Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, July 15, 2013

Provost proposes clearer, simpler guidelines for granting in-state tuition

Editor's note: This story has been updated with news from the Board of Regents meeting.

The Board of Regents will consider changes in the guidelines for how students can qualify for in-state tuition during its meeting Thursday on the Ann Arbor campus.

The proposed guidelines will make the process more transparent and easier to understand, says Provost Martha Pollack, who is recommending the changes.

"We believe these changes create a clearer path to in-state tuition for several groups of future students, including military veterans and undocumented students who have made Michigan their home," Pollack says.

The proposed changes to what have been called residency guidelines represent the first comprehensive revisions since 2005. The changes would take effect in January 2014.

If approved by regents, the revised guidelines would specify three avenues for attaining in-state tuition: through residence in the state; through attendance in Michigan schools for middle school and high school; through service in the U.S. military or Public Health Service.

The proposed guidelines would enhance the service avenue by offering in-state tuition to active-duty military personnel, officers of the Public Health Service and military veterans, without regard to the student's legal residence. The in-state tuition status also would be offered to spouses or dependent children of active-duty military personnel stationed in Michigan.

The attendance avenue would be a new option not previously offered. Students who attend a Michigan middle school for two years, then attend a Michigan high school for at least three years before graduating would qualify for in-state tuition as long as they start their U-M education within 28 months of graduation.

These changes to the U-M in-state tuition guidelines, however, would not affect U-M admission standards or federal guidelines for financial aid.

Pollack says it is important to note that these changes will not affect most in-state students who are admitted because they are clearly Michigan residents.

But there are students who have out-of-state activity for themselves or their parents that would necessitate filing an application of resident classification. It is through that process, handled by a small team in the Office of the Registrar, that students could demonstrate their Michigan ties through one of the three avenues.

In each of the past two years, students have filed about 2,000 applications for resident classification on all three U-M campuses. Nearly 80 percent of those were granted in-state tuition.

University officials say it is not clear how many more students might qualify for in-state tuition under these proposed guidelines.