As part of the admission process, a student applying to a state university must complete a residency form or affidavit in order to declare Florida residency for tuition purposes. University staff will review this information and related documentation to verify residency and eligibility for in-state tuition. Residency is determined by the postsecondary institution (i.e., university). There is no appeal of the decision to a higher governmental agency.
Major areas of consideration that university staff review when determining residency include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Is the student a dependent or independent student?
Dependent or independent status will be based on a copy of a student’s or his/her parent’s or legal guardian’s most recent tax return and/or other documentation as appropriate.
- Has the student (or the student’s parent or legal guardian if the student is considered dependent) established legal ties to Florida?
University personnel reviewing a student’s application for residency purposes will require various forms of documentation to verify legal ties and timelines. A student and his/her parent or legal guardian may be asked to provide copies of driver’s licenses or State of Florida Identification Card, voter registration, proof of purchase of permanent home or full-time Florida employment, Florida vehicle registration, or other form of documentation.
NOTE: A student who is permanently relocating to Florida will be asked to provide official documentation (driver’s license, voter registration, etc.) in order to establish a starting point for his/her 12 month residency requirement
- Has the student (or the student’s parent or legal guardian if the student is considered dependent) established a physical presence in Florida for at least twelve (12) months immediately preceding the first day of enrollment for which Florida residency is sought?
- Has the intent of residing in Florida for the required minimum 12 month period been for the purpose of maintaining a bona fide domicile rather than for the purpose of enrollment in an institution of higher education?
A student who comes to Florida to enroll full-time in a state university as an out-of-state resident and continuously enrolls in a state university will not normally meet the Florida residency requirements for in-state tuition regardless of the length of time enrolled.
- Is the student seeking reclassification?
Students who were classified as a dependent student for tuition purposes may seek to be reclassified as an independent student should they meet certain criteria. The burden of proof is on the student seeking reclassification to show: (1) residency in Florida for the requisite 12-month period; (2) residency in the state was not temporary or incidental to enrolling in a university located in Florida; and (3) verification as an independent student if currently classified as a dependent student whose parents or legal guardians are still residing out-of-state.
Examples of evidence that may assist in substantiating residency for the purpose of maintaining a bona fide domicile may include: full-time employment (minimum of 30 hours a week), immediate relatives currently living in Florida for the previous 12 months, purchase of home, or part-time enrollment in a Florida higher education institution during the previous 12 months.
No single piece of evidence shall be considered conclusive.
Further detailed Information:
Residency decisions are based upon Florida Statute and the following regulations:
Students and their families should consult these documents for specific details, including exceptions and further qualifications. Questions regarding a student’s residency status at a particular university should be directed to the university’s registrar’s office.