The Sunshine State of Mind

Residency for Tuition Purposes

What is Residency?

Residency refers to whether you are an in-state Florida resident or an out-of-state resident, and this classification determines your rate of tuition. Florida residents pay less in fees per credit hour than do non-Florida residents.

Florida state statute Section 1009.21 defines the requirements for in-state status. Generally a person is considered a Florida resident for the purpose of paying taxes, voting or other legal purposes after residing in the state for a designated length of time.

However, state statute specifies additional requirements for a student to be classified as an in-state resident for tuition purposes. Most importantly: Living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition purposes. The petitions process is available for students to request a waiver of a university regulation or deadline.

Some Helpful Definitions

A legal resident or resident is a person who has maintained his or her residence in this state for the preceding year, has purchased a home which is occupied by him or her as his or her residence, or has established a domicile in this state pursuant to Florida State Statute, 222.17.

However, a resident for tuition purposes is a person who qualifies as provided in state statute, F.S. 1009.21, for the in-state tuition rate; a nonresident for tuition purposes is a person who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate. It is possible to be both a legal resident of the state and a nonresident for tuition purposes concurrently.

The Role of Admissions

Your initial residency classification is determined by the Office of Admissions when you apply to the university. Failure to provide all relevant information and required documentation in the residency section of the admission application could result in a non-Florida or out-of-state resident classification for tuition purposes.

You have until the last day of classes in your first term to request the Office of Admissions to re-evaluate your residency status by providing additional documentation not submitted previously.

Once you have completed your first term at UF, you can request a reclassification of your residency status with the Office of the University Registrar.

The Role of the Office of the University Registrar

If you are attempting to change your residency status, you must be admitted to the university, have completed one term of enrollment as a non-Florida resident and provide documentation of 12 months of legal residence in Florida. If you feel you have satisfied these basic qualifications, you can submit the Request for Residency Change.

Submitting the Required Documentation

The deadline to submit your application is the standard fee payment deadline for the term in which you are applying. Deferred fee payment deadlines are not applicable. Since residency reclassification is an evaluative process, it may take up to six weeks to render a decision during peak times. Residency reclassification cannot be applied retroactively to previous terms. Residency reclassification results are available online on ONE.UF underneath the Petition Status function. In addition, letters will be mailed for all deferred and denied decisions.

How Residency Decisions Are Made

The University of Florida is authorized to make decisions regarding residency for tuition purposes within the bounds of the law. In reaching these determinations, the University of Florida will evaluate all documents submitted and information available.

Florida residency for tuition purposes is based solely on an independent claimant. If a student is dependent as per federal tax law, then the parent or legal guardian becomes the claimant, and residency for tuition purposes is based on that parent or legal guardian. If a student is independent as per federal tax law, the student is the claimant and residency for tuition purposes is based on the student. In most cases, copies of federal income tax returns are required to substantiate dependent or independent status. Further criteria for determining dependency can be found in section 3.0 of the Residency Guidelines.

The claimant must establish and maintain a legal Florida residence for at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes in the semester for which in-state residency status is sought. The 12-month qualifying period requires documentary evidence of residence as requested by the appropriate university official. Examples of relevant documentation may be found on the residency reclassification request form. Further criteria on documentary evidence can be found in section 4.8 of the Residency Guidelines.

In addition to the claimant's requisite 12-month residency in the state of Florida, an independent student claiming residency for tuition purposes must also show that their presence in the state was not merely temporary or incidental to enrolling at the institution of higher education. Additional evidence or documentation will be required for meeting this requirement of reclassification. This requirement must be satisfied in order to obtain residency for tuition purposes. Such documentation is described in section 5.2 of the Residency Guidelines.

Appealing a Residency Decision

In cases where the applicant expresses a desire to appeal the residency classification decision and submit a formal residency appeal, the matter will be referred to the University Residency Appeals Committee through the Office of the University Registrar. The written appeal and any additional supporting documentation must be submitted within 30 days of the denial. You will be notified online of the decision following the final review. The decision of the University Residency Appeals Committee is final for the term.