VCU Bulletins

Professional study

Tuition determination and student classification

Tuition is determined by the number of credit hours a student is taking, the student’s residency classification, course of study and classification level.

In-state residency

Eligibility for in-state tuition benefits is determined by Section 23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia. Refer to the Determination of student classification for in-state tuition purposes in the About VCU section of this bulletin for the complete code.

All applicants to VCU who want to be classified as Virginia residents must complete the Application for Virginia In-state Tuition Rates included in the graduate application. The residency determination of the applicant will be conveyed at the time of admission. New and continuing students initially classified as non-Virginians for tuition purposes may request a review of the initial residency determination by completing an Application for Change of Domicile available from the Office of Records and Registration (online). The student must present clear and convincing evidence that he or she is not residing in the state primarily to attend school. The application deadline is 30 days prior to the start of the semester, and it is the responsibility of the student to establish or to file an appeal to change his/her residency classification prior to the start of classes for the semester under consideration. In accordance with the Code of Virginia, applications received after the start of the semester must be considered for the next semester. Submit completed applications with documentation to the university residency appeals officer. Processing may require four to six weeks; therefore it is strongly recommended that applications be submitted earlier than the stated deadline.

Our service to students is limited to assuring that they understand the procedures for appealing and that they have access to information about the relevant sections of the Code of Virginia. We provide information about the steps of our process and access to the applicable sections of the statute and the associated guidelines. We provide qualified staff to review the appeals and make decisions based on the information students provide. What we cannot do is provide advisement to students as to how to present their case for review; we cannot become the student’s advocate since we must make the decision.

Students approved for a change to in-state status for tuition purposes are notified by mail with copies of their approval letters sent to the Office of Financial Aid and the Student Accounting Department. Students denied this status also are notified by mail. The denial letter informs the student of procedures for appeal of this decision, to include filing an appeal with the University Residency Appeals Committee. Students who submit fraudulent applications, falsify documentation or conceal information will be subject to reclassification, payment of all nonresident fees owed and university discipline.

Please note that a student with in-state status for tuition purposes who exceeds 125 percent of the credit hours needed to complete his program will be assessed a tuition surcharge.


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Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia
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Last update: 5/7/2012

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