In-State Tuition Eligibility

In-State Tuition Eligibility


Virginia domicile is important for students at public and private institutions. Generally, state financial aid programs and in-state tuition are reserved for Virginia residents. A student's eligibility for in-state tuition rate is based on information provided by the student on the domicile portion of the college application. This eligibility for in-state tuition is determined by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) guidelines pertaining to Code of Virginia § 23.1 chapter 5.

An individual must demonstrate residence in Virginia and intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely to establish domicile in Virginia. After meeting the requirements to establish domicile, a person must continue to be domiciled in Virginia for at least 12 months preceding the first day of classes.

Specific inquiries about domiciliary determination should be directed to the Office of Enrollment Management.

Domiciliary Intent

Several factors are used to determine if a person demonstrates intent to remain in Virginia indefinitely. We may ask for information from you or your parents about the following factors:

  • Continuous residence in Virginia
  • Social and economic ties
  • Ownership of real property
  • Sources of financial support
  • Current employment in Virginia post graduation
  • Military records
  • State to which income taxes are paid
  • Voter registration and actual voting
  • Driver's license
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Dependent and Independent Students

A dependent student is a student who receives substantial financial support from his or her parents or legal guardian. If you are under age 24 on the first day of classes, we will automatically classify you as a dependent student unless you:

  • are married,
  • are a veteran or active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces,
  • are a graduate or first-professional student,
  • are a ward of the court or were a ward of the court until age 18,
  • have no adoptive or legal guardian when both parents are deceased, or
  • have legal dependents other than a spouse.

Virginia Peninsula will look at the parents' domicile to determine if a dependent student is eligible for in-state tuition or state financial aid programs.
If you are under 24 and do not meet any of these six conditions, the only way you can be classified as an independent student is if you convince this College that you are financially self-sufficient.
If you are not classified as a dependent student, you may establish your own Virginia domicile.

Married Students

A married person may establish domicile like any other student. A person's domicile is not automatically altered by marriage. However, if a student receives substantial financial support from his or her spouse, the student may claim domicile through the spouse. In such cases, Virginia Peninsula will look at the spouse's domicile to determine if the student is eligible for in-state tuition or state financial aid programs. You must inform the VPCC if you wish to claim domicile through your spouse.

Military Members, Spouses and Dependents

To encourage establishment of Virginia domicile, the one year of continuous domicile is not required for U.S. military members and their dependent spouses and children claiming domicile through them. To initiate payment of Virginia income taxes as required for establishment of Virginia domicile, military members should contact their military pay offices.
If the military member chooses not to establish domicile, there are several federal and state exception provisions that permit the member or the dependents to access in-state tuition in Virginia. The spouse of a military member may qualify for in-state tuition by establishing Virginia domicile, by claiming dependency on the military member who has established Virginia domicile, or through a military exception provision. These provisions are detailed on SCHEV's military education webpage.


The fact that an individual is a citizen of another country does not automatically disqualify that person from establishing domicile in Virginia. If you are not a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National, you will need to present your immigration documentation. Students unable to present valid, current INS documentation of their legal status cannot demonstrate domicile.

Appeal Process

If you are a new student this semester (or are returning after an absence of at least one term), and you have been classified as out-of-state for tuition purposes, you may request a review of the initial determination. If you have pre-registered, please be sure to submit this request no later than 48 hours before the payment deadline.

The request to review your domicile documentation may be presented to the Admissions Office at, or you may call (757) 825-2800. Our staff will advise on the required next steps. To speak to someone in-person, you may visit us in Room 208, Griffin Hall at the Hampton Campus or Student Services at the Historic Triangle Campus.

If it is determined that you need to appeal your tuition status, you may do so until the day before first official day of the term.

A student wishing to appeal an out-of-state tuition status will need to submit a completed Domicile Determination form with supporting documentation to the Admissions Office. Evaluation of the domicile appeal will be completed by the first day of classes for each enrollment term. Retroactive domicile status cannot be granted. If you are denied the in-state tuition status, you will be provided with a written statement of the reasons for the denial and information on how to file: 1) a request for reconsideration of this decision or 2) an appeal to the next level of review.

Note : Domicile reclassification must be requested and determined on or before the first day of classes for the semester of eligibility.