Fees and Financial Assistance

Determination of Residency for Nonresident Tuition Purposes

University requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes 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 residency 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) they reside 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.

The campus Office of Enrollment Services is responsible for determining the residence status of all new and returning students for nonresident tuition purposes. Responses to the Application for Admission, Residency Questionnaire, and Reclassification Request Form, and, as necessary, other evidence furnished by the student are used in making this determination. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish eligibility for resident classification will be classified as a nonresident.

The following statement of the rules regarding residency determination for nonresident tuition purposes is not a complete discussion of the law, but a summary of the principal rules and their exceptions. The law governing residency for tuition purposes at the California State University is found in California Education Code, sections 68000‑68090, 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.

Legal residency may be established by an adult who is physically present in the state and who, at the same time, intends to make California his or her permanent home. Steps must be taken at least one year prior to the residence determination date to show an intent to make California the permanent home with concurrent relinquishment of the prior legal residency. The steps necessary to show California residency intent will vary from case to case. Included among the steps may be registering to vote and voting in elections in California; filing resident California state income tax forms on total income; ownership of residential property or continuous occupancy or renting of an apartment on a lease basis where one's permanent belongings are kept; maintaining active resideny memberships in California professional or social organizations; maintaining California vehicle plates and operator's license; maintaining active savings and checking accounts in California banks; maintaining permanent military address and home of record in California if one is in the military service.

The student who is within the state for educational purposes only does not gain the status of resident regardless of the length of the student's stay in California.

In general, an unmarried minor (a person under 18 years of age) derives legal residence from the parent with whom the minor maintains or last maintained his or her place of abode. The residence of an unmarried minor who has a parent living cannot be changed by the minor's own act, by the appointment of a legal guardian or by the relinquishment of a parent's right of control.

A married person may establish his or her residence independent of his or her spouse.

An alien may establish his or her residence, unless precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing domicile in the United States. An unmarried minor alien derives his or her residence from the parent with whom the minor maintains or last maintained his or her place of abode.

Nonresident students seeking reclassification are required to complete a supplemental questionnaire including questions concerning their financial dependence on parents who cannot satisfy University requirements for classification as residents for tuition purposes, which will be considered along with physical presence and intent in determining reclassification.

The general rule is that a student must have been a California resident for at least one year immediately preceding the residence determination date in order to qualify as a "resident student" for tuition purposes. A residence determination date is set for each academic term and is the date from which residence is determined for that term. Residence determination dates are: Fall – September 20; Spring – January 25; Summer – June 1.

There are exceptions from nonresident tuition including:

1. Persons below the age of 19 whose parents were residents of California but who left the state while the student, who remained, was still a minor. When the minor reaches age 18, the exception continues until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident;

2. Minors who have been present in California with the intent of acquiring residence for more than a year before the residence determination date, and entirely self‑supporting for that period of time. The exception continues until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident;

3. Persons below the age of 19 who have lived with and been under the continuous direct care and control of an adult or adults, not a parent, for the two years immediately preceding the residence determination date. Such adult must have been a California resident for the most recent year. The exception continues until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident;

4. Dependent children and spouse of persons in active military service stationed in California on the residence determination date. Graduate students are eligible for this exception for one academic year of continuous enrollment, the length of time necessary to establish California residency. There is no time limitation on this exception unless the military person transfers out of California or retires from military service. If either of those events happen, the student's eligibility for this exception continues until he or she resides in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident;

5. Military personnel in active service stationed in California on the residence determination date for purposes other than education at state‑supported institutions of higher education. This exception is available to the graduate student military member for no more than one academic year of continuous enrollment, the length of time necessary to establish California residency. The undergraduate student military member is eligible for this exception for as long as he or she is stationed in California as an active member of the military.

6. Military personnel in active service in California for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged from the military. Eligibility for this exception runs from the date the student is discharged from the military until the student has resided in state the minimum time necessary to become a resident.

7. Dependent children of a parent who has been a California resident for the most recent year. This exception continues until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident, so long as continuous residence is maintained at an institution.

8. Graduates of any school located in California that is operated by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, including, but not limited to, the Sherman Indian High School. The exception continues so long as continuous attendance is maintained by the student at an institution.

9. Certain credentialed, full‑time employees of California school districts;

10. Full‑time State University employees and their children and spouses; State employees assigned to work outside the State and their children and spouses. This exception continues until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a California resident;

11. Children of deceased public law enforcement or fire suppression employees who were California residents and who were killed in the course of law enforcement or fire suppression duties;

12. Certain amateur student athletes in training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. This exception continues until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident;

13. Federal civil service employees and their natural or adopted dependent children if the employee has moved to California as a result of a military mission realignment action that involves the relocation of least 100 employees. This exception continues until the student has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident;

14. State government legislative or executive fellowship program enrollees. The student ceases to be eligible for this exception when he or she is no longer enrolled in the qualifying fellowship.

15. Persons who have attended a California high school for at least three years and have graduated from a California high school or equivalent. Please Note: Those who hold non-immigrant visas (i.e. F, J, B, H, etc.) are not eligible for this exception. Those seeking this exception must fill out the Student Affidavit for Exemption of Nonresident Tuition form, which is available at www.csulb.edu/enrollment. Once this exception is approved, it is not necessary to reapply each semester. This is the only exception for which this is true.

Students classified as non-residents 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 is also 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.

The student is cautioned that this summation of rules regarding residency determination is by no means a complete explanation of their meaning. The student should also note that changes may have been made in the rate of nonresident tuition, in the statutes, and in the regulations between the time this catalog is published and the relevant residence determination date.

Changes in residency for tuition purposes are not automatic. Students wishing to apply for residence reclassification must submit a Residence Reclassification Request Form and supporting documentation. The filing period for a spring term is from October 1 through November 1; the filing period for a fall or summer term is from March 1 through April 1. A ten-dollar late filing fee must accompany requests filed after the last date of the filing period. Under no circumstances will a reclassification request be accepted for a term that has ended.

Exceptions from nonresident tuition are valid for one semester only. Students must reapply for an exemption each semester. Forms are located at the Office of Enrollment Services, BH 101.


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