Classification: Determination of Residency

Initial Determination

A student attending a CSU as a first-time freshman, transfer or as a post-baccalaureate student must have the legal capacity to establish residency in the State of California. If the student is under the age of 19 (with limited exceptions), the student’s residence status is derived from that of the parent or legal guardian. In this case, the parent or legal guardian must have the legal capacity to establish residency in California.

Generally speaking, to be eligible for classification as a California resident for tuition purposes, the student or if the student is a minor, the parent/guardian must provide verification that these requirements are satisfied:

  1. Physical Presence: The student or parent/guardian must be physically present in California immediately one year prior to the Residence Determination Date in which enrollment is contemplated. For example, if a student plans to attend the CSU for the Fall 2019 academic term, and the Residence Determination Date for that term is September 20, 2019, the student must establish physical presence in California no later than September 20, 2018.
  2. Intent: The student or parent/guardian must demonstrate intent to remain indefinitely in the state for more than one year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date and sever all residential ties with the former state or country of residence. Additionally, there must be sufficient documentation to demonstrate that intent was established more than one year (a minimum of one year and one day) prior to the Residence Determination Date.

Please refer to the Residence Determination Dates below:

Table

Some examples of documents the CSU considers when evaluating intent include:

  • Registering to vote and voting in California
  • Registering a motor vehicle operated in California
  • Obtaining a California driver’s license or California identification card
  • Filing a resident or nonresident state personal California income tax return
  • Listing a California address on a federal income tax return
  • Listing a permanent military address or home of record in California
  • Licensing from California for professional practice (e.g., nursing, teaching credentials)
  • Maintaining active resident memberships in California based professional organizations (e.g., police union, teachers’ union)
  • Maintaining an active bank account at a California bank

The absence of any of these factors outside California during any time California residency is claimed.

For more information about initial classification of residency in California, see California Education Code Section 68017 and California Code of Regulations Title 5, Sections 41904 and 41905.



Reclassification After Initial Residency Determination

A student classified as a nonresident for a prior term may seek reclassification in any subsequent term; however, reclassification requires that, in addition to satisfying the requirements of physical presence and intent to remain indefinitely in the state, the student must also satisfy the requirement of financial independence as outlined in Title 5 CCR § 41905.5.

  • 41905.5. Residence Reclassification - Financial Independence Requirement.

Any nonresident student requesting reclassification to resident for tuition purposes must demonstrate financial independence. A student shall be considered financially independent if s/he has not and will not be claimed as an exemption for state and federal tax purposes by his/her parent in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and in any of the three calendar years prior to the reclassification application; has not and will not receive more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) per year in financial assistance from his/her parent in the calendar year the reclassification application is made and in any of the three calendar years prior to the reclassification application, and; has not lived and will not live for more than six weeks in the home of his/her parent during the calendar year the reclassification application is made and in any of the three calendar years prior to the reclassification application. A nonresident student who has been appointed to serve as a graduate student teaching assistant, graduate student research assistant, or graduate student teaching associate on any California State University campus and employed on a 0.49 or more time basis is exempt from this requirement.