10 things graduate students need to know about California residence for purposes of tuition and fees

  1. The University of California Regulations for Residence for Purposes of Tuition and Fees differ from those of other California public post-secondary institutions. They also differ from Admissions and Financial Aid regulations.

  2. Upon admittance to the University of California, you must first complete a Statement of Intent to Register. However, your resident or nonresident classification is determined for purposes of tuition and fees only after you have completed and submitted a Statement of Legal Residence to the campus Residence Deputy. Nonresident graduate students who wish to apply for a resident classification for an ensuing term must submit a Petition for Resident Classification to the campus Residence Deputy within the deadline for that term.

  3. The term “California resident for purposes of tuition and fees” comes from the University’s residence regulations and differs from other definitions of California residence. For example, a person who is a California resident for tax or voting purposes will not necessarily be a resident at the University for purposes of tuition and fees. Admissions and Financial Aid definitions of resident also differ. They do not confer residence for purposes of tuition and fees.

  4. You do not become a resident for purposes of tuition and fees simply by living in California for 366 days or more, even if you are in a Master’s or Ph.D. program. The length of time you attend the University of California or live in California is not the sole determining factor of residence.

  5. In order to establish residence in California for purposes of tuition and fees, you must have the legal ability to establish a permanent domicile in the United States, meaning you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or hold a valid, qualifying nonimmigrant visa.

  6. The UC residence regulations require that you prove all of the following:

    1. At least 366 days of physical presence in California,

    2. concurrent intent to permanently remain in the state, AND

    3. financial independence.

  7. Graduate students who become 24 years of age by December 31 of the year a resident classification is sought are presumed to be financially independent.

    Graduate students under the age of 24 whose parents qualify as California residents under UC residence regulations do not have to verify that they are financially independent. Graduate students whose parents are not California residents must demonstrate that they were not claimed as income tax dependents for the tax year immediately prior to the term for which resident classification is sought. Graduate student instructors, teaching or research assistants, or teaching associates employed 49% time or more (or awarded the equivalent in University-administered funds, e.g., grants, stipends, fellowships) in the term for which resident classification is sought may be exempted from the financial independence requirement.

  8. You normally cannot establish California residence for purposes of tuition and fees while maintaining legal ties (indicia of intent) to another state or country (e.g. state tax liability, driver’s license, voter’s or vehicle registration). Your California indicia must be obtained concurrently with the start of your physical presence in California. Further, if you have moved to California primarily to attend the University of California, you are here for educational purposes and may not be eligible for a resident classification for purposes of tuition and fees.

  9. It is your burden to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that you have satisfied all applicable UC residence requirements. Financial hardship cannot be considered in evaluating whether you are able to qualify for California residence for purposes of tuition and fees.

  10. This is only a summary of the main UC regulations for California residence for purposes of tuition and fees.  For more detail, please refer to the full UC Residence Policy and Guidelines.