Unlocking In-State Tuition: Your Guide to Texas Residency for the University of Texas

Crisp fall air on a vibrant Austin campus, the energy of thousands of minds buzzing with ideas, and you – at the heart of it all, now, undertaking a transformative graduate program at The University of Texas. Now imagine achieving this dream while saving a significant chunk of change. That’s the reality within reach for aspiring Texas residents.

For many, the prestige of a UT Austin education can feel out of reach due to tuition costs. But what if I told you living in Texas could unlock a treasure trove of savings? This isn’t just a pipe dream; it’s a reality for those who qualify for in-state tuition. By meeting specific residency criteria, you could slash your tuition bill by half – that’s thousands of dollars you can put towards textbooks, housing, or that dream research trip abroad!

In this guide, we’ll navigate the ins and outs of Texas residency for tuition purposes at UT Austin. We’ll explore the two main paths to residency, understand how UT Austin verifies your status, and offer tips on what to do if you fall short of the requirements or believe you’ve been misclassified. So, grab your metaphorical Stetson, saddle up, and get ready to unlock the Lone Star savings waiting for you at UT Austin!

University of Texas at Austin campus

Source: Official Website of University of Texas at Austin

The Texas Tuition Advantage

UT Austin offers significant savings to Texas residents. Here’s a taste of the difference in tuition rates (based on 15 credit hours) between resident and non-resident students for summer 2024:

  • Business: Resident – $5,031 vs Non-Resident – $10,419 (Save $5,388!)
  • Engineering: Resident – $6,122 vs Non-Resident – $11,632 (Save $5,510!)
  • Nursing: Resident – $6,068 vs Non-Resident – $11,642 (Save $5,574!)
  • Public Affairs: Resident – $5,711 vs Non-Resident – $11,291 (Save $5,580!)

You can put that substantial amount towards other academic expenses or living costs.

UT Austin takes a two-step approach to determining your residency status:

How Does UT Austin Decide If You’re A Texas Resident?

  1. Initial Screening: When you submit your application, the university reviews the information you provide. This includes details like your citizenship status and educational background. Based on this initial screening, UT Austin will make a preliminary determination about your residency.
  2. Deeper Dive (if applicable): If the initial screening indicates you’re not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident but might qualify through Texas high school graduation, you’ll receive a prompt within the application. This prompt will guide you to download and submit a “Residency Affidavit.” This affidavit is a legal document requiring completion, signature, and notarization before returning it to the university.

How to Qualify as a Texas Resident

UT Austin offers two main pathways to residency:

  1. Graduation from a Texas High School:
    • You must have graduated from a Texas high school or earned a GED in Texas.
    • You need to have lived in Texas for the 36 months leading up to your graduation.
    • In the semester you enroll at UT Austin (or any other college/university), you must have resided in Texas for the 12 months preceding the census date (typically the 12th class day).
  1. Establishing Domicile in Texas:
    • This option is available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students with qualifying visas (or with a pending permanent residency application).
    • You (or your parents if you’re claimed as a dependent) need to live in Texas for 12 consecutive months.
    • Additionally, you (or your parents) must establish and maintain a Texas domicile for 12 consecutive months. Evidence for this can include:
      • Holding a full-time job in Texas (student jobs don’t count).
      • Owning and residing in a Texas property (sole or joint ownership).
      • Owning and operating a business in Texas.
      • Being married for at least a year to someone with an established Texas domicile.

What if I Don’t Qualify Yet, or There’s a Mistake?

If you fall short of the residency requirements or believe you’ve been incorrectly classified, don’t fret!

  • Residency Core Questions: UT Austin provides a “Residency Core Questions” form to clarify your situation.
  • Residency Appeal: If you disagree with the classification after submitting the core questions, you can appeal before the 12th class day of the semester. Contact the Residency Appeals Committee of the university at [email protected] with your arguments and supporting documents to make your case. Decisions once finalised by the Residency Appeals Committee cannot be overturned. 

Top Graduate Programs Offered by the University of Texas at Austin

Let’s take a moment to explore the academic landscape at UT Austin. This prestigious university boasts a powerhouse graduate program catalog, consistently ranking among the nation’s finest. To browse the complete collection of graduate programs at the university, see Graduate Programs at the University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas School of Law offers a full-time LL.M. degree with seven concentrations, requiring completion of 24 credits within one academic year in person.

What students will learn: At the University of Texas at Austin, students can enhance their legal expertise and pursue a globally recognized Master of Laws degree by selecting from a range of specialized concentrations. These concentrations cover diverse areas such as Business Law, Cybersecurity Law, Global Energy, International Arbitration & Environmental Law, Human Rights & Comparative Constitutional Law, Independent Study, Latin American & International Law, and U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers. While enrollment for each concentration is limited, applicants holding foreign law degrees are eligible for all concentrations, while those with a U.S. J.D. can pursue all concentrations except U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers. Additionally, the law school offers tailored courses for foreign LL.M. students, including U.S. Constitutional Law, Business Associations, Contracts, Introduction to U.S. Law, Legal English, and Legal Research & Writing, designed to provide comprehensive preparation for navigating the U.S. legal landscape.

Admission Requirements: To gain admission into the LL.M. program at the University of Texas at Austin, students must have the following – 

  • Application Fee: $75 nonrefundable fee via LSAC.
  • LSAC Application (EAPP): Submission through LSAC including biographical, educational, and professional information.
  • Personal Statement: Describe motivations, achievements, and future plans in 800 words.
  • Resume: Limited to 1-2 pages.
  • Official Transcripts: Include proof of degree; translations are required if not in English.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Professional or academic, with at least one from an academic source.
  • Interviews: Virtual interviews for selected applicants.

In 10 months, the MS in Business Analytics program at UT Austin teaches how to leverage extensive data for informed business decisions.

What students will learn: Students learn to harness the power of data, machine learning, and AI to quantify business tradeoffs, extract and manipulate big data, and elicit actionable insights. Through managing analytics projects, communicating solutions effectively, and benefiting from esteemed faculty and peers, students are equipped to drive impactful change in the business landscape.

Admission Requirements: To gain admission into the MSBA at UT Austin, students must submit the following: 

  • GRE/GMAT tests are optional
  • Transcripts 
  • 3 essay answers 
  • 2 letters of recommendation

​​Don’t wait! UT Austin’s residency requirements can seem complex, but with careful planning and the resources provided by the university, you can turn your UT Austin dream into a reality. Review the information in this guide, explore the links provided throughout the blog, and don’t hesitate to contact UT Austin’s admissions office with any questions. With a little preparation, you can be well on your way to an exceptional education at an affordable price. Start exploring your residency status today!

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