as far as i know, if you want to get in a university, shall we say in a state you want to get in, and it happens that you are not a resident of that state, you will pay more compare to local residents of that state. for instance, you like in the state of california, and you want to study here in the state of hawaii, the rate of your tuition will be more compare to hawaii residents. now, unless you live here for a year, then you will be considered as hawaii resident, thus, you will pay local tuition rate. i don't know how it works for other states really. in regards to loaning tuition money, even if you are not a us citizen yet, yes you may apply for student loans, however, there are some exception for foreign students, i think. if you are an immigrant, and you have a job, yes you can apply for certain loan,( which is available in the college campus). if you are under 21, and you have no job yet, your parents can co sign for you ( providing they are working,a and they have a job, and they are also a legal immigrants). one thing i don't like about student loans, is that they have high interest rate, and you really need to pay it wether you graduate or not..for those foreign students, i am not really sure about that. i beleive they cant apply for student loans, because how are they gonna repay it? as a foreign student, they are not supposed to, and not allowed to work, just like a legal immigrant, their visa is i beleive not valid to work here ( i beleive it was f-1 visa? ).hope this helps?