Residency determination is made for each student at the time the application for admission is received. An application must be submitted by new and returning students (did not attend for two consecutive semesters). The burden is on the student to demonstrate clearly, with proof, both physical presence in California and intent to establish California residence. – California Education Code, Sections 68000-70902.

Changing Your Residency Status

You can request to change your residency status from Non-Resident to Resident by submitting the Residency Reclassification Questionaire  .

Residency Determination Information

A student over 19 years of age may establish California residency by meeting the following criteria:

1. Verification of physical presence in California one year prior to the day before the start of the semester. Residence is determined by actions and intent. The one-year period begins when a person is not only present in California but also has demonstrated clear intent to become a permanent resident of California.

2. Intent to make California a permanent place of residence can be verified by the following actions:

  • live in California for two consecutive years
  • own residential property or continuously occupy rented or leased property in California
  • register to vote and vote in California
  • licensing from California for professional practice
  • hold active membership in service or social clubs
  • show California as a home address on California State and Federal Tax forms
  • spouse, children, or other close relative reside in California
  • pay California State tax as a resident
  • possess a California driver’s license
  • possess California motor vehicle license plates and registration
  • maintain California as the home of record on Leave and Earnings statement while in the armed forces
  • establish and maintain active California bank accounts
  • petition for divorce as a resident of California

3. Conduct inconsistent with a claim of California residency includes but is not limited to:

  • maintaining voter registration in another state
  • attending an out-of-state institution as a resident of that state
  • declaring non-residence for California State income tax purposes
  • renewing a driver's license and/or registering a vehicle in another state during the time period for which California residency is claimed
  1. A married student under 18 years of age may establish residency in the same manner as an adult.
  2. An unmarried student under 18 years of age derives residency from the parent with whom he/she last resided. The student may be classified as a resident if the parent with whom he/she last resided has been a legal resident of California for more than one year immediately preceding the semester of admission.

A student is entitled to resident classification under the following circumstances:

  • Student has been present in California for more than one year prior to the semester of admission and has been entirely self-supporting for that time and met the residency requirements.
  • Student is a permanent resident alien over 18 years of age and has resided in California as a permanent resident more than one year prior to the semester of admission.
  • Student is a permanent resident alien under 18 years of age and has resided with parent(s) who has been a permanent resident(s) more than one year prior to the semester of admission.
  • Student is a full-time employee of a public school district in a position requiring certification.
  • Student is an apprentice and provides evidence of such apprenticeship status.
  • Student earns livelihood primarily by performing agricultural labor for hire in California for at least two months per year in each of the two years preceding the semester of admission.
  • Student lived with parent(s) who is (are) agricultural laborer(s) as specified in number 6 above and is claimed as a tax dependent.
  • Minor student has been under continuous care and control of adult(s), not a parent, for more than two years prior to the semester of admission. Such adult(s) must have been California resident(s) during the most recent year.

Exceptions: A student is entitled to resident classification for the minimum time necessary to become a resident if the following circumstances apply:

  1. A minor student in continuous attendance, whose parents had established California residence (for one year), and who left the state may be classified as a resident until he/she has attained the age of 18 years and may achieve residency on his/ her own.
  2. A student is on active duty in the military service, stationed in California, and has not been assigned to California for educational purposes.
  3. Meets criteria as a foster youth.
  4. A student who is a dependent child (i.e., natural, adopted, or step) or spouse of an active military service person stationed in California is given resident classification for the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
  5. A student is a full-time employee, or child or spouse of a full-time employee, of an educational institution or any California State Agency may be entitled to resident classification until he/she has resided in California the minimum time necessary to establish residency.

A student classified as a non-resident will be required to pay tuition at the time of enrollment. Non-immigrants precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing residency in the United States include, but may not be limited to, those with B-1, B-2, C, D-1, D-2, F-1, F-2, H-2, H-3, J-1, J-2, M-1, M-2, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4, Q, TN and TD visas and their dependents. Any student not holding a valid visa is precluded from establishing California residence. Non-immigrants who are not precluded from establishing residence solely on the basis of their status as aliens may be classified as residents if they meet the requirements of State law. Information regarding Nonresident tuition fees and refunds may be found in the “Fees/Refund Policy” section of this Catalog.

Incorrect Classification:

Nonresident students enrolled without payment of fees because of falsification of information shall be excluded from classes upon notification pending payment of fees. Written notification may be given at any time. Students excluded because of falsification shall not be readmitted during the semester or summer session from which they were excluded, nor shall they be admitted to any following semester or summer session until all previously incurred tuition obligations are paid.

If a student is erroneously determined to be a non-resident and a tuition fee has been paid, the fee is fully refundable, provided acceptable proof of state residence is presented within the period for which the fee was paid.


Reclassification to resident status must be requested by the student. Financial independence during the current year and preceding two years will be considered at the time the student requests reclassification. Information regarding requirements for reclassification is available in the Office of Admissions and Records.

Participation as a member of a varsity athletic team does not qualify a non-resident student for resident status.

If this summary of rules regarding residency determination does not provide a complete explanation, contact the Office of Admissions and Records. Students should also note that changes may have been made in the statutes and in the regulations between the time this statement is published and the beginning of the semester for which they are applying.

Tuition exemption forms are available in the Admissions and Records Office for students who wish to be considered for this exemption under State Law AB540.

1. Any student, other than a student who is a non-immigrant alien under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15), shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at any community college district if ALL of the following conditions exist:

  • Attended high school in California for three or more years;
  • Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent of such graduation; and
  • Registers for or is enrolled in a course offered by any college in the district for any term commencing on or after January 1, 2002

2. Any student seeking an exemption shall complete a questionnaire form prescribed by the State Chancellor’s Office verifying eligibility for this nonresident tuition exemption. The student may be required to provide documentation for the information provided on the questionnaire to verify eligibility for an exemption. All nonpublic student information shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed unless required by law.

3. Any student without lawful immigration status who is seeking an exemption shall, in the questionnaire described in (2), affirm that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file such an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.

4. A student seeking this tuition exemption has the burden of providing evidence of compliance with the requirements of this section.

5. Nothing in this statute modifies eligibility standards for any form of student financial aid.

6. Nothing in this statute authorizes a refund of nonresident tuition that was paid for any term commencing prior to January 1, 2002.