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Residency is determined when a student applies for admission to the College. The following paragraphs summarize the rules and regulations related to student residency for tuition purposes. Details are found in Education Code Section 68090, Title 3, Part 41, Chapter 1.
Every person who is married or is age 18 or older , and under no legal restriction may establish residence. Certain minors may also establish residence.
- A California "resident" is a person who has resided in the state for more than one year prior to the residence determination date and shows "intent" to make the state of California their permanent residence.
- An undocumented student is precluded from establishing residency. Restrictions also apply to some visas, please see the Residency Office.
- The residence determination date is the day immediately preceding the first day of classes for each semester.
A student's residency status is determined at the time of application. Nonresident students must pay nonresident tuition in addition to the enrollment fee and other fees for credit classes. Tuition must be paid in full at the time of registration.
Factors Considered to Determine Residency
- Filing California state income taxes as a resident
- Possessing a California driver's license and a vehicle registered in California
- Voting in California
- Owning residential property in California for personal use
- Being licensed to practice a profession in California
- Having an active checking and/or savings account in a California bank account
- Showing California on military records (Leave and Earnings Statement)
- Possessing a marriage license or a divorce decree issued in California
- Having paid nonresident tuition in another state
Exceptions to Residency Requirements
There are several exceptions to the residency rules. They include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Active duty military personnel stationed in California
- Dependents of active duty military personnel stationed in California
- Certain minors who stayed in California when their parents moved
- Self-supporting minors
- Full-time employees of the college or a state agency, or a child or spouse of the full-time employee
ASSEMBLY BILL (AB)540
- Assembly Bill 540 exempts nonresident students who meet the following criteria, from paying nonresident tuition:
- have attended high school in California for three or more years;
- • have received a high school diploma or equivalent, including certification of graduation from a California high school;
- have registered as an entering student at, or concurrent enrollment at an accredited institution of higher education in California.
- Students who meet the criteria must file an affidavit with the college stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status. If you are a non-resident with questions, please also look into the Borderless Scholars Program.
CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT of 2011 (AB540)
- The California Dream Act of 2011, authored by Assembly Member Gil Cedillo (Los Angeles), became law through the passage of two Assembly Bills, AB 130 and AB 131.
- AB 130 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria (California Education Code 68130.5(a)) to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.
- AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.
- Eligibility for the Board of Governor's Fee Waiver (BOGFW) at the California Community Colleges became effective in January 2013. Eligibility for the Cal Grant will become effective for the 2013-2014 school year.
- Students eligible under AB540 may complete the California DREAM Act Application at dream.csac.ca.gov
A student incorrectly classified as a California resident is subject to reclassification as a nonresident and payment of all nonresident tuition. If incorrect classification results from false or misleading facts, a student may be excluded from classes or the college upon notification.
Reclassification to resident status must be requested by the student. Financial independence during the current year and preceding two years will be considered at the time the student requests reclassification. Information regarding requirements for reclassification is available in the Residency Office or Admissions Office.
Tuition may not be refunded to a student classified as a nonresident due to lack of documentation if, at a later date, documentation is presented for a previous semester.
To appeal a residency determination decision, a student may file a Residency Determination Appeal form with the college Admissions Supervisor.
Limitation of Residency Rules
Students are cautioned that this summary of rules regarding residency determination is by no means a complete explanation of their meaning or content.
For further information, contact the residency clerk in the Admissions Office . In addition, changes may have been made in the statutes and in the regulations between the time this statement is published and the beginning of the semester.
Providing false information necessary for establishing residency will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the college.
Contact San Diego Mesa Residency for more details: SDMesaResidency@sdccd.edu