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Student missed mark for in-state tuition

A George Mason University student was not entitled to in-state tuition, the Supreme Court of Virginia said in a Sept. 14 unpublished order in George Mason University v. Veng. A Fairfax Circuit had reversed GMU’s denial of in-state status to the undergraduate student as a dependent on her spouse, who grew up in Virginia prior to joining the Air Force.

When Kesarkol Veng sought in-state tuition in 2011, she stated she and her husband moved to Virginia in 2009, when he accepted employment with the Naval Health Clinic at Quantico. She and her husband, Paul Chamnan, lived with his parents in Manassas.

Veng had to prove by clear and convincing evidence that for a period of at least one year immediately prior to the date of the alleged entitlement, her husband was domiciled in Virginia and had abandoned any previous domicile.

In its final review of the application, GMU explained that while the “objective conduct” showed a domiciliary intent, it dated that intent from issuance of Chamnan’s Virginia driver’s license in April 2010, which meant Veng had not met the requisite one-year period prior to Jan. 24, 2011.

The Supreme Court order said “it cannot reasonably be said that GMU’s decision denying Veng’s petition for in-state tuition ‘departed from the established standard’ or was arbitrary, capricious or otherwise contrary to the law.” The high court reversed judgment for Veng and entered final judgment for GMU.

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