Residency for Tuition

Residency for Tuition

Tuition and fees at each member institution of the State University System of Florida are set by the Florida Legislature and from policies approved by the State Board of Education and the University Board of Trustees (UBOT). Students are classified as either “Florida” or “non-Florida” students, and fees are assessed based on residency. The following information is summarized from the Florida Statutes and from policies approved by the State Board of Education and the UBOT in establishing residency criteria.

To Qualify as a Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes

For Initial Determination of Residency:

  • The student must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, parolee, Cuban national, Vietnamese refugee, or other refugee or asylee so designated by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service;
    • A foreign national in a nonimmigrant visa classification that grants the person the legal ability to establish and maintain a bona fide domicile in the United States according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
      • The following visa categories grant the person the legal ability to establish and maintain a bona fide domicile in the United States according to USCIS: A, E, G, H-1B, H-1C (classification expires 12-20-2011), I, K, L, N, NATO 1-7, O-1, R, S, T, U, and V.
      • The following visa categories do not grant the person the legal ability to establish and maintain a bona fide domicile in the United States according to USCIS: B, C, D, F, M, P, Q, and TN. J visa holders are not eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes except as provided in Section 1009.21(10), F.S.
    • A permanent resident alien, parolee, asylee, Cuban-Haitian entrant, or other legal alien granted an indefinite stay in the United States.
    • A dependent student who attended a Florida high school for a minimum of two (2) academic years immediately preceding his or her initial enrollment in an institution of higher education and graduated from a Florida high school or earned a Florida GED within the last twelve (12) months may use the high school transcript or GED certificate as evidence of Florida residency. At least one (1) additional document identified in Section 1009.21(3)(c)1. or 1009.21(3)(c)2., F.S., must be presented evidencing his or her parent’s legal residency in Florida.
    • Have established a legal residence in this state and maintained that legal residence for 12 months preceding the first day of classes of the term in which Florida residency classification is sought. The student’s residence in Florida must be as a bona fide domiciliary rather than for the purpose of enrollment in an institution of higher education, and should be demonstrated as indicated below. Per IRS regulations, a parent or guardian must qualify for dependent students;
      • If a declaration of domicile, pursuant to Section 222.17, F.S., is being used as one of the documents to establish residency for tuition purposes, the date that an applicant shall be deemed as establishing residency for tuition purposes shall be twelve (12) months hence from the date that the Clerk of Circuit Court notes the declaration was sworn and subscribed to the Clerk. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the use of additional documentation as evidence that legal residency was established by other means pursuant to Section 1009.21(3)(c), F.S., as of a date earlier than that established by the declaration of domicile.

The following documentation must be submitted prior to the last day of the drop/add period for the term in which resident status is sought, along with a residence affidavit with the Office of Admissions:

  • Documentation establishing bona fide domicile in Florida, which is not temporary or merely incidental to enrollment in a Florida institution of higher education. The following documents will be considered evidence of domicile, even though not one of these criteria, if taken alone, will be considered as conclusive evidence of domicile:
      1. Declaration of Domicile.
      2. Florida voter registration.
      3. Florida vehicle registration.
      4. Florida driver’s license.
      5. Proof of real estate ownership in Florida (i.e. deed, tax receipts)
      6. A letter on company letterhead from an employer verifying permanent employment in Florida for 12 consecutive months before the term in which resident status is sought.
      7. Proof of membership in or affiliation with community or state organizations or significant connections to the state.
      8. Proof of former domicile in Florida and maintenance of significant connections while absent.
      9. Proof of reliance upon Florida sources of support.
      10. Proof of admissions to a licensed practicing profession in Florida.
      11. Any other factors peculiar to the individual which tend to establish the necessary intent to make Florida a permanent home and that the individual is a bona fide Florida resident, including the age and general circumstances of the individual.
  • Documentation establishing legal residence in Florida (this document must be dated at least one year prior to the first day of classes of the term in which resident status is sought). The following documents will be considered in determining legal residence:
      1. Declaration of Domicile.
      2. Proof of purchase of a home in Florida in which a student resides (permanent primary Florida home).
      3. Proof that the student has maintained residence in the state for the preceding year.
  • No contrary evidence establishing residence elsewhere.
  • Documentation of dependent/independent status (notarized copy of most recent IRS tax return). Federal Income tax returns filed by resident(s) of a state other than Florida disqualify the student for in-state tuition, unless:
    1. The student’s parents are divorced, separated or otherwise living apart, and either parent is a legal resident of Florida, or
    2. The student becomes a legal resident and is married to a person who has been a legal resident for the required 12 month period, or
    3. The student is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty stationed in Florida, or a spouse or dependent, or
    4. The student is a member of the full-time instructional or administrative staff of a state public school, community college or university in Florida, or a spouse or dependent, or
    5. The student is a dependent and has lived five years with an adult relative who has established legal residence in Florida.
  • The following is NOT considered evidence of a legal Florida residence:
      1. Rent receipts
      2. Leases
      3. Employment records

Additional documentation may be requested in order to determine residency status. If Florida residency status for the purpose of tuition is denied, the student may file an appeal in the Office of Admissions. All requests for change in residency for tuition purposes with supporting hard copy documentation should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

A student who is classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes by presenting a minimum of three (3) documents identified in Section 1009.21(3)(c)1. or 1009.21(3)(c)2., F.S., that convincingly demonstrate the establishment of permanent legal residence in Florida other than for the sole purpose of pursuing a postsecondary education.

Documentation must demonstrate that the student or, if the student is a dependent, his or her parent has maintained legal residence in Florida for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior to the first day of classes for the term for which residency reclassification is sought except as otherwise provided in Section 1009.21(6), F.S.

Reclassification is not automatic; requests will be reviewed and approved if documentation meets the requirements. If the reclassification request is denied, the student may file and appeal to the Office of the Registrar.