For Currently Enrolled Students:
Residency for Tuition
The determination of residency classification for tuition purposes is governed by statutes enacted by the Texas Legislature and rules and regulations promulgated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. A student applicant is classified as either a resident of Texas or a non-resident for tuition purposes. An individual’s residency classification is based on information from his or her admission application. The student is responsible for registering under the proper residency classification. If an applicant or student is classified as a non-resident and wishes to be considered for reclassification as a Texas resident, it is necessary to submit the Core Residency Questions.
The Residency Determination Official may request additional documentation upon receipt of the Core Residency Questions. Documents from the Core Residency Questionnaire will be used as proof that the person or the dependent’s parent established domicile in Texas and the person or the dependent’s parent has maintained domicile in Texas continuously for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the term in which the person is applying for Texas residency.
Chapter 21 of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules the following provisions covering some of the more common residency situations. They are neither exhaustive nor complete and should be interpreted as such. Full regulations and definitions of terms are available.
Independent students are those who provide more than half of their own financial support and are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes. In order to qualify for residency for tuition purposes, an independent must reside and maintain domicile in Texas for the twelve months preceding the term in which the person is applying for Texas residency.
The residency for tuition purposes of a student who is not independent is based upon that of the parent or court-appointed legal guardian who claims that student as a dependent for federal income tax purposes, regardless of the length of time the student has resided in Texas. If the parent or court-appointed legal guardian of a dependent student meets the criteria of having established residency for tuition purposes, the dependent student is eligible to pay resident tuition. Parents and legal guardians qualify for residency following the same criteria as independent students.
Individuals can establish residency in two basic ways, one based on graduation from high school and the other based on the establishment of domicile. The option related to establishment of domicile is available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States and to international students who hold certain types of visas.
Residency through High School Graduation:
This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States and to international students.
To establish residency through high school graduation, a student must:
- Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; AND
- Live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; AND
- Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date
Residency by Establishing Domicile:
If a student is an independent for tax purposes, they may gain resident status if the student establishes domicile in the state. If their parent(s) claim the student as a dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish domicile in the state for the student to claim residency.
To establish domicile, the student or the student’s parent(s) must meet the following criteria:
1. Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months; AND
2. Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months by doing one of the following:
- Be gainfully employed in the state of Texas (Gainful employment that is sufficient to provide at least one-half of the individual’s tuition, fees and living expenses or that represents an average of at least twenty hours of employment per week. Employment conditioned on student status, such as work study, the receipt of stipends, fellowships, or research or teaching assistantships does not constitute gainful employment.)
- Sole or joint marital ownership of residential property in the state of Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent's parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence
- Own and operate a business in the state of Texas
- Be married for one year to a person who has established domicile in the state of Texas
A member of the United States Armed Services whose Home of Record with the military is Texas is presumed to be a Texas resident, as are his or her spouse and dependent children. A member whose Home of Record is not Texas but who provides the institution Leave and Earnings Statements that show the member has claimed Texas as his or her place of residence for the 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment is presumed to be a Texas resident, as are his or her spouse and dependent children.
Any student classified as a Non-Resident wishing to be considered for reclassification as a Texas Resident, must submit the Residency Questionnaire and all Supporting Documents to the Office of the Registrar by Aug. 14, 2020.
For additional information regarding residency for tuition purposes, please contact the Office of the Registrar at (713) 798-7766.