Residence Requirements

Residence determination must be made each semester for nonresident tuition purposes. The college application and, if necessary, other evidence furnished by the student are used in making residency determination. All documentation must be submitted within 2 weeks of start of term or submission of admissions applications. Residency will not be changed once the semester has ended. Any adult who is physically present in the state while, at the same time, intending to make California their permanent home, may establish legal residence. The resident determination date is the day immediately preceding the opening day of instruction for each semester or term.

Steps must be taken at least one year prior to the residence determination date to establish the intent to make California one’s permanent home with concurrent relinquishment of the prior legal residence. Some indications of intention to establish and maintain California residence include, but are not limited to:

  • Payment of California state income tax as a resident;
  • Registering to vote and voting in California;
  • Possessing California motor vehicle license plates;
  • Possessing a valid California driver’s license;
  • Maintaining a permanent military address or home of record in California while in the armed services;
  • Establishing and maintaining active California bank accounts;
  • Being a petitioner for a divorce in California.

In general, an unmarried minor (a person under 18 years of age) derives legal residence from the parent or parents with whom he/she lives. The student who is within the state only for educational purposes does not gain the status of resident regardless of the length of his/her stay in California.

Exceptions to the Residence Requirements are as Follows:

  1. Persons below the age of 19 whose parents were residents of California but who left the state while the student who remained was still a minor. When the minor reaches 18, the exception continues for one year to enable the student to qualify as a resident.
  2. Persons below the age of 19 who have been present in California for more than a year before the residence determination date and who have been entirely self-supporting for that period of time.
  3. Persons below the age of 19 who have lived with and have been under the continuous direct care and control of an adult, not a parent, for the two years immediately preceding the residence determination date. Said adult must have been a California resident for the most recent year.
  4. Active Duty Military Students EC 68075; T5 54042; LEGAL OPINION 10-05: Students who are members of the armed forces of the United States domiciled or stationed in California on active duty are entitled to resident classification for purposes of determining the amount of tuition and fees for the duration of their attendance at a community college as long as they remain on active duty as of the residence determination date. If that member of the armed forces of the United States who is in attendance at an institution is thereafter transferred on military orders to a place outside this state where the member continues to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States, he or she shall not lose his or her resident classification so long as he or she remains continuously enrolled at that community college. Please note that exclusions or limitations from residency classification for active military duty students related to students “seeking a graduate degree” or “members of the armed forces who were assigned for educational purposes to state-supported institutions of higher education” are no longer applicable under the current statute and federal law. (The Chancellor’s Office has concluded that service in the California National Guard does not constitute being a member of the Armed Forces of the United States for Education Code sections 68074 and 68075.)