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Frequently Asked Questions about Domicile

12-Month Qualification Period
We moved here in the summer of 2019 and my student will begin classes in the fall of 2020, but she is applying for Early Decision in November 2019. Can we qualify?

As long as you moved to Virginia for reasons beyond the student's education, and as long as you abandoned your ties to your former state and established official Virginia residence with the intent to remain indefinitely in Virginia, then yes! The 12-month period refers to the 12 months immediately prior to the start of classes, not the application.

I've been a student in the law school for 12 months and have changed my driver's license to Virginia. Why do I not qualify for in-state tuition for my second year?

The Code specifically questions domiciliary "intent" for someone whose primary reason for moving to Virginia was to attend school. Simply changing your license or other indicators does not signal the “present intent to remain indefinitely in Virginia.” You will have to demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that you intended to move to Virginia regardless of attending W&M, and that your ties to the state are extensive and extend beyond graduation from law school. This is a difficult case to make, but you may initiate it by completing a new domicile application and providing extensive written explanation in support of your case.

Dependent Students - Parents in Different States
I live with one parent in Connecticut, but my other parent, who claims me as a dependent on income taxes, lives in Virginia, and I visit there in the summers. Can I apply for in-state?

The dependent student can take the domicile of the parent who meets at least one of these criteria:

  1. Parent provides >50% of support
  2. Parent declares the student a dependent for tax purposes
  3. Student lives with that parent on a permanent basis

When you are completing the domicile portion of the application, be sure to have the parent who fits one of these criteria, and whose domicile you wish to take, complete the application. If your other parent completed the Common App, please let us know, either by [[w|domicile, email]] or phone call (757-221-2815). The qualifying parent can complete a new Application for In-State Privileges with you, and we will use that one instead.

My parents and I are not in touch, but I was not “emancipated.” My girlfriend’s parents allow me to live with them, but they are not my legal guardians. What do I do?

Either send us an [[w|domicile, email]] or give us a call (757-221-2815). We will base the domicile determination on your own eligibility for Virginia in-state tuition, not on your parents’ eligibility.  If you provided responses on the Common App, we will use those; if not, then we will have you complete a Domicile Application with your own responses.

Dependent Students - Parents Undocumented or Otherwise Ineligible Themselves
I came to the US as a child and have protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). How should I apply for domicile?

Please provide a copy of your DACA approval notice with current dates.  We will base the domicile determination on your own eligibility for Virginia in-state tuition, not on your parents’ eligibility.  If you provided responses on the Common App, we will use those; if not, then we will have you complete a Domicile Application with your own responses.

I am a US citizen but my parents do not qualify for Virginia domicile. How should I apply?

Either send us an [[w|domicile, email]] or give us a call (757-221-2815). We will base the domicile determination on your own eligibility for Virginia in-state tuition, not on your parents’ eligibility.  If you provided responses on the Common App, we will use those; if not, then we will have you complete a Domicile Application with your own responses.

Dependent Students - Parent in Military or Veteran
My parent is active-duty military and we are trying to figure out how I can qualify for in-state tuition at W&M.

Your military parent or your non-military parent may establish Virginia domicile officially, and the twelve-month waiting period is waived. However, if your parent(s) wishes to maintain ties to other states, then there are numerous pathways by which you may qualify to pay in-state tuition rates. Please visit: http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/student-type/military-education/family-of-active-duty-members for more information.

Independent Student - Military or Veteran
I am currently on active duty. What circumstances have to be in place for me to get in-state tuition?

You may establish Virginia domicile like any other applicant, which would qualify you for in-state tuition as well as other in-state benefits. The twelve-month waiting period is waived for you. However, if you wish to retain ties to another state, then as an active duty member, you may still qualify for in-state tuition if you A) have a residence in Virginia (state provision) or B) have a permanent duty station in Virginia (federal provision). See http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/student-type/military-education/active-duty-military-members for more information.

I am a veteran of the U.S. armed forces. What circumstances have to be in place for me to get in-state tuition?

You may establish Virginia domicile like any other applicant, which would qualify you for in-state tuition as well as other in-state benefits. The twelve-month waiting period is waived for you. However, if you wish to retain ties to other states, then as a veteran, you must reside in Virginia and provide proof of discharge other than dishonorable. See http://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/student-type/military-education/veterans-and-families for more information.

Independent Student Under 24
I am completely independent of my parents but not yet 24. How can I demonstrate that?

Exceptions to the presumption of dependence apply if the student:

  • Is a veteran or an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces
  • Is a graduate or professional student
  • Is married
  • Is a ward of the court or was a ward of the court until age 18
  • Has no adoptive or legal guardian when both parents are deceased
  • Has legal dependents other than a spouse
  • And/or is able to present clear and convincing evidence that s/he is financially self-sufficient
If you wish to attempt to demonstrate financial self-sufficiency, you might consider providing these sorts of documents and others that you believe help to make your “clear and convincing” case:
  • Most recent Virginia and Federal income tax forms
  • Parent’s most recent State and Federal income tax forms
  • Loan/financial aid paperwork listing applicant as an independent student
  • Most recent paycheck stub
  • W2 form for the previous year
  • Evidence of any additional social and/or economic ties to Virginia
  • A lease or mortgage in applicant’s name or other statement from landlord
  • Proof of insurance (car and/or medical) in applicant’s name
  • And/or any bills that are in applicant’s name with current mailing address (electric, telephone, gas, credit card, etc.)
This list is not all-inclusive, and providing this information does not guarantee/confirm in-state tuition privileges will be granted. You also must also show clear and convincing evidence that you have the present intent to remain indefinitely in Virginia.