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The UC Residency Policy and Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) currently provide that students must be physically present within California for a year prior to the Residency Determination Date (RDD) and that absences of six weeks or more in a one-year period disqualify a student from receiving in-state status. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guidelines are hereby further amended in three ways.


First, to provide that a continuing student’s absence from the state for any length of time between March 9, 2020 and the Residency Determination Date for Fall 2020 at their campus shall not be counted toward the six week limit if the absence is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that students who temporarily left California in response to the pandemic remain eligible for in-state residency for the 2020-21 academic year so long as they meet all other applicable eligibility requirements.


Second, the Guidelines are further amended to provide that a student, who has been or may be granted in-state status based on Financial Independence, may accept or use financial resources from another individual between March 9, 2020 and the end of the 2019-20 academic year without loss of eligibility for in-state status if the transfer of resources is made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Third, the enrollment in courses for the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms delivered via remote instruction during the 2020-21 academic year will serve as a replacement for physical presence if the following conditions are met: 1) the UC campus has extended the opportunity for remote instruction, and 2) the student may qualify for residency on their own without regard to a parent per Regents Policy 3105 I.C.2, or temporarily through a noncustodial California parent per Regents Policy 3105 I.D.4. Students meeting the above criteria will not need to acquire applicable legal indicia to prove their intent to stay in California by the deadlines in the Guidelines. However, UC expects students to acquire legal indicia as soon as is practicable. All students admitted and commencing enrollment after the end of the 2020-21 academic year will need to acquire applicable legal indicia by the applicable deadlines in the Guidelines.


No element of this temporary amendment applies to the requirements for physical presence and intent of parents who are part of the residency assessment for dependent students.

All Guidelines contrary to the provisions of this amendment, except those adopted by the Regents, shall be suspended to the extent of the conflict, during the period this amendment remains in force.  Further extensions of this policy will be considered if necessary to accommodate students whose circumstances are impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.  Please note this temporary amendment is not intended to contradict Regents Policy 3105. These amendments stand until such time as they are rescinded by the UC Provost.


The University of California is a public university, and charges different tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

This means that UC has to decide which level of tuition will be charged for each student. For many students — both in-state and out-of-state — this is simple. But for some students with more complex circumstances, this decision process can be more confusing. This site aims to clarify the UC Residence Policy and Guidelines (pdf) and provide context and guidance about the process.

students in a lecture hall

What is residency for purposes of tuition?

After you've been admitted, the University of California determines if you're a California resident for tuition purposes—that is, whether you qualify for resident or nonresident tuition.

The term “California resident for purposes of tuition” is different from other definitions of California residence. For example, a person who is a California resident for tax or voting purposes is not necessarily a resident for purposes of tuition at the University of California.

Undergraduate admissions offices also have a different definition of residence. For example, there are a number of questions about residency on the application for undergraduate admission. UC uses those answers to assess admissions requirements (since they're different for in-state and out-of-state students), but this information isn't used to determine residency for purposes of tuition.

Because the definition of residency varies between offices, information from the admissions office (or on your financial aid award letter) does not necessarily mean you are a resident for purposes of tuition.

Residency for purposes of tuition is decided by your campus residence deputy (or the Office of General Counsel, on appeal). Learn more about the process of filing your Statement of Legal Residence (SLR).

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