Prospective Students

California Residency for CSU Tuition Purposes

General Information

By California law, every student attending the California State University (CSU) must be classified as either a resident or nonresident for tuition purposes. This classification is important because nonresidents must pay an additional amount per unit. For resident and nonresident amounts, see CSUN Tuition and Other Fees.

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Residency for Tuition Purposes

"Residency" for tuition purposes determines whether a student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition fees, not if a student is a resident of California. Generally, to be eligible for classification as a California resident for tuition purposes, the student (or if the student is a minor, the parent or legal guardian) must provide verification that the dual requirements of physical presence* in California and the intent to remain indefinitely in the state are satisfied. For details, please see the CSU Chancellor’s Office website Classification: Determination of Residency.

*Physical presence within California solely for educational purposes does not constitute establishment of California residence.

Residence Determination Dates

In general, the student (or parent/guardian for minors) must be physically present in California immediately one year prior to the Residence Determination Date for the term in which the student is planning to enroll (see table below). The student or parent/guardian must also demonstrate the intent to remain indefinitely in the state at least one year and one day prior to the Residence Determination Date.

Residence Determination Dates
Academic Term / SemesterResidence Determination Date
FallSeptember 20
SpringJanuary 25
SummerJune 1

For residence determination dates for students at CSU campuses on the quarter-system, as well as students participating in the CalState TEACH program, please see Classification: Determination of Residency.

Establishing Residency

Incoming students and applicants may request residency classification for tuition purposes, and continuing students may request reclassification after initial residency determination.

A continuing student classified as a nonresident for a prior term may seek reclassification in any subsequent term. To be reclassified, continuing students must demonstrate financial independence in addition to the requirements of physical presence and intent to remain indefinitely in the state (see #3 below).

CSUN applicants, incoming and continuing students seeking to classify or reclassify from nonresident to resident for tuition purposes should:

  1. Complete the “CSU Residence Questionnaire” (see Residency Forms below).
  2. Provide documentation to demonstrate that intent was established more than one year (at least one year and one day) prior to the Residence Determination Date. Examples of documents to submit as evidence are listed at Classification: Determination of Residency.
  3. Continuing students seeking reclassification must also satisfy the requirement of financial independence. For details, please see Reclassification after Initial Residency Determination.
  4. AB 540 students should complete both the “CSU Residence Questionnaire” and the “California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (AB 540 Affidavit).”  For additional guidance, see the CSU page Financial Aid and "Related Information" at the bottom of this page.

The burden of proof of residence rests solely with the student. Students from whom additional information is required will be contacted by letter or email with further instructions.

Students who do not qualify as California residents for tuition purposes will be notified in writing and given the opportunity to appeal to the California State University Chancellor's Office (see appeals below).

Residency Forms

The following forms are available on the CSU Chancellor’s Office Residency Forms website:

Please send the completed questionnaire and/or AB 540 tuition exemption affidavit form(s) to: 

California State University, Northridge
Admissions and Records
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330-8207

You may also contact us for more information and/or email forms and documents from your CSUN email account to

Residency Determination Appeals

Some students may have their request for residency classification or reclassification denied by their campus. Students classified as nonresidents may appeal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the notification of the final campus decision.

Related Information

Additional Resources

From the California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office:

From California State University, Northridge (CSUN):

California Law:

The laws governing residency for CSU tuition purposes are the California Education Code, sections 68000-68090, 68120-68134, 89705-89707.5 (collectively known as the Uniform Student Residency Requirements); and the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41900-41916.

Contact Us:

For more residency information, contact us at