Residency for Tuition Purposes (per Education Code, Section 68060)
The Office of Admissions & Records determines the residency status of all new and returning students. Responses to the Application for Admission and, if necessary, other evidence furnished by the student are used in making this determination. The burden of proof to clearly demonstrate both physical presence and the intent to establish California residence lies with the student.
A student who does not submit adequate information to establish the right to classification as a California resident will be classified as a non-resident. Some visa types are precluded by federal law from establishing residency.
Non-citizen students holding visas that do not preclude them from establishing residency in California (for example: permanent resident visa, refugee status, or amnesty approval), must have legal residency in California for a minimum of 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the semester. The residence determination date is the day immediately preceding the opening day of instruction of the semester or term as set by the Board of Trustees. Generally, residency requires actual physical presence in California at least one year prior to the residence determination date, coupled with proof of the intent to make California one’s home.
- Residency classification is determined for each student when the admission application is accepted. Any student who is classified as a resident, but who becomes a nonresident at any time by virtue of a change of residence, by his or her own action, or by the person from whom his or her residence is derived, is obligated to notify the Admissions & Records office immediately
Factors Considered to Determine Residency
A person’s presence in California and the factors below are considered in determining California residency. No one factor determines residency.
- Being licensed to practice a profession in California
- Filing California State Income taxes as a resident
- Having an active checking and/or savings account in a California bank
- Having paid nonresident tuition in another state
- Owning residential property in California for personal use and currently residing on that property
- Possessing a California Driver’s License and a vehicle registered in California
- Showing proof of employment in California
- Possessing a divorce decree issued in California
- Voting in California
- Showing California as “home of record” on military records (DD214 or Leave and Earnings Statement)
- Being an active military member, military veteran, or a military dependent
Exception to Residency Requirements
Several exceptions to the residency rules apply per Education Code. They include, but are not limited to the following:
- Active duty military personnel stationed in California
- Certain minors who remained in California when their parents moved
- Dependents of active duty military stationed in California
- Full-time employees of the college or a state agency, or a child or spouse of the full-time employee
- Self-supporting minors
A student’s resident status is determined at the time of application. A nonresident student must pay nonresident tuition in addition to the enrollment fee and other fees (including a Capital Outlay Fee per Education Code 76141) for credit classes.
Assembly Bill 540/Assembly Bill 2000/Senate Bill 68
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.
Any student, other than a non-immigrant alien, 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).
Students who are nonimmigrants [for example, those who hold F (Student) visas, B (Visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.
- An alien 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
Any student, other than a non-immigrant alien, 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).
- Attended high school in California for three or more years,
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,
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.
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,
Attained an associate degree from a California Community College,
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.
Senate Bill 141
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
This bill permits the 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 for the community college credit courses. 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
- Students on most nonimmigrant visas.
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.
- 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
Assembly Bill 1232
(Non-resident tuition waiver for ESL courses)
(amends Section 76140 of the Education Code)
This bill amends existing nonresident tuition for a student who enrolls in a English as a Second Language (ESL) course if they are:
(1) a recent immigrant;
(2) a recent refugee; or
(3) a person who has been granted asylum by the US.
This exception applies only to individuals who, upon entering the US settled in California and have resided in California for less than 1 year.
Only the tuition fee for the ESL course is exempt.