Dr. Date: Should I marry my boyfriend so he can get in-state tuition?

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Dr. Date

Dear Dr. Date,

I met my boyfriend online when we were both in high school, and we’ve been dating ever since. He went to  college in his home state, and, after begging him to transfer for two years, he finally moved to Minneapolis last month. Everything is going great, and he’s currently trying to transfer to the U!

Well, there’s one problem. His parents paid for his in-state tuition at his old school, but they told him if he can’t get in-state tuition for the U, they’re not pitching in. He has his heart set on the U, but residency requirements are a pain. However, there’s an easy way to get residency and that lower tuition without waiting months or years — get married to a Minnesota resident.

That resident would be me. What’s more romantic than a proposal over mac and cheese while discussing lower tuition and financial aid? I thought it was a joke at first, but he appears totally serious. He told me we don’t have to have a wedding or make it public, we can just get legally married and not tell anyone until we get engaged for real. 

We may have been together for three years, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to be married at 21, especially for money! How do I tell him I’m reluctant?

Sincerely,

I…Might?

Dear I…Might?,

Today I learned marrying for financial aid was a real thing. This sounds like an episode of 90 Day Fiance, minus the getting kicked out of the country after three months. You’re sure your boyfriend isn’t actually from Canada?

Even if it’s just on paper for tuition requirements, marriage is a HUGE step. If you break up, you have to actually get divorced, not just say goodbye and take your stuff back. Is your boyfriend prepared for the amount of paperwork and legalities involved? The fact that he doesn’t want to tell anyone is also a little weird — what, are you going to get double married in a few years?

Yes, saying “I do” may be the fastest way to Minnesota residency, but there are other options out there, like the 183-Day rule and taking a semester off. If you’re not 100% certain you want to get married, DON’T DO IT. Reject his proposal, suggest new ideas and gently remind him that your parents would probably freak. But hey, you could be the poster couple for a new TLC show!

Sincerely,

Dr. Date