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

  1. Upon admittance to the University of California, 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.

  2. If you are an undergraduate under the age of 24 and your parent(s) are not California residents, it is unlikely that you will be able to qualify as a California resident for purposes of tuition and fees because of the University’s two-year financial independence requirement.

  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 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. The length of time you attend the University of California or live in California is not the sole determining factor of residency.

  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 that 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 and your parent(s) (if they claim California residency) prove:

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

    2. concurrent intent to permanently remain in the state. In addition, if you are an undergraduate under the age of 24 and are not dependent upon California-resident parent(s),

    3. you must be able to verify financial independence for the two full years immediately preceding the term you wish to enroll.

  7. To prove your financial independence, you must be able to document that you have not been claimed as an income tax dependent by any individual for two tax years immediately preceding the term, and that you have been totally self-sufficient for two full years prior to the residence determination date, supporting yourself, for example, through jobs, financial aid, commercial/institutional loans in your name only, and documentable savings from your earnings.

  8. You normally cannot establish California residence for purposes of tuition and fees while maintaining legal ties to another state or country (e.g. state tax liability, driver’s license, voter’s or vehicle registration). Further, if you have moved to California primarily to attend the University of California, you are here for educational purposes and so are not 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. The University of California cannot alter or waive the eligibility criteria for any reason. 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, see the full UC Residence Policy and Guidelines.