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Pennsylvania Residency Guidelines
Who is considered a Pennsylvania resident?
A University student will be classified as a Pennsylvania resident only if he or she has established a Pennsylvania domicile. Generally, a student who comes to Pennsylvania, primarily or solely, for the purpose of pursuing his or her education will not be considered a Pennsylvania resident for tuition purposes. Because most Lincoln University (“University”) students from other states come to Pennsylvania for the primary or sole purpose of attending the University, one who initially enrolls as a non-resident will ordinarily continue to be classified as a non-resident throughout his or her attendance at the University.
What is Pennsylvania domicile?
Students who are domiciled in Pennsylvania will be considered residents of Pennsylvania for tuition purposes. Domicile is the place where one intends to reside either permanently or indefinitely, and does in fact so reside.
What factors does the University consider in making a determination of domicile?
In making a determination of domicile, the University will take into account documentary and other evidence, written statements from disinterested persons, and the presumptions set forth below:
A student who has resided in Pennsylvania for a purpose other than pursuing his or her education for at least twelve (12) continuous months immediately prior to the student’s initial enrollment at the University or any other institution of higher education in Pennsylvania is presumed to be a resident for tuition purposes.
- A student who has not resided in Pennsylvania for a period of twelve (12) continuous months immediately prior to the student’s initial enrollment at the University or any other institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is presumed not to be a resident of Pennsylvania for tuition purposes; however, a student may rebut this presumption with clear and convincing evidence.
- A student who is not a United States citizen or does not have an immigrant visa is presumed not to be a resident of Pennsylvania for tuition purposes; however, a student may rebut this presumption with clear and convincing evidence.
- A minor or a dependent is presumed to have the domicile of his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The age of majority for establishing a domicile for tuition purposes is twenty-two (22). A student may prove financial emancipation or independent domicile through clear and convincing evidence.
- A United States Government employee or a member of the armed forces who was domiciled in Pennsylvania immediately preceding entry into government service and who has continuously maintained legal residence in Pennsylvania will be presumed to have a Pennsylvania domicile.
- Military personnel and their dependents will be eligible for classification as Pennsylvania residents for tuition purposes while such personnel are on active duty and assigned to a Pennsylvania military installation. A student seeking classification as a Pennsylvania resident on the basis of his or her active duty military status or on the grounds that the student is a dependent of an active duty military person assigned to Pennsylvania must document the active duty status and the beginning and ending dates of the military assignment(s) in Pennsylvania.
- A student receiving a scholarship, grant, loan or other type of aid which is dependent upon maintaining residence or domicile on a state other than Pennsylvania is presumed not to be a resident of Pennsylvania for tuition purposes.
How will the evidence be considered?
A student requesting reclassification must show, by clear and convincing evidence, that his or her residence is in Pennsylvania and that the student’s presence in Pennsylvania is not primarily or solely for the purpose of pursuing an education. Each case will be decided on the basis of an evaluation of all relevant facts and documentation submitted. Although not conclusive, the evidence listed below may be given weight that the University may assign to them under the circumstances of each case. The University will consider the quality of evidence, rather than merely the quantity. For example, even most non-residence students attending a college or university in Pennsylvania can show evidence of a lease of a residence in Pennsylvania, the payment of applicable state and local taxes and the filing of appropriate returns for such taxes, a bank account in Pennsylvania, automobile and other registered property in Pennsylvania, a Pennsylvania driver’s license, or registration to vote in Pennsylvania. Therefore, providing some or all of these items will not necessarily result in being classified as a resident.
Additional evidence that may be considered by the University in determining whether a student is domiciled in Pennsylvania includes:
- Continuous presence in Pennsylvania during significant periods while not enrolled as a student;
- Acceptance of an offer of permanent full-time employment in Pennsylvania upon graduation;
- Membership in Pennsylvania, social, athletic, civic, political and/or religious organizations;
- Affidavit of intention to reside permanently in Pennsylvania after completion of coursework;
- The purchase of a permanent, independent residence in Pennsylvania;
- For minors or students claiming independence, evidence that the student is not a dependent. Such evidence may include copies of the tax returns of the student and his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or sworn statements from the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) setting forth facts which establish the student’s financial independence and separate residence.
What is the reclassification procedure?
- A student may challenge his or her non-resident classification by submitting a completed Residency Application to Lincoln University, Office of the Registrar, Lincoln Hall, 1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352. An application may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar, Lincoln Hall, 1st floor. The application should include a written statement of reasons in support of the student’s claim for Pennsylvania domicile and supporting documentation. Each student will receive written notice of the decision on his or her application. The notice will be sent to the student’s last known permanent address by first class mail.
- The student may supplement the documentation requested in the Residency Application with any other information the student deems pertinent to determining his or her residency status. The deadline for submitting an application and all appropriate documentation will be the last day of late registration for the semester or summer session the student wishes to be classified as a resident. An application filed after such date shall be deemed to be effective for reclassification purposes the first day of the following semester. The Office of the Registrar will date-stamp each application upon receipt. A student who submits an application and all appropriate documentation after the deadline cannot be reclassified any earlier than the first day of the following semester or summer session.
- A preliminary determination regarding a student’s domicile will be made by the University’s Admission Officer. This determination is subject to review by the University’s Residency Certification Officer, who may either approve or modify the preliminary determination. A student may appeal the Residency Certification Officer’s denial of a reclassification by directing a written appeal to the University Residency Appeals Board (hereafter the “Appeals Board”) within 30 calendar days from the date of the written notification of the Residency Certification Officer’s decision. The appeal and any relevant documentation must be sent to the Appeals Board at the following address: University Residency Appeals Board, c/o Office of the Registrar, Lincoln University, 1570 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352. The student may request a hearing before the Appeals Board. Questions about the appeal process should be presented to the Residency Certification Officer in the Office of the Registrar. The Appeals Board will notify the student of its decision in writing. The determination of the Appeals Board is final and constitutes an exhaustion of the student’s appeal rights within the University.
- The effective date of a reclassification resulting from a student’s challenge is determined by the date a completed residency application is filed with the Office of the Registrar. An application will not be considered complete until appropriate documentation has been submitted. Depending on whether a student meets the deadline set forth in these guidelines, a reclassification may be effective at the beginning of the semester or summer session in which a residency application is filed, or at the beginning of the following semester or summer session.
What if my domicile changes from Pennsylvania?
- A student who changes his or her domicile from Pennsylvania to another state must promptly give written notice of the change to the Residency Certification Officer in the Office of the Registrar. The student will be reclassified as of the date of the change. A student who fails to inform the Residency Certification Officer of changes in facts or circumstances which might affect his or her residency classification will be responsible for the difference between resident and non-resident tuition.
- Any student who provides false information or deliberately conceals the facts in connection with a residency application or appeal will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. In addition, any student found eligible for resident status based on false information or error is subject to retroactive reclassification as a non-resident and may be responsible for the payment of non-resident tuition and fees for the period during which he or she was classified as a resident.
- A student may challenge an involuntary reclassification under the procedures described in these guidelines. NOTE: The University may conduct audits regarding Pennsylvania resident classification and may make appropriate adjustments in the classification of students.