Guidelines for Determining Domicile and Eligibility for In-State Tuition Rates
NOTE: In response to recent concerns regarding whether an applicant or student may secure in-state tuition if a parent is undocumented, SCHEV provides the following assurance: State law establishes that no student shall be denied in-state tuition at a Virginia public institution of higher education due solely to the legal status of the individual's parent(s). SCHEV supports access and affordability in higher education and the minimization of any barriers inhibiting the enrollment of residents of the Commonwealth.
The information on SCHEV website is to assist persons who are potentially eligible for Virginia in-state residency and in-state tuition rates. It is of necessity abbreviated at times. If there is conflict between any language on the SCHEV and institutional websites and the Code of Virginia, the Code of Virginia prevails.
Please be aware institutions are required by law to presume that dependent applicants and students have the domicile of their supporting parent. Therefore, the in-state tuition review for such individuals always begins with the parent’s domicile, and requires inquiry as to the basis for residing in the country (legal status), however, if a parent is not a citizen, is not a permanent resident, or otherwise does not have a visa permitting domicile, then an applicant or student may still be eligible for in-state tuition through his or her own domicile. In such cases, SCHEV encourages individuals to contact directly the domicile officer of their attending institution to discuss available options.
These Domicile Guidelines are updated effective January 7, 2020 and supersede the previous guidelines. The Domicile Guidelines are established under the authority of the Code of Virginia, § 23.1-510(D), which states as follows: “To ensure the application of uniform criteria in administering this section and determining eligibility for in-state tuition charges, the Council shall issue and revise domicile guidelines to be incorporated by all public institutions of higher education in their admissions applications. Such guidelines are not subject to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The Council shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General and provide opportunity for public comment prior to issuing any such guidelines.”
Code of Virginia Relating to Domicile
Financial Benefits for Military Families