I'm trying to pull together my in-state residency petition before my fall bill is due after finding out suddenly that my residency was listed as out-of-state while I was on scholarship. The petition requires providing proof of all your expenses, all financial accounts you have and their summaries, any family gift money, and proof of in-state car registration and housing contracts. It seems so extensive after I've lived in-state for two years, have an in-state license, paid taxes in-state for two years, and planned on staying in-state that I feel extremely uncomfortable about it. This level of information isn't even required for a government security clearance and a private sector employer would never be allowed to ask for this. Isn't there some kind of basic privacy law around a person's financial history?

  • Where are you located? Is this a State college or a private one? Many colleges ask for detailed financial records to determine if you're eligible for certain loan programs or grants... The one I went to not only asked for mine, but both of my parents.
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 13, 2021 at 15:00
  • 1
    You're wrong that that level of information isn't required for a security clearance. The difference is that when you're being investigated for a security clearance, the government gathers all that information instead of asking for you to provide it.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 13, 2021 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


It is legal, unless the laws of that state say otherwise. Governments are allowed to charge different tuitions to residents vs. non-residents. They can also require proof of residence (not just your say-so). Being physically present in a state for a couple of years is not proof of being a resident. That doesn't mean that the interrogation that you are getting is allowed by law, but it's at least consistent with the general pattern of out of state tuition laws in the US. If you have contradictory elements of "proof" (voter registration in another state), they can demand more evidence. It really depends on what the state laws are, so you could name the state. Also, the full financial disclosure may in fact not be related to tuition rates but to financial aid, where they can demand all sorts of things by way of proof.

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