A person enrolling at Michigan State University shall be classified as an in-state or out-of-state student for the purposes of administering admission, fees, and tuition charges. It is the student's responsibility to register under the proper in-state or out-of-state classification. If a student has a question regarding his/her classification, the student should contact the Office of the Registrar at least one month before registering.
The following regulations set forth the major points governing determination of in-state and out-of-state status and the payment of out-of-state tuition.
- GENERAL PROVISIONS
- Students who are domiciled in Michigan are eligible to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes.
- For University purposes, “domicile” is defined as the place where an individual intends his/her true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment to be, and to which the individual intends to return whenever he/she is absent from the University.
- An individual whose activities and circumstances, as documented to the University, demonstrate that he/she is domiciled in Michigan will be eligible for classification as an in-state student. An individual whose presence in the state is based on activities or circumstances that are indeterminate or temporary, such as (but not limited to) educational pursuits, will be presumed not to be domiciled in Michigan and will be classified as out-of-state. In order to rebut this presumption, the burden of proof is on the student to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he/she is domiciled in Michigan and, thus, eligible for in-state classification.
- For tuition classification purposes:
- A student is presumed to be a dependent of his/her parents if the student is 24 years of age or younger and (a) has been involved primarily in educational pursuits, or (b) has not been entirely financially self-supporting through employment.
- The domicile of a dependent student is presumed to be the same as that of the student's natural parents. If only one natural parent is domiciled in Michigan, the student will be presumed to be a Michigan domiciliary regardless of whether that parent is the student's custodial parent.
- The domicile of a dependent student's legal guardian will be presumed to have the same evidentiary effect as that of a dependent student's natural parent, and references to parents in these regulations shall include legal guardians, only when (a) the student is the dependent of the legal guardian, and (b) such guardianship has been established due to the complete incapacity or death of the student's natural parent(s). A parent's inability to provide funds necessary to support a college education shall not qualify as complete incapacity.
- Before it grants a student in-state status for tuition purposes, the University will usually require that student to have continuously resided in Michigan for one year immediately preceding the first day of classes of the term in which the student is applying for in-state classification. The year of continuous presence is never the only criterion used for determining in-state classification and, in itself, will not qualify a student for in-state status. Nor will a student's failure to have continuously resided in Michigan for one year automatically prevent the student from obtaining in-state status. If the student presents clear and convincing evidence which demonstrates the establishment by the student of a Michigan domicile, the student will be eligible for in-state classification even if the student has not resided in Michigan continuously for one year prior to the first day of classes in the applicable term.
- ESTABLISHING MICHIGAN DOMICILE
An applicant or student may provide any and all evidence that he/she believes will prove that he/she is domiciled in Michigan. No one type of evidence will be considered dispositive of the issue of domicile. Rather the University will consider all of the evidence provided to it concerning a claim of domicile.
- Circumstances which may demonstrate Michigan domicile. The following circumstances and activities, though not conclusive, may lend support to a claim to eligibility for in-state classification. This is not an exhaustive list.
- In the case of a dependent student, at least one parent domiciled in Michigan, as demonstrated by the parent's permanent employment, establishment of a household and severance of out-of-state ties.
- Student employed in Michigan in a full-time, permanent job, provided that the student's employment is the primary purpose for the student's presence in Michigan.
- Student's spouse employed in Michigan in a full-time, permanent job, provided that the spouse's employment is the primary purpose for the student's presence in Michigan.
- Circumstances which do not demonstrate Michigan domicile. The circumstances and activities listed below are temporary or indeterminate and, in and of themselves, do not demonstrate domicile in Michigan:
- Enrollment in a Michigan high school, community college or university
- Employment in Michigan that is temporary or short-term
- Military assignment in Michigan
- Employment in Michigan in a position normally held by a student
- Ownership of property in Michigan
- Presence of relatives (other than parent for a dependent) in Michigan
- Possession of a Michigan driver's license or voter's registration
- Payment of Michigan income or property taxes
- The student's statement of intent to be domiciled in Michigan
- PRESUMPTIONS OF IN-STATE CLASSIFICATION
A student will be presumed eligible for in-state classification in the following circumstances:
- If a student, the spouse of a student, or the parent of a dependent student, is an active member of the regular armed forces who maintains Michigan as his/her official home of record, is registered to vote in Michigan and files a Michigan income tax return as a resident, the student shall be classified as in-state.
- If a student, or the parent of a dependent student, is domiciled in Michigan but has been temporarily transferred outside Michigan by his/her employer (but has not become domiciled outside Michigan), the student shall be classified as in-state.
- If a student, or the parent of a dependent student, is a missionary funded by a Michigan church, and the student or parent was
domiciled in Michigan at the time he/she went on the mission, the student shall be classified as in-state.
- If the parent of a dependent student, or an independent student (as defined by The Higher Education Act of 1965, section 480(d)), has been employed as a migrant worker in Michigan for a minimum of two (2) months each year for three (3) of the five (5) years prior to the date of the proposed in-state classification or for a minimum of three (3) months each year for two (2) of the five (5) years prior to the date of the proposed in-state classification, the student shall be classified as in-state. Proof and verification of employment is required. A migrant worker in Michigan is defined under these Regulations as an individual who travels from location to location pursuing seasonal agricultural or related industry employment. The term migrant worker does not include any family member of a person who owns or operates a farm, ranch, or other agricultural (or related industry) business.
- A student, the spouse of a student, or the parent of a dependent student who, is a veteran of at least 12 consecutive months of active United States military service prior to honorable separation, or as a member of the Reserve or National Guard, was mobilized for at least 12 months of active military service, and who moves to Michigan with the intent to become a domiciliary of Michigan within 90 days following discharge or return to non-active duty, shall be classified as in-state.
- A member of the armed forces in active or reserve duty status attending Michigan State University in a degree program funded by the Department of Defense shall be classified as an in-state student, as will his or her spouse and his or her dependent children. If the service member leaves the state of Michigan, this in-state status will continue for the service member, spouse, and dependent children as long as those who are students conform to the continuous enrollment rule in Section 6.A below.
- A student who is a veteran of Peace Corps service who moves to Michigan within 90 days following satisfactory completion of
his/her Peace Corps contract with the intent to become a domiciliary of Michigan will be classified as in-state.
- A person who physically resides in Michigan for 12 consecutive months without enrolling in any academic courses at any two-year or four-year degree granting institution may matriculate as an in-state student immediately thereafter.
- NON-U.S. CITIZENS
Among non-U.S. citizens, only persons who are entitled to reside permanently in the United States are eligible for in-state status classification at the University. These individuals, like U.S. citizens, must still prove that they have established a Michigan domicile as defined in these Regulations. In other words, having the privilege of remaining permanently in the United States is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition to obtaining in-state classification at the University. At present, non-citizens who are entitled to reside permanently in the United States include:
- Permanent Resident Aliens: must be fully processed and possess Permanent Resident Alien card or stamp in passport verifying final approval by filing deadline for applicable term.
- Refugees: I-94 card must designate "Refugee."
- A, E (primary), G and I Visa holders: Based upon current law, these non-immigrant visa classifications are the only ones that permit the visa holder to establish a domicile in the United States. The Registrar shall update this list as changes occur in applicable law.
- RETURNING MICHIGAN RESIDENTS
- If a student is claimed as a dependent for federal tax purposes, graduated from a Michigan High School, and the student’s parents have been continuously domiciled in Michigan from the date of the student’s high school graduation to the present, the student shall be classified as in-state.
- If a student is not claimed as a dependent for federal tax purposes, graduated from a Michigan High School, has been residing in Michigan for 12 consecutive months, and the student’s parents have been continuously domiciled in Michigan from the date of the student’s high school graduation to the present, the student shall be classified as in-state.
- If a student is claimed as a dependent for federal tax purposes, the student’s parents have moved out of Michigan after the completion of the student’s sophomore year in a Michigan high school, the student and his/her parents resided in Michigan for a minimum of 10 years prior to their departure, and the student attends Michigan State University the fall semester following high school graduation, the student shall be classified as in-state.
- If a student, or the parent of a dependent student, moves out of Michigan during the time he/she is enrolled at the University, the student's in-state classification will be maintained as long as he/she continues to be enrolled. If a student moves out of Michigan for more than 12 months while enrolled as a less than full-time student, the student will be reclassified to out-of-state status, unless the student presents clear and convincing evidence that he/she has maintained his/her domicile in Michigan despite the move.
- The in-state status of a prospective student domiciled in Michigan will not be affected by that student's full-time attendance, prior to enrolling at MSU, at a non-Michigan college or university.
- If the family of a dependent current student or of a dependent prospective student who has completed at least the junior year in high school moves out of Michigan during the time he/she is a student, the student's in-state classification will be maintained as long as he/she continues to be enrolled on a regular school year basis in a Michigan high school, college or university.
- Applications for reclassification may be filed at any time. However, reclassification to in-state status applies only to whole semesters. Students will not be reclassified to in-state status within a semester.
- In situations where a student provides evidence that he/she was eligible for in-state tuition in a prior semester, the student may seek retroactive reclassification and a refund of the out-of-state tuition differential.
- A graduate student is subject to these Regulations, except that a Graduate Assistant will pay in-state fees during the period of
- If a student (or the spouse, parent or legal guardian of a dependent student) is employed full-time by Michigan State University, the student shall be eligible for in-state fee classification.
- The domiciliary status of any person, other than a parent, who may furnish funds to a student for payment of University fees shall not have any presumptive effect on the classification of that student.
- If a student has accepted a bona fide offer of permanent, full-time employment in Michigan following graduation, the student may seek a refund of the out-of-state tuition differential paid in any semesters falling completely within the 12 months preceding the date of the student's acceptance of the offer of employment. Students who received financial aid during this 12-month period will have their eligibility recalculated and their tuition refund will be reduced by the amount of aid for which they are determined ineligible.
- The University will correct errors that may occur in classifying a student. Further, the University reserves the right to audit enrolled or prospective students at any time with regard to eligibility for in-state status and to reclassify students who are registered in an improper classification.
- RECLASSIFICATION APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Any student classified as out-of-state who believes he/she should be classified as in- state under the Regulations listed above should submit a letter explaining why the student believes that he/she is domiciled in Michigan and provide evidence to support his/her claim. All documentary evidence supporting the student's claim should be attached.
When a student files a Request for Classification to In-State Status, the student must submit the following documentation:
- for all students: a copy of the driver's license of the student and, if applicable, of the person or persons upon whom the student is basing the claim to in-state status.
- for all students: copies of the front and signature pages of the most recent year's federal and state income tax returns and W2's for the student and, if applicable, of the person or persons upon whom the student is basing the claim to in-state status.
- for students born outside the U.S.: verification of U.S. citizenship or visa status.
- for students who are dependents: copies of the front and signature pages of the most recent year's federal and state income tax returns of the person claiming the student as a dependent.
- for students whose claim to eligibility for in-state classification is based on their permanent, full-time employment or that of another person: a letter from the employer, written on letterhead (including phone number), stating the student or other person's position, status and dates of employment. The letter should be accompanied by a copy of the most recent pay stub showing Michigan taxes being withheld.
Students are also responsible for providing any additional documentation necessary to support their claim to in-state status eligibility if such documentation is requested by the University .
The Request for Classification to In-State Status with attached documentation should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar, 150 Administration Building, at least one month in advance of the semester in which reclassification is sought.
The Request for Classification to In-State Status and accompanying documentation will not be returned. The student is advised to keep a copy for his/her records.
The Request for Classification to In-State Status will be given to a Review Committee comprised of at least three members including the University Registrar. In cases where documentation appears to be unclear or incomplete, a member of the Review Committee will attempt to contact the student and explain the need for further clarification and/or supportive documentation where possible.
Documentation supporting a claim of Michigan domicile must be detailed and complete. If, in the opinion of the Review Committee, the documentation submitted is not sufficiently detailed and complete, the student will be so notified in writing. In that written notification, the student will be invited to discuss any remaining questions with an Office of the Registrar staff member.
- APPEAL PROCEDURE
Any student desiring to challenge the decision of the Review Committee shall have the right to appeal the determination. The appeal will be reviewed by the Out-of-State Fees Committee.
The appeal should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar, 150 Administration Building. The Out-of-State Fees Committee consists of the Vice President for Finance and Operations, Chairperson; the Vice President for Student Affairs and Services; the Associate Controller; the Dean of The Graduate School; the Dean of Undergraduate Studies; one undergraduate student representing ASMSU; one graduate student representing COGS; the Director of Admissions, ex officio; the University Registrar and his/her designee, ex officio. Ex officio members are non-voting.
If a student's appeal is denied by the Out-of-State Fees Committee, the student may ask to appear in person before the Out-of-State Fees Committee to further clarify the documentation previously submitted. A student wishing to appear in person should file a written request with the Office of the Registrar. The request should specify the documentation about which the student intends to speak.
- FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS
According to Article 5.01 of the University's General Student Regulations, "No student shall provide false information for the purpose of gaining benefit for oneself or others to any office, agency, or individual acting on behalf of the University."