Residency Requirements

  • California state law mandates that each student who applies for admission to provide residency information and evidence as deemed necessary by the Admissions & Records Office to determine the student’s residence classification. The following rules regarding residency determination are not a complete explanation. For further information, contact the Admissions & Records Office. These rules are subject to change at any time in accordance with State law.

The residency determination date is the day prior to the first day of instruction for each semester.

General Rules for Residency:
  • Persons who are 19 years of age or older may establish residence in accordance with the criteria listed below. Year of residence must begin after the eighteenth birthday.
  • Persons who are under 19 years of age may establish residence in accordance with the criteria listed below and the following: (a) Married minors may establish their own residence, and (b) an unmarried minor derives residence from the parent with whom he or she is residing. If the student lives with neither parent, residency is derived from the parent with whom he or she last lived. (The residence of an unmarried minor who has a parent living cannot be changed by her or his own act, by appointment of a legal guardian, or by relinquishment of a parent’s right of control.)
  • Active duty military personnel stationed in California are entitled to resident classification.
  • A dependent child or spouse of an active duty military person stationed in California is entitled to residence classification.
  • A member of the armed forces of the United States stationed in California on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged will be granted a “one-year grace period” in order to establish California residency. Establishment of residency requires physical presence and acts of intent be demonstrated for one full year.
  • Persons who have a “permanent residence card” for one year or more may establish residence in accordance with the criteria listed below.
  • Non-resident and non-citizens (other than “nonimmigrant aliens” who are out of status with Department of Homeland Security) who have attended a California high school for at least three years and who have graduated from a California high school may be eligible for an exemption of the non-resident tuition through the California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Form (AB540).
  • A student who was classified as nonresident and is seeking reclassification as a resident MUST show financial independence. Financial independence requires not having been claimed as a dependent on state/federal income tax forms by a parent/guardian, not having received more than $750.00 a year from a parent/guardian, and not having lived more than six weeks in a year with a parent/guardian in the immediately preceding twelve months. Students will be required to submit documentation showing how tuition and living expenses were paid during the preceding year.
Criteria for Residency:

Nonresident students do not automatically become residents by merely being in California for more than one year. State law also requires “proof of intent” to establish California residence for more than one year prior to the residence determination date. The burden of proof rests with the student, not the District. Students must present a combination of documentation to prove intent to be a resident. Students must also show no contrary intent, that is, they must not have maintained residence status in their former state (i.e. driver’s license, taxes, car registration, etc.). Types of documentation that may be submitted that will help to establish proof of intent (with lack of intent for residence in another state) include the following. No one factor is decisive.


W-2 form; California State Income Tax payment; California Driver’s license; California Identification card from DMV; Motor vehicle ownership and registration; Purchase of property; Voter registration; License from California for professional practice; any other proof of intent as may be deemed necessary by the institution to establish residence classification.

A student incorrectly classified as a California resident because of falsification of information is subject to reclassification as a nonresident and payment of nonresident tuition or exclusion from class(es) upon notification.

Students classified as nonresidents may appeal the decision within 30 days of the date of the residence classification decision.

All students classified as nonresident are required to pay the Nonresident Tuition Fee; the Enrollment Fee; and the Student Services Fee each semester. Nonresident fees are refundable only during the first two weeks of a semester (dates vary for short-term classes) if the student withdraws from a course. The date on which the withdrawal is received in the Admissions & Records Office will determine the refund date.

Refunds shall not exceed the amount of tuition paid, and will be processed in accordance with District regulations.