Are you curious about establishing California Residency for Tuition Purposes? We can help!

Contact us at finaid@berkeleysao.org, call us at (510) 642-6912, or stop by our virtual (10AM-12PM) and in-person office hours from (12PM-5PM) to meet with a caseworker. You can also read more below.

Click here for a helpful FAQ and timeline to complete your Statement of Legal Residence (SLR). Submitting the SLR and before the deadline is necessary in order to be considered for a resident classification. 

If you are a nonresident undergraduate student under 24, whose parents are not currently California residents, it is extremely difficult to become classified as a resident because both you and your parent must concurrently satisfy the Residency Requirements. Independent students can become classified as a resident, allowing them to satisfy the requirements below by themselves.

There are TWO requirements for qualifying for residency for tuition purposes. 

1. Physical Presence

You and your parent must be physically present in California on a continuous basis for at least one year immediately prior to the residence determination date.

  • Residency may not be established in absentia and the prior residence must have been relinquished.
  • You and your parent must be able to demonstrate physical presence in California with sufficient documentation. The documentation can include receipts, bank statements, credit card bills, and housing contracts. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you were present (as opposed to the University having to prove that you were NOT present).
  • Within the one year period, you or your parent can be absent from California for a total of six weeks.
  • A residency classification will not be granted for absences that exceeds six weeks.

    2. Intent to Remain in California

    You and your parent must demonstrate the intent to make California your permanent home and relinquish ties to your previous place of residence. Examples of establishing California legal ties include but are not limited to:

    • obtain a California Driver’s License or State Identification card within the first 30 days of arriving in California
    • register vehicle in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
    • register to vote in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
    • file California state income tax returns as a resident or part-year resident on all taxable income earned in or out of the state after arriving to California
    • file out-of-state income tax returns as a nonresident or part-year resident on income earned prior to arriving to California

    3. Financial Independence

    FOR UNDERGRADUATES ONLY:

    A dependent student can become classified as an independent student, which allows them to satisfy the Residency Requirements on their own. To do so, you must be able to verify financial independence for a full year immediately before the residence determination date. 

    Relevant documentation to support a finding of financial independence include tax returns to verify the student’s income, W-2 and 1099 forms, a one-year budget of income and expenses, official apartment rental contracts or leases, and copies of all financial documentation (bank statements, loans, trusts, etc.) to verify the student’s income sources. The student must not have accepted any type of financial assistance from any individual, including California residents, during the one-year period. In addition, the student cannot be claimed as a dependent by another individual. 

    Page 8 of the UC Residence Policy and Guidelines has a comprehensive list of students who can be classified as independent.


    APPEALS

    Grounds for Appeal

    A student may appeal a campus nonresident determination only if at least one of the following applies:

    1. The decision was based on:

    a. a significant error of fact,

    b. a significant procedural error, and/or

    c. an incorrect application of policy which, if corrected, would require that the student be reclassified as a resident.

    2. Significant new information:

    a. became available after the date of the campus decision classifying the student as a nonresident;

    b. despite the exercise of reasonable diligence, the information was not previously known or available to the student; and,

    c. based on the new information, the classification as a nonresident is incorrect.

    If denied California residency by the Office of the Registrar’s Residency Affairs Unit, you have 30 days to appeal the decision to the UC Office Of General Counsel.

    Students must submit the Application to Appeal a Nonresident Classification form, along with a copy of the campus nonresident determination letter, and supporting documentation to the Office of the General Counsel:

    • Email (preferred): residency.appeal@ucop.edu
    • Fax: 510-987-9757, attn: Residence Analyst
    • Mail: Residence Analyst, University of California, Office of the General Counsel, 1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607-5200

    The above guidelines do not apply to all students. For further information and exceptions, please visit the Residency Affairs Unit in the Office of the Registrar at 120 Sproul Hall or click here to learn more information on the Residency (for Tuition Purposes) process. 

    An email confirming receipt of the appeal application will be sent within 3-5 business days. Afterwards, it will take around 10-12 weeks for the Office of the General Counsel to process and issue an appeal decision.

    NOTE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, all appeals must be submitted via email.

    Categories: Financial Aid