Residency for Tuition Purposes

(per Education Code, Section 68060)

The Office of Admissions and Records determines the resident 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.

The resident 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. Generally, California residency is established by one of the following:

  1. If the applicant is under the age of 18, his or her parents must have had legal residence in California for a minimum of 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the term.
  2. If the applicant is 18 but not yet 19 years of age, the applicant and the applicant’s parents or legal guardian must have residence in California for a minimum of 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the term.
  3. If the applicant is 19 years of age or older, the applicant must have residence in California for a minimum of 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the term.

Non-citizen students holding visas which do not preclude them from establishing residency in California (for example: permanent resident visa, refugee status, or amnesty approval), must have legal residence in California for a minimum of 12 consecutive months preceding the day before the first day of the semester.

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 bank in California
  • Having paid non-resident tuition in another state
  • Owning residential property in California for personal use
  • Possessing a California Driver’s License and a vehicle registration in California
  • Showing proof of employment in California
  • Possessing a divorce decree issued in California
  • Showing California as “home of record” on military records (DD214 or Leave and Earnings Statement)
  • Voting in California

Important: Residency clarification is determined for each student when the admission application is accepted. Any student who is classified as a resident, but who becomes a non-resident 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.

Non-Resident Student

A student’s resident status is determined at the time of application. A non-resident student must pay non-resident tuition in addition to the enrollment fee and other fees (including a $20 Capital Outlay Fee per Ed Code 76141) for credit classes.

Assembly Bill AB540

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 non-resident tuition in California’s colleges and universities.

The requirements are:

  • 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 three or more years.
  • Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent (i.e. GED or Certificate of High School Proficiency) prior to 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.
  • In the case of a person without lawful immigration status, the filing of an affidavit with the college stating that the student has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
  • All students who meet AB540 requirements must file an affidavit with the College. The affidavit is included in the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption form which is available in the Admissions and Records Office and Class Schedule (see Nonresident Tuition Exemption Form in the back of the Class Schedule).
  • Students living outside the state and enrolled in distance education are not eligible for the AB540 exemption.

Assembly Bill AB2364

Community college districts are mandated to exempt non-shy;resident special part-time students from the requirement to pay non-resident tuition for community college credit courses. The term “special part-time student” refers to students who have been recommended by the principal of the pupil’s school and have parental permission to attend a community college during any session or term and who enroll in 11.99 or fewer units per semester, or the quarter equivalent, in accordance with Education Code section 76001. The exemption does not apply to special full-time students.

Districts that elect to provide this exemption should develop, adopt, and publish a policy for consistently granting the exemption. As it relates to the development of the local policy, it is our belief that this exemption is not intended to apply to categories of students who would be precluded from qualifying for the AB540 non-resident tuition exemption; i.e.,

  1. students who actually reside outside of California and enroll via Distance Education, and
  2. students on most non-immigrant visas.

There is an exception for “T” and “U” non-immigrant visa holders who were recently made eligible for the AB540 non-resident tuition exemption under Education Code Section 68122, so a district policy could permit students holding either of these two non-immigrant visa types to also qualify for this new non-resident tuition exemption.

A student receiving a non-resident tuition exemption under AB2364 does not receive resident status for the purpose of fees or financial aid. Rather they are exempt from non-resident tuition fees under this law. These students do not qualify for the BOG Fee Waiver or any other financial aid. However, please note that districts are permitted to exempt special part-time students, including those that have non-resident status, from the per unit enrollment fee pursuant to Education Code Section 76300(f).

Senate Bill 141

This bill requires districts to exempt non-resident tuition from a non-resident student who is a U.S. citizen and who resides in a foreign country, if that student meets all of the following requirements.

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

A student receiving a non-resident tuition exemption under SB141 does not receive resident status for the purpose of fees or financial aid. Rather they are exempt from non-resident tuition fees under this law. These students do not qualify for the BOG Fee Waiver or any other state financial aid until they establish California residency. As citizens, SB141 students may apply and qualify for federal financial assistance such as Pell, FSEOG and federal student loans.