Massachusetts Residency Classification
Both residents and nonresidents of Massachusetts are eligible to apply to the MD and MD/PhD programs at UMass Medical School.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School (“UMMS”) is a campus of the University of Massachusetts, a public institution of higher education. UMMS is authorized and enabled pursuant to Mass. General Laws, Chapter 75, Section 34. UMMS’ School of Medicine admits both in-state (Massachusetts) and out-of-state applicants. UMMS charges different tuition costs depending on whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student. In this regard, Mass. General Laws, Chapter 75, Section 34A, states as follows:
“If tuition for the Medical School is set at a lower amount for residents of the Commonwealth, a resident shall be deemed to be a person who has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment or a person whose immediate family has resided in the Commonwealth for 7 consecutive years or more prior to enrollment.”
With respect to this statute, the term “immediate family” means an applicant’s parent, spouse, child or sibling; and the words “resident(s)” and “resided” mean domicile-a person’s true fixed permanent home or place of habitation, where he or she intends to remain permanently.
To comply with the legislative mandate of Section 34A, UMMS is aided by “proof of residency” guidelines promulgated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Board of Higher Education. Each case of “proof of residency” shall be decided on its own merits on the basis of all facts submitted by the applicant with qualitative rather than quantitative emphasis. A number of factors are required for residency to determine the intention of the applicant to maintain permanent residence in Massachusetts. No single indicium is decisive. The burden of proof rests on the applicant seeking classification as a Massachusetts resident.
The following shall be considered by the School of Medicine’s Office of Admissions as indicia of “residence”:
First and foremost – seven years of uninterrupted federal and Massachusetts tax returns for the seven year period immediately prior to enrollment, wherein Massachusetts is listed as the applicant / filer’s legal residence (and not merely a P.O. Box). If the applicant’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) claim the applicant as a dependent on their taxes, the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) must list Massachusetts as their legal residence on their federal and Massachusetts tax returns. Partial year tax returns will be considered.
The following documentation shall also be considered:
- Permanent employment in Massachusetts in a position not normally filled by a student (confirmed by W-2 forms issued in the name of the applicant at a Massachusetts resident address);
- Reliance on Massachusetts sources for financial support;
- Deed or lease agreement in applicant’s name for a Massachusetts residence;
- Mortgage, rent, property tax, or utility receipts in the applicant’s name listing the applicant’s Massachusetts resident address;
- U.S. government bills/invoices in the applicant’s name listing a Massachusetts resident address;
- Valid and in-force Massachusetts driver’s license;
- Massachusetts voter registration;
- Marriage certificate listing Massachusetts as legal residence;
- Residency of custodial parent(s) or legal guardian(s)–copy of a divorce decree may be required;
- Possession of a Massachusetts high school diploma;
- Continuous physical presence in Massachusetts during periods when not an enrolled student;
- Active military service where Massachusetts is the military home of record; and/or
- All other material of whatever kind or source that in the sole and exclusive opinion of the UMMS School of Medicine’s Admissions Office may have a bearing on determining residency.
Determination by UMMS of an applicant's Massachusetts residency status is within the sole and exclusive discretion of UMMS and shall be made based on a review of some or all of the above documents/materials, and accordingly the submission of one or two types of these documents may not be sufficient to establish Massachusetts residency. Therefore, an applicant is advised to provide as many of the above listed documents–and for as many years–as possible.
Regarding an applicant’s residency status, please note the following:
- Attendance at a Massachusetts university or college does not, by itself, establish Massachusetts residency during that timeframe.
- Massachusetts residents who attended a college, university or other school in another state or who are on “active” military duty may still qualify for classification as a Massachusetts resident if they meet other residency criteria based on the content of the above-listed documents/materials.
- A person with residency elsewhere (other than in Massachusetts) shall not be eligible for classification as a Massachusetts resident for tuition purposes, except as herein provided.
The following individuals shall be eligible for in-state tuition:
- A person who is a lawful immigrant or permanent resident of the United States is eligible to be considered for Massachusetts residency for tuition purposes provided that he/she meets the same requirements for establishing residency in Massachusetts as are required of a United States citizen.
2. Noncitizens who are in (or who are eligible to apply and who have applied for) refugee/asylum status are likewise eligible to be considered for Massachusetts residency for tuition purposes provided that they meet the same requirements for establishing residency in Massachusetts as are required of a United States citizen. All noncitizens must provide appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation to verify their status. Determination of a lawful immigrant for tuition classification purposes shall follow Massachusetts Board of Higher Education policy and guidance.
3. Even if an applicant, as defined above, is determined by UMMS to qualify for in-state tuition and he/she is accepted for admission to the School of Medicine, the applicant is nonetheless solely responsible for determining whether he/she will be eligible, as a non-U.S. citizen, for licensure and/or medical training in any given state.
4. A member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed in Massachusetts on active duty pursuant to military orders, his or her spouse and dependent children. A person does not gain or lose in-state status solely by reason of his or her presence in any state or country while a member of the Armed Forces of the United States and on active duty.
5. Any person who is registered at an institution as a Massachusetts resident shall be eligible for continued classification as a Massachusetts resident for tuition purposes (until attainment of the degree for which he or she is enrolled) during continuous attendance at that institution.
6. The spouse of any person who is classified or is eligible for classification as a Massachusetts resident is likewise eligible for classification as a Massachusetts resident. This provision will not apply in the case of a spouse in the United States on a non-immigrant visa.
The issue of an applicant’s residency is usually first encountered (but not decided) when he/she completes the online AMCAS application, where applicants indicate Massachusetts as their state of legal residency–either through their own seven-year minimum residency or through an immediate family member’s seven-year minimum residency.
Once the AMCAS application is received by UMMS, applicants will be required to complete the UMMS-specific online “Residency Validation” secondary form (RV). The RV requests information establishing the applicant's claimed residency in Massachusetts. It is intended to assist UMMS in determining if the applicant lawfully qualifies as a Massachusetts resident. If UMMS is unable to initially make this determination, we may request additional documents/materials that might inform this decision–such as the documents/materials listed earlier in this policy.
The decision on whether an applicant (or the applicant’s immediate family member) qualifies as a Massachusetts resident for the requisite seven continuous years or more prior to enrollment shall be made by the UMMS School of Medicine Office of Admissions. Should the Office of Admissions determine that an applicant does not meet this residency requirement, the applicant may request a further review of this decision by the UMMS Residency Review Committee (RRC). In addition, the applicant will also still be considered for admission as an out-of-state applicant.
Residency Review Process
- The applicant contacts the Office of Admissions via email at: email@example.com and requests a further review of their residency status. This request must specifically state why the applicant believes he/she (or an immediate family member) qualifies as a Massachusetts resident.
- The Office of Admissions will acknowledge receipt of this request and advise the applicant to submit as much supporting documentation as possible–such as those documents and materials listed in this policy.
- The applicant must promptly submit to the Office of Admissions all requested documentation and any information the applicant views as applicable to this decision.
- This information and supporting materials will be forwarded for review and a final decision by the RRC.
The candidate will be notified of the status of her/his request for review as soon as possible following submission of the additional information and supporting materials. The decision on appeal is final and may not be appealed further.
Changes in Residency
If an out-of-state accepted applicant becomes eligible for in-state tuition and fees BEFORE registration and enrollment, through marriage or other means, he/she becomes eligible for in-state tuition and fees. It is the accepted applicant's responsibility to notify the Office of Admissions and provide documentation related to their change in residency. The Office of Admissions will make a determination, based on the documentation provided, if the out-of-state accepted applicant meets the in-state residency requirements and notify the individual of that determination.
If an out-of-state accepted applicant's residency status changes AFTER registration and enrollment, he/she remains classified as an out-of-state student/nonMA resident for tuition and fees for the duration of their enrollment at UMMS.
Reservation of Rights
UMMS reserves the right to set its own lawful policies and procedures on the criteria and guidelines used to help determine/classify an applicant’s residency status. UMMS’ decisions on all these matters shall be made within the exercise of its sole and exclusive discretion.
Misrepresentation in, or omission from any evidence submitted with respect to any fact which, if correctly or completely stated, would be grounds to deny classification as a Massachusetts resident, shall be cause for exclusion or expulsion from, or other disciplinary action by UMMS.