Determination of Residency for Tuition Purposes

University requirements for establishing residency are independent from those of other types of residency, such as for tax purposes or other state or institutional residency. These regulations were promulgated not to determine whether a student is a resident or nonresident of California, but rather to determine whether a student should pay University fees on an in-state or out-of-state basis. A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the Uniform Student Residency Requirements. These laws governing residency for tuition purposes at the California State University are California Education Code sections 68000-68085, 68120-68134, and 89705-89707.5, and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41900-41916. This material can be viewed on the Internet by accessing the California State University’s website at www.calstate.edu/GC/resources.shtml.

Each campus’s Admissions Office is responsible for determining the residency status of all new and returning students based on the Application for Admission, Residency Questionnaire, Reclassification Request Form, and, as necessary, other evidence furnished by the student. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish eligibility for resident classification will be classified as a nonresident.

Generally, establishing California residency 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, can demonstrate both physical presence in the state combined with evidence of intent to remain in California indefinitely may establish California residency for tuition purposes. A minor normally derives residency from the parent(s) he or she resides with or most recently resided with.

Evidence demonstrating intent may vary from case to case, but will include, and is not limited to the absence of residential ties to any other state, California voter registration and voting in California elections, maintaining California vehicle registration and driver’s license, maintaining active California bank accounts, filing California income tax returns and listing a California address on federal tax returns, owning residential property or occupying or renting an apartment where permanent belongings are kept, maintaining active memberships in California professional or social organizations, and maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California.

Nonresident students seeking reclassification are required to complete a supplemental questionnaire that includes questions concerning their financial dependence on parents or others who do not meet University requirements for classification as residents for tuition purposes. Financial independence is required, along with physical presence and intent, to be eligible for reclassification.

Non-citizens establish residency in the same manner as citizens, unless precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing domicile in the United States.

Exceptions to the general residency requirements are contained in California Education Code sections 68070-68085 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41906-41906.6, and include, but are not limited to, members of the military and their dependents, certain credentialed employees of school districts and most students who have attended three years of high school in California and graduated or attained the equivalent. Whether an exception applies to a particular student cannot be determined before the submission of an application for admission and, as necessary, additional supporting documentation. Because neither campus nor Chancellor’s Office staff may give advice on the application of these laws, applicants are strongly urged to review the material for themselves and consult with a legal advisor.

Residency determination dates are set each term. They are:

Quarter Term Campuses Semester Term Campuses
Fall quarter, September 20 Fall semester, September 20
Winter quarter, January 5 Winter term: n/a
Spring quarter, April 1 Spring semester, January 25
Summer quarter, July 1 Summer term, June 1

CalState TEACH operates on a trimester system. The residency determination dates for CalState TEACH are as follows:

Trimester Residency Determination Date
Fall September 20
Spring January 5
Summer June 1

Students classified as nonresidents may appeal a final campus decision within 120 days of notification by the campus. A campus residency classification appeal must be in writing and submitted to:

The California State University
Office of General Counsel
401 Golden Shore, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802-4210

The Office of General Counsel can either decide the appeal or send the matter back to the campus for further review. Students incorrectly classified as residents or incorrectly granted an exception from nonresident tuition are subject to reclassification as nonresidents and payment of nonresident tuition in arrears. If incorrect classification results from false or concealed facts, the student also is subject to discipline pursuant to Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

Resident students who become nonresidents or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception must immediately notify the Admissions Office. Changes may have been made in the rate of nonresident tuition and in the statutes and regulations governing residency for tuition purposes in California between the time this information is published and the relevant residency determination date. Students are urged to review the statutes and regulations stated above.