Students in California are adopting an interesting strategy to avoid out-of-state tuition — they are getting married:
U.C. students from out of state must meet three requirements to establish residency — physical presence, intent to stay and financial independence — a complicated process that takes at least two years. The independence test is the hardest to pass.
When students marry, they can automatically claim themselves as independent, provided their parents do not claim them as dependents on their taxes. After that, gaining in-state tuition is a breeze.
A few years ago, a student from the Midwest believed she could not afford the annual $30,000 in student fees (including $20,000 in out-of-state tuition), so she posted onFacebook that she was looking for a husband.. (The woman requested anonymity out of fear of repercussions from U.C.)
An out-of-state student whom she did not know responded to her post, and they married in 2007, the summer before her junior year. She graduated in 2009 and estimated that the marriage had saved her $50,000. The couple has divorced.