How does Penn State define “guardianship” for purposes of determining residency status?
For purposes of determining residency status, a guardian must be an individual who has been appointed by the United States court system (i.e., court-appointed guardian). Guardianship can only be established through court order, and the student must prove that any change in guardianship is not for in-state tuition purposes, and that their guardian's presence within the state is not primarily for the purposes of education. The student must submit a copy of the file-stamped court decree appointing their guardian(s) if the student is using the guardian(s) to establish residency status.
Please note that a person other than a parent who claims the student as a dependent for income tax purposes is not considered the student's guardian solely due to that tax claim. Notarized letters, signed Affidavits, claims of guardianship under Pennsylvania school code, guardianship documentation from foreign courts, and Power of Attorney paperwork are also insufficient to establish guardianship.
Except in extremely limited circumstances, there will be no exceptions to how guardianship is established.