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Ten things undergraduates need to know

  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 (SLR) to the campus residence deputy.

  2. If you are not a California resident when you enroll, and you remain a dependent undergraduate, it is unlikely that you will be able to qualify as a California resident for purposes of tuition while you're an undergraduate at UC.

  3. The term “California resident for purposes of tuition” 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. Admissions definitions of residence also differ. They do not confer residence for purposes of tuition.

  4. You do not become a resident for purposes of tuition 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. If you are in possession of a nonimmigrant visa, it is unlikely that you will be able to establish residence in California for purposes of tuition. (For more about these visa types, see who's not eligible.)

  6. The UC residence regulations require that you and your parent(s) document:

    1. At least 366 days of continuous physical presence in California, and
    2. Concurrent intent to permanently remain in the state

    If your parents live outside of California and you are financially independent, you must also be able to verify financial independence for the two full years preceding the term for which you're seeking residence classification.

  7. To prove your financial independence, you must be able to document 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. This also means you can't have been claimed as an income tax dependent by any individual or have accepted gifts (cash or other support) that contributed to your subsistence for two tax years immediately preceding the term.

  8. You normally cannot establish California residence for purposes of tuition 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 may not be eligible for a resident classification for purposes of tuition.

  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.

  10. This is only a summary of the main UC regulations for California residence for purposes of tuition.  For more detail, see the full UC Residence Policy and Guidelines (pdf).

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