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Articles / Applying to College / Out-of-State Community College for Employee's Daughter?

Nov. 27, 2010

Out-of-State Community College for Employee's Daughter?

Question: If my daughter's father works at a community college in another state can, can she still go there if she has not been a dependent of his?

It’s always possible for your daughter (or anyone) to attend a community college in another state, whether there are ties to employees at the school or not. But the big question for you is probably, “Can she pay in-state tuition if her dad is an in-state resident and employee?” Well, these are actually two different questions.


In some states, your daughter may be eligible for in-state tuition if one parent is a legal resident of that state. But, in many states, if your daughter has not, herself, been a legal resident for at least a year, she will not qualify. When you say that your daughter has “not been a dependent of his,” I assume that you mean that her dad has not declared her on his tax forms or paid any child support. If this is the case, it may affect your daughter’s ability to pay in-state tuition in those states that might otherwise allow it.

A second issue is the fact that your daughter’s dad is an employee at the community college. Many colleges offer tuition benefits (sometimes even free tuition) to the children of staff members. If this benefit is offered to your daughter’s father, she may be able to take advantage of it, regardless of her state of residency. However, she will need proof that he is her parent. The most obvious way to provide this proof is through tax records or child-support records. If she has neither, then a birth certificate might work, but you could be navigating some murky waters here, and you will have to be extra persistent to get the tuition discount. Of course, if you are successful, it will be well worth your persistence.

In any case, your daughter can certainly attend the CC in another state, but the cost of her attendance could be greatly affected by the circumstances discussed above.

(posted 11/27/2010)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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