school. Residence or physical presence in Virginia primarily to attend the University does not entitle you to in-state tuition rates.


See also: for some .pdf forms that are required, and

Note the following:

Domiciliary intent means present intent to remain inde