EWU Academic Calendar–check for residency application deadlines.
What is a Student's Residency Status?
At the time of admission, all students entering a Washington state, regional, or community college or university are assigned a residency status of "in-state" or "out-of-state" based on the location and duration of the student's (or parent's) one, true domicile. This determines the student's tuition rate.
- a financially independent person (see Financial Dependence/Independence) must have maintained Washington domicile for primary reasons other than education for the 12 months preceding the term of enrollment;
- a financially dependent person must have a parent/legal guardian who has maintained Washington domicile for the 12 months preceding the term of enrollment;
- domicile is established when a person is both living in Washington and has taken sufficient steps to demonstrate a permanent residence in the state (see Establishing Washington Domicile).
Additionally, there are several other groups that may qualify (see Exceptions below).
- a person must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or hold a qualifying visa or other qualifying status such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA);
- undocumented students may also qualify for in-state tuition under HB 1079 by submitting a Washington Residency Affidavit.
- click here for more information regarding how citizenship/immigration status affects residency.
If you believe you were assigned an incorrect residency status, or if you believe your status has changed since the time of admission.
- File a Residency Questionnaire and supporting evidence of Washington domicile with the University.
- The burden of proof lies with the student.
- Residency applications can be submitted up to the 30th calendar day of the term for which the request is made.
- Applications received after the 30th calendar day will be reviewed for the following term.
- The normal processing time is 14 days.
To be eligible to establish Washington domicile, a person must:
- be a U.S. citizen, or
- be a permanent resident, or
- hold a qualifying visa* or
- hold another qualifying status such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and
- provide documented evidence of the qualifying status in addition to meeting the requirements of Washington domicile.
*Certain visa types (e.g. B, C, D, F, J, M) are incompatible with establishing domicile because they preclude the intent to remain in Washington.
- have completed their full senior year of high school and obtained a diploma at a Washington public or private school, or have obtained the equivalent of a diploma;
- have lived in Washington for at least three calendar years immediately prior to receiving the diploma or its equivalent, and
- have continuously lived in Washington after receiving the diploma or its equivalent until being admitted to an institution of higher education.
- will file to become a permanent resident of the USA as soon as they are eligible.
Washington domicile is established when someone moves to Washington and takes the required steps to prove their intent to remain in Washington and their domicile in another state has been dissolved. The one year waiting period for in-state tuition does not start until Washington domicile is fully established.
Steps leading to Washington domicile include:
- obtaining a Washington driver’s license or identification card (Note: residents of Washington State are required to replace their previous state’s driver’s license with a Washington driver’s license/identification card within 30 days of arrival to Washington. Go to the Washington State Department of Licensing for more information);
- registering one’s vehicle or paying taxes on other property (Note: residents of Washington State are required to register their vehicles within 30 days of arrival to Washington. Go to the Washington State Department of Licensing for more information);
- working full-time in Washington;
- using Washington residence information on federal and state income tax returns (If you need a copy of your federal income tax return, please go to the Internal Revenue Services );
- registering to vote (See Washington Secretary of State’s Elections & Voting for more information);
- purchasing a home, signing a rental agreement, or providing other evidence of physically residing in Washington;
- opening a bank account;
- becoming a member in a professional, business, civic, or other organization;
- receiving benefits under a public assistance program.
For a full list of factors used to determine one’s domicile, click here. Domicile is not determined by one single factor, but on the individual’s overall situation. Washington domicile must be in place for at least 12 months leading up to the term for which in-state residency is requested. Documentation of evidence of one’s domicile is required when submitting the residency questionnaire.
Presumption of Non-Residency While Attending School
A presumption exists in WAC 250-18-030 which states that a financially independent, nonresident student attending more than 6 credits per term is presumed to be in Washington for primarily educational purposes and should not count this time toward establishing Washington domicile. The student must demonstrate that he or she has established a bona fide domicile in Washington primarily for reasons other than education.
Exceptions for Military
- Active Duty: An active duty service member (or their spouse/dependent ) stationed in the state of Washington or member of the Washington National Guard is eligible to pay in-state tuition. An active duty service member (or their spouse/dependent) who is stationed outside of Washington, but who has maintained Washington as their state of legal residence, may also qualify for in-state tuition. A copy of the military ID and military orders will be required.
- Veterans: Under the Choice Act, a veteran (or their spouse/dependent using transferred VA educational benefits) who was honorably discharged after at least 90 days of service, moves to Washington to establish residence, and enters a Washington state school within three years from their date of discharge is eligible to pay in-state tuition. A copy of the DD-214 will be required.
Please submit a request form to the EWU Veterans Resource Center. Qualifying for in-state tuition does not necessarily mean one is eligible to receive state need-based financial aid.
Exceptions for American Indians
American Indian students who meet the following two conditions are eligible to pay resident tuition:
- for a period of one year immediately preceding the term of enrollment, students must have been domiciled in one or a combination of the following state: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington;
- students must be a member of one of the federally recognized Indian tribes whose traditional and customary tribal boundaries included portions of the state of Washington or whose tribe was granted reserved lands within the state of Washington. For a list of these tribes, click here.
Other exceptions may exist for those who have moved outside of Washington on a temporary sojourn or for educational purposes, those who completed 75% of their junior and senior year in a Washington state high school but whose parents have moved out of Washington, those who live in Oregon border counties, and EWU employees.
A student’s financial status is significant when determining residency. A financially independent student can establish residency based on the location and duration of his/her own domicile, while a financially dependent student’s residency status will be based on one or both of their parent’s/legal guardian’s domicile. The burden of proof regarding financial dependence/independence lies with the student. See WAC 250-18-035
Students are financially dependent if they are:
- claimed as dependents on their parent’s/legal guardian’s tax forms for the last year, or receive significant financial support* during the current or previous calendar year.
Students are financially independent if they are:
- not claimed as a dependent on their parent's/legal guardian's tax forms for the last year AND do not receive significant financial support* from family during the current and previous calendar year AND have income** to cover the majority of tuition and living expenses for the current and previous calendar year.
*Significant financial assistance is usually defined as more than what the student provides through their income.
**Financial aid, grants, scholarships, and loans authorized by the financial aid office in the student's name may be considered as personal income. A spouse's income may also be counted.
Documents that may be required to show one's financial status include:
- the individual's sworn statement;
- state and federal income tax returns from current and previous year;
- W-2 forms:
- other documented financial resources;
- evidence of coverage for medical, life, automobile and property insurance.
- Washington Uniform Residency Questionnaire
- Washington Residency Affidavit (HB 1079)
- Veterans Resident Tuition Exemption of One Year Waiting Period
If you have questions about establishing domicile, please email Anthony Silecchia or call 509.359.6586.
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