Admissions and Records

Residency Determination

Residency for Tuition Purposes (per Education Code, Section 68060)

No matter where you’re from, you’re welcome to learn at Fullerton College. While nonresident students may pay more, you have options available to help make college costs manageable.

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What is Residency?

Each time a student applies for admission to Fullerton College, students are classified as a resident or non-resident based on various responses provided in the admission application.  Students that have been classified as a nonresident of California for educational purposes are subject to non-resident tuition.

Establishing Residency

When a student first comes to Fullerton College as either a first-time or as a transfer, the student must have the legal capacity to establish California residency. If a student is under the age of 19, he/she/they cannot establish California residency on their own; their residency status derives from their parent or legal guardian’s residence.

Students that intend to become residents of California must fulfill the Physical Presence and Intent requirements listed below. 

Step 1: Demonstrate a physical presence
The student must be physically present in the State of California for one (1) year prior to the start of the term for which he/she is applying or enrolling for. The one-year period begins when the student is not only present in California but also has demonstrated clear intent to become a permanent resident of California. Students will be required to provide proof of continuous presence in California for the past (12) months.
Step 2: Show intent to make California your permanent place of residency

Students must clearly verify intent to make California their permanent place of residence by the following (several factors considered):

  • Living in California for two consecutive years
  • Establishing and maintaining an active California bank account
  • Ownership of residential property or continuous occupancy of rented or leased property in California
  • Registered to vote in the State of California
  • Owning residential property
  • Possessing a California Driver’s License or Identification card
  • Registering a car in the State of California
For students from outside the US: Complete steps 1 & 2 with a valid visa type

Students that are in the United States with immigration document(s) that allow establishment of residency, must fulfill the one-year physical presence and intent requirements listed above. Students with a visa that prevents establishment of residency will be charged the California enrollment fee plus non-resident fees.

Students with visa type F-1, F-2 must apply and enroll in the International Student Center.

Tuition Fee Exemptions

Fullerton College offers a budget-friendly pathway to outstanding education. While non-resident students can still benefit from our excellent academic offerings, they are subject to additional non-resident fees. Below, you’ll discover exemptions for which you might qualify:

Assembly Bill 540/Assembly Bill 2000/Senate Bill 68

Public Postsecondary Education: Exemption from Nonresident Tuition

General Information

Any student, other than a non-immigrant person who is not a citizen or national of the United States, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California (all public colleges and universities in California).

This act allows all persons, including undocumented immigrant students and those who have been granted a T or U visa status, who meet the requirements set forth in Section 68130.5 of the Education Code to be exempt from nonresident tuition in California’s colleges and universities.

Who Qualifies?
  • A student who is without lawful immigrant status (undocumented, out of status)
  • Students who are nonimmigrants and who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code, Sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption
  • A U.S. Citizen and/or Permanent Resident card holder who does not meet the California residency requirement
Requirements

To qualify, you must:

  • Attended high school in California for three or more years,
    OR

    Attended a combination of California high school, California adult school, and/or California Community College for the equivalent of three or more years of full-time attendance,
    OR

    Attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle/secondary, and/or high schools in California for a total of 3 or more years.
    OR

    Attained credits earned in California from a California Community College equivalent to three or more years of full-time credit (or the part-time equivalent). This is equivalent to 72-semester units or 108 quarter units.
  • Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent (i.e., GED or Certificate of High School Proficiency) before the start of the term,
    OR

    Attained an associate degree from a California Community College,
    OR

    Completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to a California State University or University of California.
  • The filing of an affidavit with the college stating that if the student is a non-citizen without a current valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize their immigration status, or will file an application as soon as they are eligible to do so.
  • All students who meet AB540 requirements must file an affidavit with the College. The affidavit is included in the AB540 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption which is available in the Admissions and Records Office.
  • Students living outside the state and enrolled in distance education are not eligible for the AB540 exemption.

This provision applies to students attending community college after January 1, 2002.

Causes of AB540 Ineligibility

A student with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) non-immigrant visa status is considered ineligible for these waivers. If you are a non-immigrant [for example, holding a F (student) visa, J or B (visitor) visa, etc.] you are not eligible for this exemption. As a non-resident student who meets the criteria above, you will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. You will continue to be classified as a “non-resident.”

Non-Resident Tuition Fee Wavier (Six or Fewer Units)

Students can apply to have nonresident tuition waived if they are taking no more than six units at Fullerton and Cypress College combined. This waiver is not available for students attending on an F/1 visa, and you must have a current California address to qualify.

(NOCCCD AP5030; California Education Code Section 76140)

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for a Non-Resident Tuition Fee Waiver, you must complete the form and meet the outlined criteria.

Please note:

  • Students who meet the criteria for the Non-Resident Tuition Fee Waiver will not be charged non-resident tuition.
  • This form must be completed for each semester that the waiver is requested.
  • This is for students who are not currently eligible for the AB540 Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request, but may be working toward eligibility for AB540 status.
  • Students with valid visas (including F1 visas) and/or active I-20s are not eligible for this waiver.
  • Units taken at Fullerton and Cypress College are included in the 6-unit total.
  • Students are responsible for paying all enrollment fees and other student fees.

Learn more and access the Non-Resident Tuition Fee Waiver (for six or fewer units) form by visiting our Form and FAQ

Senate Bill 141

Postsecondary Education Benefits: Children of Deported or Voluntarily Departed Parents

If you are a US citizen student presently residing in a foreign country, you may be exempt from nonresident tuition.

SB 141 Bill text

Eligibility Requirements

This bill requires the College to exempt nonresident tuition from a nonresident student who is a US citizen and who resides in a foreign country if that student meets all of the following requirements:

  • Has a parent or guardian who has been deported or was permitted to depart voluntarily under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act and demonstrates a financial need for the exemption
  • Moved abroad as a result of the deportation or voluntary departure and lived in California immediately before moving abroad.
  • Attended a public or private secondary school in California for three or more years.
  • Upon enrollment, will be in his or her first academic year as a matriculated student in California public higher education
  • Will be living in California and will file an affidavit with the College stating that he or she intends to establish residency in California as soon as possible.
  • Documentation shall be provided by the student as required by statute as specified in Education Code section 76140(a)(5).

Assembly Bill 2364

Special Admit & Dual Enrollment Non-Resident fee Waiver

AB2364 Bill Text

Eligibility Requirements

This bill permits Fullerton College to exempt nonresident special part-time students, who meet the requirements outlined in Section 76140 of the Education Code, from the requirement to pay nonresident tuition. This exemption does not apply to special full-time students. This exemption is not intended to apply to categories of students who would be precluded from qualifying for the AB540 nonresident tuition exemption, for example:

  • Students who actually reside outside of California and enroll via Distance Education
    AND
  • Students on most nonimmigrant visas.

Assembly Bill 1232

Nonresident Tuition Fee Waiver For English As A Second Language (ESL) Classes

AB1232 Bill Text

Eligibility Requirements

Fullerton College may waive/remove non-resident tuition for students enrolling in ESL classes!

Here are the requirements to have the nonresident tuition removed:

  • Students need to have recently settled in California and have lived in California for less than one year. AND
  • Is a recent immigrant OR recent refugee OR person who has been granted asylum

The waiver removes the non-resident tuition fees for ESL classes, students are still required to pay the usual $46 per unit enrollment fees.

For example, students who are approved for this waiver and enroll in ESL 184 F Low Advanced Reading and Writing for Non-Native Speakers (a 5-unit class) would pay $230 for the class.

We are here to help!  If you have any further questions or want to see if you qualify reach out to applicationhelp@fullcoll.edu or call us at 714-992-7075.

Assembly Bill 343

Education Code section 68075.6 grants an immediate nonresident tuition fee exemption to eligible Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled in California upon entering the United States. This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States.

AB 343 Bill Text

Eligibility Requirements
  • This exemption applies to the following:
    • Iraqi citizens or nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by or on behalf of the United States Government in Iraq (Pub.L. No. 110-181, § 1244)
    • Afghan and Iraqi translators (and their spouses and children) who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces (Pub.L. No. 109-163, § 1059)
    • Afghanistan nationals who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (Pub.L. No. 111-8, § 602)
    • Refugee students admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States Code

Residency for U.S. Military and Veterans

Members of the Armed Forces of the United States and their eligible dependents are eligible for in-state tuition or nonresident tuition exemption in accordance with California Education Code, Section 68074, 68075, et seq., and AB 13 (VACA Act). Armed Forces of the United States means Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and the reserve components of each of these forces, the California Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the California State Military Reserve, and the California Naval Militia.

Review the information below pertaining to your individual status.

Member of the US Military on Active Duty in California or Maintaining Domicile in California

(Ed. Code § 68075; Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5 § 54042)

Members of the armed forces domiciled or stationed in California are eligible for resident classification for tuition purposes at community colleges. This classification extends for the duration of their attendance, even if they are transferred out of state for military service, as long as they remain continuously enrolled.

Dependents of Active Duty Military Members

(Ed. Code § 68074; Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5 § 54041)

Dependents of members of the armed forces stationed in California on active duty are eligible for resident classification for tuition purposes. This classification has no time limit. Even if the military member is transferred out of state, the dependent can maintain resident status as long as they remain continuously enrolled at a California community college.

Discharged Member of the US Military

(Ed. Code § 68075.5; Cal. Code Regs., tit. 5 § 54041)

A student who served in the U.S. armed forces stationed in California for over a year before discharge can be exempted from paying nonresident tuition for up to one year if they declare intent to establish residency in California. This exemption must be utilized while residing in California and within two years of discharge. However, individuals with dishonorable or bad conduct discharges are ineligible for this exemption.

Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Veteran’s Choice Act or VACAA)

A student who lives in California and uses education benefits under Chapter 30, 31, or 33 is granted a waiver of non-resident tuition regardless of his/her formal State of residence. Under the provision of Isakson and Roe Veteran Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, section 1005, the requirement for covered individuals to enroll in a course at a public institution of higher learning within three years of being discharged to receive in-state tuition is no longer required effective August 1, 2021.

A covered individual is defined as:

  • A veteran, or
  • A spouse or dependent child using transferred benefits, or
  • A spouse or dependent child of a person whose active-duty transferor dies, on or after September. 11, 2001, in the line of duty, or
  • A spouse or dependent child using transferred benefits and the transferor is serving on active duty effective for courses, semesters, or terms beginning after July 1, 2017;
  • Students who initially qualify under the applicable requirements above maintain “covered individual” status as long as they remain continuously enrolled

The Veterans Resource Center (VRC) assists students in accessing their VA Education benefits and ensures timely certification of those benefits. Additionally, the VRC offers support in locating veteran-related resources and provides academic support opportunities.

For more information, please visit https://veterans.fullcoll.edu/.

California Residency for Military and Veterans FAQs

Understanding California residency for US military members, veterans, and their dependents can be complex. However, we’re here to assist you. Below are some frequently asked questions that may provide clarity.

Can the spouse of a member of the military become a California resident if the military spouse has not taken steps to change his/her residence?

Yes, two people who are married do not always have the same residence. Each student’s residence must be independently determined. If the student came to California in the company of his/her spouse, who is in the military, transferred to this state, there is a presumption that the student is a nonresident.

Are there special provisions for the military person who was a California resident and was transferred on military orders out of the state or country; and, who upon return to California, enrolls at a community college?

The person would remain a California resident if his/her “Leave and Earnings Statement” (LES) continues to indicate California as the residence, and the person has done nothing while out of state to relinquish residence.

Members of the military who are stationed out of California are automatically exempt from payment of California state taxes for the time they are absent from the state, if the military income is the sole income. If the military person had income from other sources, the person is subject to California taxes, on all other income wherever earned.