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Residency for Tuition Purposes

A legal resident or resident is a person who has maintained his or her residence in this state for the preceding year, has purchased a home which is occupied by him or her as his or her residence, or has established a domicile in this state pursuant to Florida State Statute, 222.17.

However, a resident for tuition purposes is a person who qualifies as provided in state statute, F.S. 1009.21, for the in-state tuition rate; a nonresident for tuition purposes is a person who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate. It is possible to be both a legal resident of the state and a nonresident for tuition purposes concurrently.

The independent student who is claiming residency must show that their residency in the state was not merely temporary or incidental to enrolling at the institution of higher education. Living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition purposes.

Residency reclassification determinations are made pursuant to state statute, F.S. 1009.21, and Board of Education Rule 6A-10.044. Students are encouraged to read these standards and state guidelines.

In rare cases, a student may qualify for temporary in-state status by qualifying under an exception category, pursuant to the statute. These exception categories are listed on the appropriate residency form as well as in state statute. Documentation must be provided for all claims.

The initial residency classification is determined by the Office of Admissions upon your application to the university. Failure to provide all relevant information and required documentation in the residency section of the admission application could result in a non-Florida or out-of-state resident classification for tuition purposes. In addition, failure to provide any additionally requested documentation or information may also result in a non-Florida classification.

If you have questions about your initial residency classification decision, you may contact the Office of Admissions until the last day of classes in your first term of enrollment. However, students may need to work with the Office of the University Registrar to re-evaluate your residency status. After you have completed your first term at the university, a request for reclassification or change of your residency status, known as a residency reclassification, can be made though the Office of the University Registrar. Residency status cannot be evaluated retroactively.

Florida residency for tuition purposes is based solely on an independent claimant. If a student is dependent as per federal tax law, then the parent or legal guardian becomes the claimant, and residency for tuition purposes is based on that parent or legal guardian. If a student is independent as per federal tax law, the student is the claimant and residency for tuition purposes is based on the student. In most cases, copies of federal income tax returns are required to substantiate dependent or independent status. Further criteria for determining dependency can be found in section 3.0 of the Residency Guidelines.

The claimant must establish and maintain a legal Florida residence for at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes in the semester for which in-state residency status is sought. The 12-month qualifying period requires documentary evidence of residence as requested by the appropriate university official. Examples of relevant documentation may be found on the residency reclassification request form. Further criteria on documentary evidence can be found in section 4.8 of the Residency Guidelines.

In addition to the claimant's requisite 12-month residency in the state of Florida, an independent student claiming residency for tuition purposes must also show that their presence in the state was not merely temporary or incidental to enrolling at the institution of higher education. Additional evidence or documentation will be required for meeting this requirement of reclassification. This requirement must be satisfied in order to obtain residency for tuition purposes. Such documentation is described in section 5.2 of the Residency Guidelines.

To apply for a residency change, you must be admitted to the university. You may only submit a residency reclassification packet for a term in which you are enrolled. If you have met the statutory requirement for residency reclassification for any given term, please use a residency reclassification (PDF) form to make your request.

The deadline to submit your application is the standard fee payment deadline for the term in which you are applying. Deferred fee payment deadlines are not applicable. Since residency reclassification is an evaluative process, it may take up to six weeks to render a decision during peak times. Residency reclassification cannot be applied retroactively to previous terms. Residency reclassification results are available online on ISIS underneath the Petition Status function. In addition, letters will be mailed for all deferred and denied decisions.

The University of Florida is authorized to make decisions regarding residency for tuition purposes within the bounds of the law. In reaching these determinations, the University of Florida will evaluate all documents submitted and information available.

In cases where the applicant expresses a desire to appeal the residency classification decision and submit a formal residency appeal, the matter will be referred to the University Residency Appeals Committee through the Office of the University Registrar. The appeal must be submitted in writing along with any additional supporting documentation. You will be notified in writing of the decision following the final review. The decision of the University Residency Appeals Committee is final for the term.

Information contained in this document in no way supersedes or replaces F.S. 1009.21, Board of Education Rule 6A-10.044 or Board of Governors Rule. This document is provided merely as an informational resource only.

Please contact the Office of the University Registrar with additional questions.