UC Law Journal


With the annual costs of earning a college degree in the United States swelling, the relative lower cost of a public education is precious. State residents save thousands of dollars a year by enrolling at a public university in their home state. On the other hand, non-residents, even those who wish to become residents, must pay inflated "out-of-state" prices, while receiving the same education. While non-residents may eventually gain the benefits of residency, including reduced tuition rates, the cost differential until then is often substantial. In California, depending on a student's individual taxpayer status, an out-of-state student may never gain residency while enrolled, resulting in a nearly doubled tuition bill for the term of their education. This Note analyzes the constitutionality of durational residency requirements and their interplay with the right to travel under Equal Protection, Due Process, and the Privileges or Immunities Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. This Note argues that durational residency requirements like the one in California are unconstitutional.

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