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Do I have a strong case to be considered an Arizona resident for in-state graduate school purposes? Which of these two ways?

Phoenix, AZ |

I am applying to a graduate school program that is new and for "in-state residents only." I was born in AZ, lived there until about 8 years old, and moved with my parents to the midwest. I always wanted to move back. After graduating college, I worked for a family member in OH from 2010-2011. I was offered a job in AZ and moved to Phoenix in January 2012. I left that job in March 2012. I decided to pursue a new career and moved back in with my parents in the midwest from Mid 2012-present. My parents have had a house in AZ since I was born and there have been renters there usually.
Can I be considered an in-state resident? Born in AZ. House there for last 30 years. Moved there in 2012. Only relocated for financial support for education. Should I file my 2013 taxes in AZ? etc?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You are not an Arizona resident for tuition purposes, because you have not been in continuous residence for the past 12 months. I do not believe there is any way around that.

Asker

Posted

There are two potential policy lines that I think might help me around that: 1. Once domicile in Arizona exists, it is not lost by mere absence from Arizona unaccompanied by any intention to establish a new domicile elsewhere. http://www.registrar.arizona.edu/residency/aborest.htm ^^^I moved here in 2012 of my own volition, absorbing all the costs and had intent to make my domicile here for good. Unfortunately I lost my job and had some personal demons to work though which necessitated getting support from my family, but I had never left my "intent" to domicile in AZ. What do you think of this argument? 2. There are certain exceptions to the general rule. A student may also be eligible for resident status if he or she can establish that, on or before the last day of regular registration, he or she meets one of the following criteria: Dependent : The student is domiciled in Arizona and has not met the one-year durational requirement, but one or both of the student’s parents are domiciled in Arizona and one or both of the student’s parents are entitled to claim him or her as a dependent child for federal and state tax purposes (whether or not the parent actually claims the student as a dependent child). http://www.registrar.arizona.edu/residency/aborreq.htm ^^^I think (and this is also a question) that my mother can legally claim herself domiciled in AZ as she owns a house here. Though I have been filing independently for several years, I do need their financial support for school and other stuff like car insurance. Therefore, couldn't I be eligible to be her dependent? The bottom line for me is that I made a choice to live here in 2012. I had personal things that needed me to relocate to get support from my parents, but I never left my domicile of intent, you know? In my eyes, I started my AZ residency in 2012 and have never left it, just left the state for medical and educational reasons. Your feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Michael Thomas Poulton

Michael Thomas Poulton

Posted

You state that you "decided to pursue a new career and moved back in with [your] parents in the midwest" in 2012. That sure sounds like being domiciled there. You lived there for two years, and only came back to do this grad program. There's just no way you can convince anyone that you have actually lived in Arizona ever since 2012, but just happened to be on an extended trip temporarily visiting your parents for two years. Your mother is not domiciled in Arizona, either. Owning a house here has little to do with it. She doesn't live here, and that's quite simply what "domiciled" means. You are just simply not an Arizona resident for tuition purposes. You would have to move back and stay here for a year before you would qualify.

Asker

Posted

Dear Counselor Poulton, I understand the word of the policy, and I guess you're answer to my question is basically "no, you do not have a strong case." I would like to convey that I am not trying to get by the intent of the residency requirement. I initially stated "decided to pursue a new career," a more apt description would be "I suffered an extremely grave health injury which required immediate hospitalization and family support in the midwest; this injury catalyzed a desire to pursue a new career. Since I was already with my family for healthcare support I continued to utilize their support for taking the pre-requisite courses for the new career path." Though you said there is no way I could "convince anyone that I have actually lived in AZ since 2012 but just happened to be on extended trip temporarily visiting my parents," -- that is actually exactly what I believe this is. After graduating college in Spring 2009, in the worst economy ever, I had to rely on a family member to give me a job to make ends meet. As soon as I had some experience and was able to gain employment on my own as an attractive candidate in the marketplace, I immediately chose Phoenix -- to be back where I consider my home and birthplace. So, from my perspective, I did move back in 2012 but unfortunate life circumstances prevented my actual physical residence. The reason I am so keen on proving my in-state status is not to save money on tuition (though I see nothing wrong with that, as money is tight for me and everyone), it is because this program is available only to in-state residents. The reason being that A. I'm sure the program is somehow subsidized through the state (and my parents lived their for 15+ years and paid taxes, and have continued to pay property taxes) and B. its a healthcare program which prefers that its graduates stay in AZ to address health disparities throughout the state. In my heart, I know for a fact that I consider Arizona my home and had the intent to move there as soon as I could as an adult, and did, blowing through all my savings to do so. Therefore, I do not feel like I am being deceptive or looking to get by the rules. I know the law is black and white, but life obviously is shades of gray. I posted this question to ask for advice on how to approach convincing the residency committee of this fact, that I will continue to stay in AZ after my education. I don't even mind paying out-of-state tuition for the first year or two or whatever, its about being able to participate. The AZ board of Regents states that residency rules are based on the presumption that 'decisions to commit to residence are made after education is completed, not before' -- and I agree. I moved to AZ in 2012 before education was even an option or thought for me. Therefore, Counselor, to you and any other attorney reading this, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read the length of this thread and the nuance involved. I would further like to ask for advice on how to best present the case so as to convey my honest intent while also not asking the committee to bend over backwards and make an exception for me (Which I understand would not work) -- I am asking how to work within the established rules and exception to present my case for in-state status. Should I ask my mother to move there immediately, claim AZ as her domicile and then put myself as a dependent? Should I pursue being an independent person who moved back to AZ in 2012 and have been on an extended trip to visit my parents for health/education purposes? My driver's license and voting registration are in AZ. I have been paying bills in AZ this year for water and utilities. Do you have any other advice in my situation or specific attorneys you could refer me to? Thank you Counselor Poulton for your help and comments, and to anyone else who could share their perspective. John

Posted

When in doubt consult an experienced local attorney. Speculation is not the best approach.

Posted

I have read your correspondence with Attorney Poulton and have considered the two theories you put forth. I agree with his analysis and conclusion that you do not have a strong case. There is no harm in arguing that case, just don't get your hopes up. You are not likely to be successful in convincing the state that you are a state resident.

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