College location can have a big impact on tuition

If you or your child has college in the crosshairs right now, choosing a state school can mean big savings.

Students at in-state public colleges and universities save an average of almost $24,000 a year, compared with their peers at private institutions.

But crossing state lines can more than double the cost of tuition, even for a public college.

Consumer reports say it's not so simple, but there may be a work around, if you do some planning.

One key is to establish residency.

The rules vary by state, but some basic guidelines apply.

First, move as early as possible.

Most schools require that you live-in state for a full year before you enroll in school, to qualify as an in-state student.

Expect to provide proof of residency, things like tax returns, property records and an in-state driver's license, all can help make your case.

It's also important to cut financial ties to your original, home state.

Which could be a deal breaker for many college students, who are often claimed as dependents by their parents.

But it may be the most cost-effective move you'll ever make,

Consumer reports say you should also be on the lookout for exceptions.

Some colleges and universities may let you establish residency while you're in school, even if you start out with out-of-state status.

A good place to start is checking with the college for details.