The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 16, 1994 - 3
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Court orders 'U' to clarify nolicv
By FRANK C. LEE
Daily Staff Reporter
Time may be running out for the
University's in-state residency policy. But
he University is fighting tooth and nail, spend-
iig thousands of dollars of student money, to
onvince courts to uphold the regulations.
A federal appeals court ruled in August
that public universities cannot use solely the
time students have lived in a state to charge
em higher tuition rates.
The legality of the one-year residency
requirement questioned by the court stems
from a lawsuit filed by Susan A. Eastman, a
former University student. The court reversed
a 1992 district court decision that had origi-
nally thrown out Eastman's case. The appeals
court did not rule on the merits of Eastman's
case, but ordered a new trial to examine the
'legality of the one-year residency require-
In the decision of the U.S. Court of Ap-
als for the Sixth Circuit, the three-judge
panel said that preferential treatment - such
as lower tuition rates - by a state for in-state
students is acceptable, but worried that uni-
versities would violate the equal-protection
clause of the 14th Amendment by basing
residency status on duration.
Marilyn Fitzpatrick, academic services
clerk of the Registrar's Office, said the
niversity's residency requirements are
ong the strictest in the nation. Fewer than
half of the 1,000 residency requests per year
the University receives are approved.
"From what I understand, some schools
use lower tuition to attract more students,
,with more lenient regulations," she said. "The
University of Michigan is able to attract, stu-
dents for other reasons, like the high quality of
education for one."
The cost for first-year and sophomore resi-
nts is $2,520 per term, compared to $7,866
per term for non-residents. For juniors and
seniors, in-state tuition is $2,777 per term vs.
8,429 per term for non-residents. The differ-
ence between the rates is considerable, lead-
ing many out-of-state students to complain
about, if not appeal, their residency status.
"Each residency case that comes up is
different," said University spokeswoman Lisa
Baker. "No two cases are alike. ... There is no
Richard Kennedy, chairman of the
University's Residency Appeals Committee,
said that certain factors, however, are com-
mon to those granted MN
residency status. 'There are
"They have got to
really demonstrate that these law
they are physically do-
micile in the state and
not dependent on in-
>me sources outside
the state," he said.
Elsa Cole, Univer-
sity general counsel, as-
serted that under spe-
#ial circumstances, a few students who had
not lived in Michigan for a year or more were
granted residency status. But neither Cole nor
Kennedy could supply names of such stu-
"I guess when they put together the regu-
1tions that (duration criteria) seemed like a
reasonable criteria to establish residency, but
I:don't know of any instances where people
kith less than one year of residency has resi-
dency status," Kennedy said.
Neal Bush, Eastman's attorney who took
the case on behalf of the American Civil
Liberties Union, illustrated situations where
the one-year requirement bears greater scru-
tiny for gauging residency status.
"We have no problem with the fact that
they can take duration into intent, but say both
of your parents got terrific jobs here in Michi-
gan and they decided to move the whole
family here. It had nothing to do with whether
you wanted to go to the University of Michi-
gan or not," Bush said. "They bought a house
here and started new jobs and then - as while
as they are living in Michigan - why don't
you apply to the University. You should get
Eastman alleges in her lawsuit that the
University denied her residency status based
exclusively on the fact that she had lived in
Michigan only nine months before applying
for residency status in 1990. The court's deci-
sion stated that she had not "physically re-
sided in Michigan on a continuous basis for at
least one year immediately preceding the first
day of fall term 1990 classes."
Bush feels it is a fundamental Constitu-
"It is unreasonable and a violation of the
Constitution for (the University) to have du-
ration requirements which absolutely bars a
person from being considered a domicile in
Michigan," he said. "For most people the fact
that they have lived in state for a year may be
strong evidence but it should be a rebuttable
presumption while the University has made it
Cole said that Eastman applied for admis-
sion to the University before her husband
applied for a job with a law firm in Michigan
- an indication that she was only moving to
Michigan for a college education.
"That's absurd," Bush said. "Ms. Eastman
basically was aware that a job would be of-
fered (for her husband) in Michigan - if not
that job some other job - and had planned to
move to Michigan before that."
Eastman contends that she based her deci-
sion to enroll on her spouse's acceptance of
the job offer but Bush feels that is not central
to their argument.
"That is really not what's important be-
cause they didn't even consider any of that,"
Bush added. "They simply said that because
she wasn't here for a year, they wouldn't
consider her application on her merits. ... The
University is backtracking, trying to make
those sorts of other arguments."
about half a dozen of
suits each year, and
er lost one yet.'
Eastman's case is not the only one involv-
ing a lawsuit with her alma mater over the
residency criteria that is making headlines.
University graduate Robert Silverman is
seeking a retroactive refund of $25,000 - the
difference between the tuition paid by out-of-
state and Michigan residents during his years
as a student, plus interest.
Silverman, a New Yorker, said he applied
for residency every term since 1988 and was
denied every time he claims with no reference
to anything specific in his application.
t & j
f. 1."T am' i 30
"Our court claim is based on a denial of
due process," Silverman said. "What they're
doing is unfair. They categorically denied me
without seriously considering the merits of
my situation. ... I am not the typical out-of-
state student who came here to go to school.
"I came to the state of Michigan to dive
with Dick Kimball.... My goals were and my
intent was to make an Olympic team in 1996,"
added Silverman, a 1992 graduate. "The fact
that he coached the University of Michigan,
the fact that I went to the University of Michi-
gan was secondary to coming out and diving
One of the criteria for granting residency
status is the probability that a student intends
to remain in Michigan beyond their school
days and is not in the state simply to attend the
University, Kennedy said. The question of
intent is considered separately and usually
after whether or not a student has passed the
By training in Michigan for the 1996 Olym-
pics, Silverman claims he has shown his in-
tent to stay after his 1992 graduation.
Silverman, indeed, has remained in the state,
attending the Detroit College of Law where
he plans to take the state bar exam by this fall.
"The University of Michigan never gives
students who are applying for reclassification
as a resident any reasons for why their appli-
cations are rejected," said Helen Gallagher,
Silverman's attorney. "They just get a form
letter saying, 'Here are the criteria we applied,
and we decided you don't meet residency
status based on the criteria."'
"We are not saying that they can't con-
sider duration as evidence, but if people move
to Michigan for other reasons - whether they
are here for a year or a day - it doesn't really
make any difference," Bush added.
"It makes me wonder about the actual
applications of the residency policies on a
case-by-case basis," Gallagher said.
The issue of Silverman's resident classifi-
cation has not even been discussed in court
proceedings, despite having appeared before
the Michigan Supreme Court, due to Univer-
sity counsel contesting the case's origin.
The University's attorneys entered into
costly litigation to debate the finer points of
the lawsuit's jurisdiction. The state Supreme
Court finally ruled that Silverman's case was
originally filed in the wrong court and now
Silverman has to start the entire litigation
process over again.
"As any large organization does, it's not
necessarily ethical but it certainly is legal to
pursue every avenue on procedure that is
possible," Silverman said. "Like good law-
yers, the University attorneys have made sure
every avenue has been taken in the hopes that
an individual such as myself would be drowned
out and financially unable to pursue it any
University officials worry that if Eastman
and Silverman win their respective cases, it
will cause a barrage of other lawsuits contest-
ing residency status, but officials are confi-
dent of the outcome.
"There are about half a dozen of these
lawsuits each year, and we've never lost one
yet," Baker said.
As for the current status of Eastman's
lawsuit, a judge has yet to rule on a motion
filed by the attorneys for the University in
light of the Sixth Circuit's Appeals Court's
"We've asked for the entire sixth circuit
set of judges that sit on that court of appeals to
hear the (Eastman) case again," Cole said.
"We've asked for an en bane review. The
reason we've asked that is that we've felt the
ninth circuit misunderstood the facts in their
"We think once the facts are understood,
we'll get a favorable ruling in this lawsuit,"
Cole added. "If that doesn't happen, we will
go back to district court and present the facts
Despite Baker's confidence on behalf of
the University, Gallagher said she believes
her client has a fair chance of winning.
"I can't tell you for sure if Mr. Silverman
will prevail, but I think his claim is well-
founded," Gallagher said.
Silverman's case has now been sent back
to the lower courts to also clarify the issue of
resident status classification.
te students get c
Since 32 percent
as out-of-state, t
budget. The map
do students come from?
harged roughly three times the tuition rate of in-state Residency Guidelines:
t of the 22,093 undergraduates at the University are 1. Student should live in the state
his tuition gap makes up a sizable part of the one year prior to the first day of cl
below shows where the University's undergraduates 2. Student must intend to remain i
state after graduation.
3. Student must rely on Michigan
sources of financial support (i.e. n
parents from out-of-state).
7 12 -Vermont
15$$<. 051 21.-New Hampshire
,,a 'p 228 - Massachusetts
What price do they pay?
Out-of-state students pay about three times as much in tuition as do
in-state students. This makes the dispute for residency all the more
heated as students try to get the lower rate. This graph shows the
comparison for LSA students.
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