Out of State vs In State Tuition

by Ericka
(Washington, USA)

How is your residency status for medical school decided? I have lived in Washington State all my life but want to do my undergraduate degree on the east coast and return to UW for medical school... Will I have to pay out of state tuition? Thanks!

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DoctorPremed's Response:

Residency for deciding whether you will pay in state or out of state tuition is based on your legal state of residence.

For example if you attend undergraduate on the east coast you can still keep your permanent residence Washington. Meaning that when it comes time to apply to medical school you will be granted in state tuition rates although you went to undergrad out of state.

This is a great question and many premeds should seriously consider their residency status when applying to medical school. For instance, I have always attended school out of state but have kept my permanent resident status as Pennsylvania (where I grew up and parents still live).

This was done very strategically because Pennsylvania has 7 medical schools and this will greatly increase one's chances of gaining admission to medical school. Plus, medical schools want to train medical students who are going to practice in the same state where they were trained.

Although, the literature shows most doctors wind up practicing not in the state where they attended medical school, rather in the state where they completed their medical residency.

In short, if you maintain your Washington residency while enrolled in undergraduate on the east coast and then apply to University of Washington Medical School, you will have In State status for tuition purposes.

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