On This Page


Q: Should I register in my home state or college state?
A: You can register to vote in either your home state or where you attend college, but you can not be registered in both locations. If you decide to register in your home state, you need to plan to sign up for an absentee ballot, absentee ballot information regulations vary based on where you live. Be sure to research your state's required processes. Regardless, you will have the right to vote in the state of your choosing, as long as you have a temporary or permanent residence there.

Q: Does where I register to vote affect my in-state or out-of-state tuition status?
A: No, where you register to vote should not, in most cases, affect you in-state or out-of-state tuition status. There are typically several conditions that must be met to change your residency status, such as voter registration, motor vehicle registration, driver's license, and state income tax return filing.

Q: Does where I register vote to affect my federal financial aid package?
A: No.

Q: Does where I register to vote affect my scholarships?
A: There is a slight chance that where you register to vote could affect your eligibility for certain state and private scholarships and grants if you have received those scholarships and grants from organizations or agencies in your home state. Your school's financial aid office should be able to provide additional information. In most cases, if you in-state or out-of-state residency does not change, your scholarships should not change either.

Q: How do I vote if I am studying abroad?
A: You will need to fill out a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA), print and sign the application, and then mail it to your local election office in your state of residency. Once your FPCA has been processed, you will receive a blank ballot (usually via email or fax) during the election office and cast your vote. This process may seem daunting, but there are a number of resources available to help guide you. Additionally, many voting offices allow you to check the status of your absentee voter registration online.

Q: If I register to vote in another state, can my parents still claim me on their taxes?
A: Yes, where you vote does not impact your dependency status. Usually, the IRS will consider you a dependent if your parents are paying for more than half of your expenses per year.

Q: Can I register to vote in both my home state and college state?
A: No.

Q: What are the requirements to be able to vote?
A: The requirements for voting in local and federal elections vary by state, so students should check with their state election office to learn more. Most states, however, have similar requirements. All states except North Dakota require individuals to register to vote, and every state allows absentee voting. All voters must be at least 18 years of age, although some states make it possible for 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if their birthday falls before the general election. All voters must be U.S. citizens.

Q: How do you get an absentee ballot to vote?
A: States set specific rules about absentee ballots and those allowed to use them. According to USA.gov, general rules surrounding absentee voting include the requirement that students visit the office or website of their state/territorial election office to request the document. Most states require students to request a ballot by mail or fax. Students should request these early, as election offices are busy in the weeks prior to election day.

Q: How long must you live in a state to be able to register to vote?
A: Rules about the length of residency are set by individual states. According to Vote.org, Colorado, Indiana, and Montana require voters to have lived in their voting precinct for at least 30 days prior to the upcoming election. If an election is taking place soon after a student moves to a new state, they may want to consider staying registered in their home state for that election.

Search Results