If you came to CSU from out of state, you can plan on graduating before being able to earn the right to be considered a resident. This is due to the rule that out-of-state students cannot receive Colorado in-state tuition until they are 23 in most cases.
There are two exceptions.
If a student marries a Colorado resident, they can then receive in-state tuition. Or a student can distance themselves from their parents, declaring independence. This includes breaking every financial tie and dependency from any person but yourself, including possible emancipation. Financial records are then monitored to ensure that students do not receive any money from their parents or anyone else.
So unless you get married or are sure you won’t need a single penny of help during your college career, these exceptions likely don’t apply.
It’s ridiculous to make the age required to become a resident five years from the typical high school graduation age. Most students graduate high school at the age of 18 and attend college the semester after graduation.
The typical path for graduating with a degree is a four-year plan going from freshmen to senior, just as high school. This means that many students can aim to graduate by the age of 22.
This also means that students attending from out of state will graduate before reaching the required age of 23 to receive in-state tuition. Instead, they are stuck with paying higher cost for their duration at CSU.
Requirements to gain residency in Colorado seems basic and fair. It includes living in Colorado for a full year, getting a Colorado driver’s license, registering the operated vehicle with Colorado tags, changing voter registration to Colorado and paying Colorado taxes.
It sounds fair to complete all of the above, relinquishing ties from a previous state to earn the ability to pay in-state tuition.
Of course that would be too easy and less fun if there were not fine print included in the clause. In my experience, a student can cut all former ties with their state and resemble a Colorado resident, but their count of living in Colorado for one year will not start ticking until they have turned 22.
It’s silly to be able to vote in Colorado, pay Colorado taxes, have a job, a place to live, Colorado driver’s license, Colorado license plate and still have to wait until the age of 22 to begin the count of living in Colorado for year. Some out-of-state students feel hung out to dry and are forced to take on debt to gain an education.
Colorado has an agreement with neighboring states to allow students to come to Colorado and attend school for the price of an in-state resident, if those states in return allow some Colorado students to do the same in theirs.
This is called the Reciprocity Agreement. If you are from a state that doesn’t neighbor Colorado, it seems you are left out of the deal.
For those who are from Colorado-neighboring states, don’t get too excited yet.
Fine print strikes again. CSU and many other schools in Colorado choose not to participate in this agreement, leaving students stuck with all their legal Colorado documents and still being considered an outsider.
The typical cost per semester for a Colorado resident at CSU considered full time and taking 12 credit hours is $3,129.06. The base cost for an out-of-state resident at CSU considered full time and taking 12 credit hours is $11,090.06. That’s more than three times the cost of an in-state student.
It seems that CSU requires that those who travel to Colorado for school graduate with not only a degree but a mountain of debt unless they are emancipated or married. Out-of-state students wish Colorado would lower the age to become a resident to a more reasonable age.
It seems like the last hope to avoid acquiring a mountain of debt is to ask mom and dad to come live in Colorado to get a cheaper tuition. If that doesn’t work, begin researching how much the Black Market will pay for your second kidney.