California Residency FAQs
- Why should I establish residency?
- How do I qualify for resident status as an adult student?
- How do I qualify for resident status as a minor student?
- How can I qualify for an exception/exemption from non-resident tuition?
- What should I do if I think my residence status is incorrect?
- How do I get my resident status reclassified?
- How do I appeal my residence classification?
- What if my residence status changes?
- Where can I go for further information?
Why should I establish residency?
Establishing residency allows you to take advantage of the lower registration fees charged to residents of California. In many cases, it may reduce your education costs substantially .
The general rule is that a student must have established and maintained permanent residence in California for at least one year immediately preceding the residence determination date in order to qualify as a resident student for tuition purposes. A residence determination date is set for each academic term and is the date from which residence is determined for that term.
- Residence Determination Dates:
- September 20 for fall semester
- January 25 for spring semester
How do I qualify for resident status as an adult student?
Applicants 19 years of age or older by the residence determination date are considered adults for residency purposes. To be eligible for resident status adult students must maintain a physical presence in California, show intent to make California his or her permanent home and/or maintain proper immigration status for one year prior to September 20 for the fall semester, and one year prior to January 25 for the spring semester.
- California voter registration and voting in California elections.
- California driver's license.
- California automobile registration.
- California State income tax obligations on total income.
- Ownership of residential property or continuous occupancy or renting of an apartment on a lease basis where your personal belongings are kept.
- Active savings and/or checking accounts in a California bank.
- Immigration status with legal capacity to establish California residency.
- Maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California.
- Military leave and earning statements showing California as legal residence.
How do I qualify for resident status as a minor student?
Applicants younger than 19 years of age by the residence determination date generally derive legal residence from the parent with whom the minor maintains or last maintained his or her place of abode. Minor students must report parental information, as well as their own, to verify California residence.
How do I qualify for an exception/exemption from non-resident tuition?
If you are a teacher, military service member, CSU staff member, or dependent child of a California resident you may be exempt from paying non-resident tuition. Contact Enrollment Services for more information.
If you attended and graduated from a California high school, you may qualify for the
exemption created by the new law, AB540. Those that hold non-immigrant visas are not eligible for the AB540 exemption. After
reviewing the general information [General Information in English (PDF, 35KB); General Information in Spanish (PDF, 29KB)], if you believe you qualify for this exemption, please complete and submit
the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form (PDF, 32KB) along with a CSU Residence Questionnaire (PDF, 154KB) to Enrollment Services.
What should I do if I think my residence status is incorrect?
Complete and submit a CSU Residence Questionnaire (PDF, 154KB) and supporting documents for review. If you have any questions, contact Enrollment Services.
Documents can be mailed or delivered to:
CSU Channel Islands
Enrollment Center, Sage Hall
One University Drive
Camarillo, CA 93012
Students incorrectly classified as residents or incorrectly granted an exception from nonresident tuition are subject to reclassification as nonresidents and payment of nonresident tuition in arrears. If incorrect classification results from false or concealed facts, the student is subject to discipline pursuant to Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
How can I get my resident status reclassified?
Currently enrolled, nonresident students seeking reclassification are required to complete a supplemental questionnaire (PDF, 169KB) including questions concerning their financial dependence, which will be considered along with physical presence and intent in determining reclassification. Contact Enrollment Services for more information.
The California State University
Office of General Counsel
401 Golden Shore, Fourth Floor
Long Beach, California 90802-4210
The Office of General Counsel can either decide the appeal or send the matter back to the campus for further review.
Resident students who become nonresidents or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception must immediately notify Enrollment Services.
Where can I go for further information?
Please see the University Catalog to learn more about the determination of residence status.
For more information about the laws governing residence for tuition purposes, please refer to California Education Code—sections 6800-68090, 68120-68134, 89705-89707.5—and in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, sections 41900-41916.
This summation is by no means a complete explanation of all the rules governing the establishment of California residency.