Residency Requirements FAQ’s

Students often have similar questions regarding residency for tuition paying purposes. We've answered those questions for you.

There are several factors considered when a residency reclassification is made. Please keep in mind no single factor or specific combination of factors provide a guarantee you will be eligible for residency status. Following are some things to consider.

You must establish a domicile in Washington State and demonstrate you have physically resided in Washington for twelve (12) consecutive months prior to the first day of the quarter you wish to attend as a resident student. Domicile is defined as a person’s “true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation. It is the place where the student intends to remain, and to which the student expects to return when the student leaves without intending to establish a new domicile elsewhere” (RCW 28B.15.012).  Although a student can own more than one home in different locations, an individual may have only one legal domicile at a time.

You will need to demonstrate you have not moved to Washington State primarily for educational purposes.  Students who are enrolled in more than 6 credits per quarter prior to a residency reclassification request are presumed to be in the state primarily to attend school and are therefore not eligible for residency for tuition paying purposes.  One way to demonstrate you have not moved to the state for school is through employment of 30 hours per week in a non-student position during the period you are establishing domicile. You may also provide evidence of ties to community involvement and activities that will help demonstrate you intend to make Washington your official domicile.

Examples of documents that support your domicile in the state:

  • Washington State driver license
  • Vehicle registration
  • Voter registration
  • Lease or rental agreement (first page and signature page)
  • Home purchase agreement listing the physical address of the home and date of closing (first page and signature page)
  • Evidence of employment in Washington (W2 Wage and Tax Statement Form and/or first page and signature page of your current Federal Income Tax Form

For other living arrangements or circumstances, please contact your campus Residency Classification Officer.

We will also ask if you are a financially dependent or financially independent student. Students under the age of 25 are generally initially considered financially dependent. If you are establishing a domicile on your own and are under the age of twenty-five (25), you will need to demonstrate your financial independence for the current and prior calendar years.

Immigration status is also considered, as required by Washington State law. In order to be eligible for resident tuition, you must be a U.S. citizen, hold U.S. permanent resident status with a permanent resident card, Washington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit (Washington State Senate Bill 5194), hold current or expired Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, have a qualifying visa (A, E, G, H, I, K or L), hold refugee/asylee status as designated by the office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or in some cases, are an asylum seeker who has not yet been granted asylum. To find out more, read about your individual immigration status.

Yes. We ask the following questions:

You may be. Determine if you are a financially dependent or financially independent student. Then complete the Residence Questionnaire and submit it and your supporting documentation to your campus Residency Classification Officer.

Please include the following with your Residence Questionnaire:

  • Documentation you have retained legal ties to Washington State and have not taken steps to establish a domicile in another state.
  • Documentation you lived in Washington at least 12 months before you left for college or university.
  • Proof you were continuously enrolled as a nonresident student and paid nonresident tuition at your school, or documentation of your continuous enrollment if you attended a private college. Examples of documents supporting your domicile in the state are:

Non-resident, waiver eligible tuition is available to permanent residents (with a permanent resident card) and U.S. citizens who have not yet established Washington as their domicile and who have not met the twelve month residency requirement. For more information, contact your campus Residency Classification Officer.

Determine if you are a financially dependent or financially independent student. Then complete the Residence Questionnaire and submit it and your supporting documentation to your campus Residency Classification Officer.

Yes, you do need to meet the tuition deadline and pay your tuition in full, or enroll in our automatic payment plan. This will ensure your classes are not dropped for nonpayment. Be sure to apply for reclassification as soon as possible. If the Residence Questionnaire and supporting documents are received during the first thirty calendar (30) days of the quarter, and your classification is changed, you may be eligible for a refund.

You must submit a Residence Questionnaire and supporting documentation by the thirtieth (30th) calendar day of the quarter you are requesting reclassification. During our reclassification review we may request additional documentation. However, you will have until the last day of the quarter to submit those additional documents.

Questions? Your campus Residency Classification Officer can help.