Residency Information

The laws of California distinguish between residents and nonresidents for tuition purposes. Tuition and fees are subject to state budget approval. Residence is based on age, physical presence, intent, and financial independence. State requirements to establish residence for tuition purposes are independent from those of other types of residence, such as for tax purposes, jury duty or other state or institutional residence. A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the California Educational Code, Section 68000-68084 and 68120-68134, and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, sections 41901-41915. A Residence Determination Date is set for each academic term and is the date from which residence is determined. Residence is determined after the student has been accepted for admissions, or upon request for a residence reclassification.

Residency Determination Date

Quarter Dates
Fall September 20th
Winter January 5th
Spring April 1st
Summer July 1st

Adult Students

Adult students (students who are 19 years old by the Residence Determination Date for the quarter to which he/she is applying) may establish their own residence for tuition purposes in California if they are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other immigrant; or someone in nonimmigrant status who is not precluded from establishing a domicile in the U.S. The student must establish clear evidence of his/her intent to abandon the derived residence of their out-of-state parent(s) and adopt a new residence. A married person will establish his or her residence independent of his or her spouse.

Minor Students

Minor unmarried students (students who are less than 19 years old by the Residence Determination Date) derive their legal residence from the natural parent or adoptive parent with whom the minor maintains, or last maintained, his or her place of abode. The residence of a minor cannot be changed by the minor's own act, by the appointment of a legal guardian, or by the relinquishment of a parent's right of control as long as the minor's parents are still living. That parent must be a California resident, as established by the California Education Code, for at least one year immediately prior to the residence determination date for the minor to qualify for California residence.

Non-U.S. Citizens

A non-U.S. citizen may establish residence unless precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing a domicile in the United States . An unmarried minor derives his or her residence from their natural or adoptive parents. A non-U.S. citizen adult may establish his or her own residence based on established guidelines and timeliness.

Establishing Residency

Download CSU Residence Questionnaire

To be classified as a resident for tuition purposes, a student (or parent in the case of a minor), must demonstrate the following one year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date.

  1. Physical Presence. The student must establish a physical presence in California more than one year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date of the term for which classification as a resident is requested. Continuous physical presence is not mandatory, but a student who leaves California has the burden of clearly demonstrating their retention of California residence during periods of absence. Failure to do so will result in a determination of non-resident. Cal Poly Pomona does not recommend or approve student out-of-state absences.
  2. Intent. The student must demonstrate through objective documentation that their physical presence was coupled with the intent to make California their permanent home. Evidence of intent must be in place one year immediately prior to the Residence Determination Date. Intent is an independent element of residence, and is demonstrated by establishing residential ties in California, and relinquishing ties to the former place of residence. Physical presence within California solely for educational purposes does not constitute establishment of California residence. Proofs of intent must be in place one year prior to the Residence Determination Date, and can include, but are not limited to:
    1. Registering to vote and voting in California.
    2. Registering a motor vehicle owned or operated in California.
    3. Obtaining a California driver's license or ID card.
    4. Filing a California state personal income tax return.
    5. Establishing a permanent residence in California.
    6. Maintaining an active bank account with a bank with a California branch.
    7. Licensing from the state for professional practice.
    8. Listing a permanent California address on home of record, or other military records.
    9. Maintaining active resident memberships in professional organizations.
  3. Financial Independence. In the case of a residence reclassification request, the campus must also consider whether the student is financially dependent on their parents. A student who has been claimed as a dependent on anyone's income tax return within the past three years, who has accepted more than $750 in financial support in any form, or lived with a parent during the past three years shall not be considered financially independent and therefore, cannot meet the core requirement of demonstrated financial independence necessary to qualify for reclassification from nonresident to resident.

The burden of proof of residence rests solely with the student. Students from whom additional information is required will be contacted by letter or email with further instructions. Students who do not qualify as California residents for tuition purposes will be notified in writing and given the opportunity to appeal to the California State University Chancellor's Office.

Residency Reclassification

Download CSU Residence Reclassification Request Form

A student who has been classified as nonresident may seek reclassification for any subsequent term. The student must complete the CSU Residence Reclassification Request Form, and submit the form to the Office of Admissions & Enrollment Planning.

Office of Admissions & Enrollment Planning
Building 98 2nd Floor
3801 West Temple Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768

Residence reclassification requests take approximately three to four weeks for processing. Students are encouraged to apply during the quarter prior to the requested reclassification term. Processing of applications submitted during the requested quarter may not be processed in time to avoid non-resident tuition fees from being assessed. Until a decision is made, students will remain classified as non-residents and are responsible for on-time payment of nonresident fees. In addition to the Residence Reclassification Request Form, students must also submit copies of the following supporting documentation:

  • Previous and current state driver's license or ID card.
  • Previous and current state voter registration.
  • Previous and current state vehicle registration for a car owned or operated in California.
  • Personal state (form 540) and federal (form 1040) income tax returns with W-2s for the last three years (only page 1 and signature page of each form needed for each year).
  • Parents state (form 540) and federal (form 1040) income tax returns with W-2s for the last three years (only page 1 and signature page of each form needed for each year).
  • Proof of bank accounts with a branch located within California showing the date opened and the current bank statement (first page only).

Students may be asked to provide further documentation to support their application for reclassification. Failure to provide these documents or incomplete Residence Reclassification Forms may delay the reclassification process,  or result in denial of reclassification.

Students denied for reclassification will be notified via letter and have the right to appeal with the California State University Chancellor's Office. Details will be provided in the letter of denial.

Students approved for reclassification are advised that approval may affect financial aid disbursement or awards and may result in the need for repayment of funds already received.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

AB 540 and AB 2000: California Nonresident Tuition Exemption

AB540.pdf Download AB-540 instructions and affidavit

Important note: This summation is not a complete explanation of the laws regarding California residence for tuition purposes. Applicable sections of the California Education Code and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations are available for review at the Office of Admissions Enrollment Planning, Building 98 2nd Floor, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm . You may also review them on-line at:

Additional Resources

DREAMers Ally Network (AB540)
The DREAMers Ally Network serves as a medium for educating dreamers and allies about AB 540, the federal DREAM Act, the CA-Dream Act, Deferred Action, and the rights of undocumented students.