Yes, residents still pay a tuition fee at universities, however, I believe if you attended a high school in texas and then go to a community college, they will sometimes pay for that. Residents also pay tuition at community colleges, it is just about a 1/3 less of what out of state students pay.
I ran into this issue a few years ago when I moved to Texas. I have been here for nearly 2 years and it was just this semester that I was able to register as a resident. IN order to be a resident, you have to either live with a parent or gaurdien that has lived in texas for over a year and owns property or have lived here for over a year and owned property.
There are quite a few clauses that go with this..ie military family, corporate move, etc. The best advice is to talk to someone in the registrar's office. They usually give you a quiz that will asked how long you have lived in Texas, if you've had a job, etc.
Being a resident just means you will get in-state tuition, which is significantly less than out-of-state tuition. Your tuition isn't paid for just because you are a resident.
Typically, it takes 12 months out of school to become a resident. You must prove residency with things like tax returns, work stubs, bills, etc.
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