Establishing Residency

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.

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. Fresno State does not recommend or approve student out-of-state absences.

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 resident or nonresident 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.

Financial Independence. In the case of a residency reclassification request, the campus must also consider whether the student is financially dependent on non-resident parents as defined in the California Education Code, section 68044 which mandates that any 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 residency 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.

Download CSU Residency Questionnaire