(as an example) UC and Cal
State are different but residency is evaluated at the campus level. in addition to residency students are now required to have a pretty high attainment educationally - top 9% of HS grad class for example.
My brother works in the UC system and has a lot of the political background (a lot related to maintaining diversity) but I won't go into that.
Here is an excerpt from CAL
Generally, establishing residence in
California for tuition purposes requires
a combination of physical presence and
intent to remain indefinitely.
An adult who, at least one full year
prior to the residence determination
date for the term in which enrollment is
contemplated, has been both physically
present in the state and also has timely
evidence of the intent to remain in
California indefinitely, may establish
residence in California for tuition
purposes. A minor derives residence
from the custodial parent or the parent
with whom the minor child most
Evidence demonstrating intent will
vary from case to case but shall include,
and is not limited to, the absence of
residential ties to any other state,
California voter registration
in California elections, maintaining
California vehicle license
or I.D. card, maintaining
active California bank accounts, filing
tax returns, owning or
leasing residential property or renting
apartment where permanent belongings
are kept, maintaining active membership
in California professional or social
organizations, and maintaining a
permanent military address and home of
You can read more details by following links from here.
California Postsecondary Education Commission -- Residency Requirements
BTW - No slag intended but in state tuition is funded by taxpayers - My son is resident of and I pay taxes (a lot of) in California. If you haven't been a taxpayer and are interested in gaming the system, I don't really have a ton of sympathy.
Also college planning is extremely complex these days. It isn't easy and I sympathize that you want your kids
to have the best education possible. I doubt you will get your definitive answers on a sailing website.