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Residency Information

Ten Things You Need to Know About California Residency (For Tuition Purposes)

  1. California residency for tuition purposes eligibility criteria are established by State Law and the California Code of Regulations. California State University implements these Laws and Regulations.
  2. California State University cannot alter or waive the eligibility criteria for any reason.
  3. Under California law, if you have moved to California primarily to attend a California institution of higher learning, then you are not eligible for in-state tuition.
  4. Living in California for 12 months is not an automatic qualification for in-state tuition.
  5. 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.
  6. Financial hardship cannot be considered in evaluating California residency for tuition purposes eligibility.
  7. Legal ties that you maintain in another state or country (e.g., state tax liability, a driver’s license, voter’s registration, etc.) will disqualify you from residency reclassification, regardless of your reason(s) for maintaining these ties.
  8. Evidence that you are receiving out-of-state financial support 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.
  9. Despite the length of time you attend California State University or live in California, you might not qualify for California residency for tuition purposes.
  10. Residency reclassification applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted during the term in which reclassification is requested.

The term "California resident" for tuition purposes may differ from other definitions of California residency. A person who has a California driver's license/vehicle registration or who is a California resident for tax, voting, or welfare purposes may have established legal residence in the state but might not necessarily be considered a resident for tuition purposes.

Residence Reclassification

A change from non-resident to resident status is not automatic. Student's must first apply for reclassification and provide documentation to support their claim for resident status. Please fill out the Residence Reclassification Request Form (Student Forms) completely and accurately. Along with the form, you will need to submit a copy of any and all documents that you believe will support your claim for residency. A failure to provide all required documentation at the time of application will result in a denial of reclassification.

Supporting Documentation

  • A copy of your California driver's license
  • Proof of California voter registration (and the registration date)
    (Note: if you don't have this on hand, you can request proof from the Registrar of Voters in the county in which you registered.)
  • Proof of voting in California elections
  • A copy of your California motor vehicle registration
  • Proof of having a current California bank account
    (Note: we are looking for the date in which you first opened your California bank account.)
  • Proof of filing a California 540 state income tax return
    Note: you can provide a copy of your 540 tax forms or you can ask the Franchise Tax Board to send you verification of filing; we do not need copies of the Federal 1040 return
  • A copy of current W-2 forms

Your application for reclassification should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar only after you have attached all required supporting documentation.

The Residence Reclassification Committee will convene at least once a semester to review applications for reclassification. Once the committee has evaluated your application and made it's final decision, a letter will be sent to the student either approving or denying the application.

For further information regarding residence reclassification, please refer to the Academic Catalog.

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