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Residency Determination and Classification

The process for determining residency for tuition purposes is independent from those for taxes or other state and institutional purposes. The residency classifications were set to determine whether a student should pay university fees on an in-state or out-of-state basis.

Students that meet the Uniform Student Residency Requirements pay fees on an in-state basis. The laws governing residency for tuition purposes at the California State University are California Education Code sections 68000-68090, 68120-68134, 89705-89707.5 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, sections 41900-41916. This material can be viewed on the California State University's website.

Resources for Undocumented Students

How Residency Classification is Determined

The Office of Admissions and Recruitment determines residency classification, for all new and returning students, based on the following student-submitted information:

Generally, establishing California residency for tuition purposes requires a combination of physical presence and intent to indefinitely remain.

An adult who can demonstrate a physical presence in California and provide evidence of intent to indefinitely remain, at least one full year prior to the residency determination deadline of the desired semester of enrollment, will establish an in-state residency classification for tuition purposes.

Similar evidence is required to establish an in-state residency classification for a minor. However their residency is derived from the parent(s) or guardian(s) they reside with or with whom they most recently resided with.

Evidence of intent to indefinitely remain: (may vary from case to case and is not limited to)

  • the absence of residential ties to any other state
  • California voter registration and voting in California elections
  • maintaining California vehicle registration and driver's license
  • maintaining active California bank accounts
  • filing California income tax returns and listing a California address on federal tax returns
  • owning residential property or occupying or renting an apartment where permanent belongings are kept
  • maintaining active memberships in California professional or social organizations
  • maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California

For more information about residency determination and classifications visit

Changes to Residency Classification

Non-resident students seeking reclassification are required to complete a Reclassification Request Form.

To be eligible for reclassification, proof of financial independence from a non-resident parent or guardian is required, along with proof of physical presence and intent to indefinitely remain.

Unless prevented from establishing residence in the United States by the Immigration and Nationality Act, non-citizens establish an in-state residency classification by submitting the same information as citizens.

For more information about residency classification exceptions visit

Form Submission


Mailing Address

Admissions & Student Outreach
California State University San Marcos
333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road
San Marcos, CA 92096-0001