The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education sets the rules about eligibility for in-state tuition rates at Massachusetts public colleges and universities and defines all terms relatives to the process (ie; dependent, independent, emancipated, etc.) You can find the official policy at MA Residence Policy (http://www.mass.edu/forstudents/admissions/residencypolicy.asp). This is the guideline we will follow when determining residency.
To be considered a Massachusetts resident and eligible for in-state tuition, you must meet all three of these conditions:
- You must be a U.S. citizen, lawful immigrant, or permanent resident; or have another legal immigration status or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. (http://www.massresources.org/deferred-action.html)
- You (or your parent, if you are a dependent student) must have lived in Massachusetts for the 12 months immediately before your enrollment at a state university or at the University of Massachusetts; or for 6 months before your enrollment at a community college. You do not qualify for resident status if your only reason for living in Massachusetts during that time was to attend school here.
- You (or your parent, if you are a dependent student) must intend to make Massachusetts your permanent home. You may be asked to show proof of your intent to stay in Massachusetts (such as a Massachusetts driver's license, rent and utility bills, voter registration form, or income tax returns).
You (and your spouse and dependent students) are presumed to be Massachusetts residents if you are in the Armed Forces and stationed on active duty in Massachusetts.
If you are a faculty member, professional staff employee, or classified staff employee at a Massachusetts public college or university you may qualify for In-State Tuition.
Note: Your residency usually only matters if you enroll in an undergraduate or graduate day program. If you are a continuing education or distance learning student, you will usually pay the same rate regardless of your residency status.