It’s a challenge to obtain in-state status

Florida Resident Reclassification Form.

Florida A&M attracts and recruits students from around the country to attend the university. However, the process to be considered an in-state resident at the university often deters students from completing their education at FAMU.

At the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, out-of-state students are able to apply to be considered an in-state student at FAMU. Multiple documents are required to be classified as “resident or nonresident;” this process can be tedious.

Students have a month to submit documents that provide evidence of the student wanting to be considered for in-state tuition. Non-resident students often find it difficult to apply due to some of the documents that the students may need.

Some of the documents include proof of a permanent home in Florida, Florida driver’s licenses, student’s federal tax return for the current year, and student’s W-2 wage and tax statements for the current tax year or parent’s federal tax return for the current tax year.

This process can be drawn-out for those who are missing one or more documents. Students have to file an appeal to be able to submit the documents needed if the due date has passed.

There are non-resident students who decide to stay on campus for their freshman and sophomore years as a way to keep living and commuting prices low. This makes it difficult for the student to claim proof of permanent residency in the state of Florida.

“I don’t meet all the requirements to apply. I just moved out of the dorms this (fall) semester and was not able to complete the waiver in time to be considered,” said Paula Young, a junior health management major.

According to FAMU’s Financial Aid Office, students can fill out an “in-state” waiver to receive the resident tuition rate. Tuition is $22,116 for in-state on-campus students and $34,062 for out-of-state students.

The rate of the tuition varies depending on the room and board for the student. There is a different rate for each dorm.

Out-of-state students are granted waivers to pay the in-state tuition for the semester. Taking the student’s tuition down $12,000 for the semester, not including the fees put on the student’s account.

Makayla Jones Pettway, a junior psychology student, said, “I knew about the out-of-state tuition waiver but I never qualified to apply. I didn’t find out about it until my sophomore year at FAMU.”

The steps it takes to become a resident at Florida A&M is prolonged for those who do not have all the necessary documents. Bringing more awareness of the process for out-of-state students will allow it to be smoother for both the students and their families.