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Residency for Tuition Purposes

California state law distinguishes between residents and nonresidents for tuition purposes. Students classified as nonresidents for tuition purposes pay an additional fee per unit of nonresident tuition (refer to Tuition & Fees for the current fee schedule).

The state requirements to establish residence for tuition purposes are independent from those of other types of residence (such as for tax purposes, jury duty, voting or other state or institutional residence). A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the California Education Code (sections 68000-68085, 68120-68134, and 89705-89707.5) and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations (sections 41901-41915). Full text of these laws can be accessed online through the California Department of Education

This webpage offers basic information regarding the determination of residency for tuition purposes. Additional information is available in our University Catalog and on the California State University website.

 

Residency Determination Dates

Under California law, CSULB must determine the residency status for tuition purposes of all applicants and students. Our Admissions Office determines your residency status based on your answers to questions on the admissions application. If additional information is required in order to determine your residency status, you may need to submit a CSU Residence Questionnaire (PDF) and copies of official/legal documents.

A Residence Determination Date is set for each academic term and is part of the residency determination process. The Residence Determination Date for each term is listed below:

Residence Determination Dates

    Term 

   Residence Determination Dates   

Fall

September 20

Spring

January 25

 Summer 

June 1

Determination of Residency for Tuition Purposes

Adult students (who will be at least 19 years old on the Residence Determination Date) may establish their own residence for tuition purposes. Minor unmarried students (who will be under the age of 19 on the Residence Determination Date) derive their legal residence from the parent with whom they reside or last resided.

A non-U.S. citizen may establish residence unless prohibited from establishing a domicile in the United States by the Immigration and Nationality Act. Some examples of non-U.S. citizens who may establish residence include permanent residents, refugees, students granted asylum or temporary protected status, and students who hold certain non-immigrant visas.

In order to be classified as a California resident for tuition purposes, a student (or parent in the case of a minor), must demonstrate the following:

Physical Presence: The student (or parent in the case of a minor) must establish a physical presence in California more than one year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date of the term for which classification as a resident is requested. Continuous physical presence is not mandatory, but a student who leaves California has the burden of clearly demonstrating his/her retention of California residence during periods of absence.

Residential Intent: Physical presence within California solely for educational purposes does not constitute establishment of California residence. The student (or parent in the case of a minor) must demonstrate that s/he intends to make California his/her permanent home by establishing residential ties in California and relinquishing ties to the former place of residence. Proof of intent must be in place more than one year prior to the Residence Determination Date and can include (but is not limited to):

  • Registering to vote and voting in California
  • Registering a vehicle owned or operated in California
  • Obtaining a California driver's license or ID card
  • Filing a California state personal income tax return
  • Maintaining an active bank account opened in California with a California branch
  • Licensing from the state for professional practice
  • Listing a permanent California address on home of record, or other military records

RESIDENCE RECLASSIFICATION (continuing students only)

If you were classified as a nonresident student when you were admitted to CSULB, you may request to be reclassified to California resident in any subsequent term.

Requirements:  In order to be eligible for reclassification to California resident:

  • You must be able to demonstrate your physical presence in California, show intent to make California your permanent home, and maintain an eligible immigration status for at least one year prior to the Residence Determination Date of the term for which you are requesting reclassification.
     
  • You must provide documentation that proves you have been financially independent from your parent(s) in the current calendar year (in which the reclassification request is submitted to the campus) and the prior three years. Financial independence is a requirement for residence reclassification. In accordance with California Education Code section 68044, a student shall be considered financially independent if s/he:
  • has not and will not be claimed as an exemption for state and federal tax purposes by his/her parent in the current year or the prior three years; and
  • has not and will not receive more than $750 in financial assistance from his/her parent in the current year or in any of the prior three years; and
  • has not and will not live with parents for more than 6 weeks in the current year or in any of the prior three years.

How to File: To request reclassification, please submit a CSU Residence Questionnaire (PDF) (including Part D of the form) and your supporting documentation (details provided below) either in person at the Enrollment Services windows in Brotman Hall 101 or via mail to the following address: CSULB Enrollment Services, ATTN: Residence Specialist, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840.

In addition to the CSU Residence Questionnaire (PDF), students should submit the following documents if they have them:

  • Driver’s License (or state I.D. card if student does not drive)
  • Current and prior vehicle registration
  • Voter registration
  • Three most recent California state income tax returns
  • Three most recent federal income tax returns
  • Most recent W2 statement
  • Opening date and branch location where bank account was opened
  • Verification of hire date at California employment (on company letterhead)
  • Citizens of other countries will need to provide documentation to verify immigration status
     

Filing periods: Students may file their residence reclassification request (without a fee) from March 1 to April 1 for the following summer or fall term or from October 1 to November 1 for the following spring term. Reclassification requests may be filed with an additional $10 filing fee after the close of the filing period; however, reclassification requests cannot be accepted after the last day of the term for which reclassification is desired. Requests for residence reclassification for a previous term are not accepted.

Processing Time: Please allow four to six weeks to process reclassification requests. Decisions will be sent via email. Until a decision is made, students will remain classified as nonresidents and are responsible for on-time payment of nonresident fees. If the reclassification is granted, refunds of nonresident fees will be made in accordance with refund regulations printed in the CSULB Catalog.

NONRESIDENT TUITION EXCEPTIONS AND EXEMPTIONS

California law provides for specific exceptions to nonresident tuition. If you are a teacher, military service member, CSU employee, or the dependent child of a California resident, you may be exempt from paying nonresident tuition and should contact our Residence Specialist (es-residency@csulb.edu) for more information. A list of exceptions is available in the University Catalog.

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB 540/AB 2000): If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for California residency for tuition purposes, you may qualify for an exemption from nonresident tuition if you:

  • graduated from a California high school (or attained the equivalent) AND
  • attended a California high school for three or more years OR attended a combination of elementary, middle, and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years and attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work

To request this exemption, please submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption form to our Residence Specialist. The form can be submitted via email (es-residency@csulb.edu), or in person to Enrollment Services in Brotman Hall 101, or via mail to the following address: CSULB Enrollment Services, ATTN: Residence Specialist, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840.  NOTE: Students who qualify for this exemption may also be eligible to apply for and receive funds from certain state and institutional financial assistance programs through the California Dream Act

APPEAL OF CAMPUS RESIDENCY DECISIONS 

Students classified as nonresidents may appeal the campus decision to the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The appeal must be submitted online at the CSU Chancellor's Office website within 30 calendar days of notification of the final campus decision.

Students may only appeal the campus decision if: 1) the decision was based on a significant error of fact, significant procedural error, or an incorrect application of law; and/or 2) new information (which was not previously known or available to the student) became available after the date of the campus decision and, based on the new information, the nonresident classification is incorrect.

Students must explain why the appeal meets one or more of the above criteria and provide supporting documentation. Appeals that do not include supporting documentation will be denied. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT RESIDENCY FOR TUITION PURPOSES

  • The eligibility criteria for California residency for tuition purposes are established by State Law and the California Code of Regulations. CSULB implements these laws and regulations.
  • CSULB cannot alter or waive the eligibility criteria for any reason.
  • Financial hardship cannot be considered in evaluating California residency for tuition purposes eligibility.
  • Under California law, if you have moved to California primarily to attend a California institution of higher learning, then you are not eligible for California residency for tuition purposes.
  • Living in California for 12 months is not an automatic qualification for California residency for tuition purposes. You must prove through official and/or legal documents that you have moved to California permanently and are not merely living in California temporarily while you attend California State University, however long your course of study may take.
  • Despite the length of time you attend CSULB or live in California, you might not qualify for California residency for tuition purposes. You must prove through official and/or legal documents that you meet all of the requirements for California residency for tuition purposes.
  • Legal ties that you maintain in another state or country (e.g., state tax liability, a driver’s license, voter’s registration, etc.), regardless of your reasons for maintaining these ties, will disqualify you from California residency for tuition purposes.
  • For students requesting residence reclassification, evidence that you are receiving financial support from your parents in any way, either directly (e.g. tuition payments, parent PLUS loans, etc.) or indirectly (e.g., parent-purchased or co-purchased residences, parent-controlled financial portfolios), will disqualify you from California residency for tuition purposes. 

QUESTIONS

Additional information regarding CSU residency determination is available in our University Catalog and on the California State University website. Please email residency questions to our Residence Specialist (es-residency@csulb.edu).