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Special Circumstances for Domicile

William & Mary provides a supportive and safe environment that welcomes and embraces students regardless of their (or their parents’) status. This page provides important and useful information for students and families as they navigate the enrollment process and determine the best way to establish domiciliary intent for the purposes of obtaining in-state tuition.

Immigration Questions

First and foremost: Please know that any information you share with a W&M domicile officer about your or your parents’ immigration status will be used solely for the purpose of determining eligibility for in-state tuition; it will not be shared with other offices nor released for other purposes.

If you prefer not to share information in writing, you may have a confidential telephone conversation with us. Please call (757) 221-2815, or [[w|domicile, email us]] to set up a phone appointment.

Situation One: Virginia Code, and the State Council guidelines for domicile, stipulate that the review for a dependent student begins with the parent’s eligibility. Domicile is defined in Virginia as “the present intent to remain indefinitely in Virginia,” and immigration status can affect the “intent to remain indefinitely.”

  • The good news: For students whose parents cannot form the “intent to remain indefinitely,” the Code permits dependent students to be reviewed for domicile separately from their parents. If this applies to you, please let us know, either [[w|domicile, by email]] or by telephone at (757) 221-2815, and we will use your domiciliary information instead of your parent’s, to make the determination.

Situation Two: For non-US citizens who do not have a documented visa status, but graduated from a Virginia high school (or equivalent), a 2020 change to Virginia law (Section 23.1-505.1 of the Code of Virginia) includes a “Tuition Equity Provision.” This provision allows you to apply for in-state tuition based on Virginia high school completion and tax filing. Note that, although it permits qualified students to pay in-state tuition rates, it does not qualify them for state financial aid.

The W&M DACA Resource Hub has information that may be useful to students beyond those with DACA.

Family Dynamics

When parents are incarcerated or their whereabouts are unknown, or when parents are living separately, it can cause confusion for the applicant as to how to proceed.

If your parents are completely unavailable, we will assist you in submitting a domicile application separately from that of your parents, either using information you provided on the Common App, or via a new application form. If this applies to you, please let us know, either [[w|domicile, by email]] or by telephone at (757) 221-2815.

If your parents are living separately, then you might wonder which one should complete the domicile form for you, since each might be supporting you in different ways.

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

  1. Parent provides >50% of support
  2. Parent declares the student a dependent for tax purposes
  3. And/or 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 [[w|domicile, by email]] or by telephone at (757) 221-2815. The qualifying parent can complete a new Application for In-State Privileges with you, and we’ll use that one instead.

Please review the Domicile FAQs for specific case studies.