Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes
A Florida resident is a student (dependent or independent) who has established and maintained legal residency in Florida for at least twelve months preceding the first day of classes of the term for which residency is sought. Residence in Florida must be as a bona fide domicile rather than for the purpose of maintaining a residence incident to enrollment at an institution of higher education. To qualify as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, the student must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, or in legal status as determined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In-state status is only for those residents who reside in the state permanently with established legal domicile in Florida. Permanent Florida residency is demonstrated by the absence of ties to any other state and establishment of a bona fide domicile in Florida. A student who enrolls in a Florida postsecondary educational institution as an out-of-state resident and continuously enrolls in a Florida institution will not normally meet the Florida residency requirement for in-state tuition regardless of the length of time enrolled.
Students who depend upon out-of-state parents for support are presumed to be legal residents of the same state as their parents. Students are either dependent or independent. In certain cases, a student may qualify for temporary in-state status by qualifying under an exception category.
Individuals that have received a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security cannot be considered for Florida residency for tuition purposes. DACA students are also ineligible to use the Out of State Tuition Waiver for specific Florida high school graduates at the graduate level. This waiver is applicable to the undergraduate degree only per Florida Board of Governors regulation 7.008.
Initial Residency Classification for all New Students
All students who wish to claim Florida residency for tuition-paying purposes must complete the residency declaration for tuition purposes form as part of the application for admission process. For all applicants claiming Florida residency for tuition purposes, please note that your residency documentation will only be reviewed if you are offered admission into the university. Depending upon the initial review of your residency declaration form, additional documentation may be required to support your request for residency for tuition purposes.
In accordance with S1009.21 Florida Statutes, Rules 6A-10.044 and 6A-20.003, Florida Administrative Code, and the Board of Governors Residency Regulation, the College of Graduate Studies is required to adhere to specific procedures in making determinations for residency for tuition purposes.
- When you complete your graduate application online, it will be required for you to also complete the residency declaration. It is important to upload all of the necessary items to support your claim for Florida residency for tuition purposes at that time. If you are offered admission into the university your residency declaration will be reviewed at that time. Until such time, your residency status will remain classified as PENDING. This does not affect the processing or review of your application by the department to which you have applied.
- Once your residency is reviewed by our office, if the residency declaration is incomplete, or if additional documentation is required, you will be notified via email of the necessary documentation needed to complete your request for residency. Additional documentation may be required to prove your claim of Florida residency for tuition purposes after the initial request has been made and documentation submitted. All documentation will be requested via email to the email account listed on your graduate application and your university generated Knights email account. UCF Graduate Studies reserves the right to require additional documentation as seen necessary to accurately determine the residency status of a student. Once a determination is made on your residency status you will be notified via email and your residency status will be updated in your myUCF account.
Reclassification for Currently Enrolled Students
Residency Reclassification is for a student who has been classified as a “non-resident for tuition purposes” at the time of initial admission to the University and wishes to be considered for reclassification as a “Florida resident for tuition purposes” for a subsequent semester. Staff in the College of Graduate Studies cannot make exceptions to the rules set forth by the state nor can staff make exceptions based on financial hardship or extenuating circumstances.
Things You Need to Know about Residency Reclassification
- Under Florida law, there is a difference between being a “Florida Resident” and being a “Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes”.
- The burden of proof is on the student to present clear and convincing documentation that supports permanent legal residency in Florida for at least 12 months. Living in Florida for a year or longer DOES NOT automatically qualify an applicant for in-state tuition (Florida residency for tuition purposes).
- To be considered a “Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes”, an applicant must prove that the move to Florida was permanent and not temporarily as a result of your application and admission to UCF. Therefore, despite the length of time you attend UCF, you may never qualify for “Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes”.
In accordance with S1009.21 Florida Statutes, Rules 6A-10.044 and 6A-20.003, Florida Administrative Code, and the Board of Governors Residency Regulation, the College of Graduate Studies is required to adhere to specific procedures in making determinations for residency reclassification.
- Complete a Residency Reclassification Application and Affidavit and submit with required supporting documentation to the College of Graduate Studies. Please find instructions and helpful notes on the first page of the form.
- Send to: by mail UCF College of Graduate Studies, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., PO Box 160112, Orlando, FL 32816-0112, deliver in person (Millican Hall 230), or by scanned email to [email protected].
- The deadline for submitting a residency reclassification request is the last day of registration for the applicable term of the semester in question.
- Each residency reclassification request is individually reviewed and a determination is made. This determination will be emailed to you as soon as it is made. If the form is incomplete, or if additional documentation is required, you will be notified by your campus email (Knights email) as to what must be done to complete the residency request process.
- Inquiries regarding residency reclassification should be directed in writing to the College of Graduate Studies’ Residency Reclassification Department at [email protected]. Please note that the College of Graduate Studies cannot advise students regarding their ability to reclassify in a future term.
The student or their claimant must be able to provide two forms of documentation showing that they have been in Florida for at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the term for which residency is sought. For residency reclassification, a total of three documents is required. At least one of the documents must be dated prior to the first day of classes and from the following list:
- Florida Driver’s license or for non-drivers, a State of Florida identification card
- Florida voter registration card
- Florida vehicle registration
- Proof of a permanent home in Florida that is occupied as a primary residence of the claimant
- Proof of homestead exemption in Florida
- Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12 month period
These documents may be used in conjunction with one of the documents listed above:
- A declaration of domicile in Florida (filed date must 12 months prior to the start of classes)
- Utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments
- Lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments
- Florida professional or occupational license
- Florida incorporation
- Document evidencing verifiable family ties to a Florida resident
- Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization
- Any other documentation that supports your request for resident status
- Official state, federal or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida
Please note: Possessing one of these documents does not automatically qualify an applicant for Florida residency for tuition purposes
Exceptions and Qualifications
In certain circumstances, Florida Statute 1009.21 permits certain students to be classified as Florida residency for tuition purposes. Verification through supporting documentation is required that a student meets by qualification or exception.
A student should only request residency classification using one of these categories if they do not qualify as either an independent or a dependent student.
- Qualified beneficiaries under the terms of the Florida Prepaid College Program
- Persons married to legal Florida residents and who intend to make Florida their permanent home, and who relinquish their legal ties to any other state.
- Persons previously enrolled at a Florida state postsecondary institution and classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes and transferring to another Florida state postsecondary institution within 12 months of the previous enrollment.
- Persons previously enrolled at a Florida state postsecondary institution and classified as Florida residents for tuition purposes at a Florida public institution of higher education, but who abandoned Florida domicile and has re-established Florida legal residence.
- Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States and their spouses and dependent children, and active drilling members of the Florida National Guard.
- Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States and their spouses and dependents attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed, if such military establishment is within a country contiguous to Florida.
- United States citizens living on the Isthmus of Panama, who have completed 12 consecutive months of college work at the Florida State University Panama Canal Branch, and their spouses and dependent children.
- Full-time instructional and administrative personnel employed by state public schools and institutions of higher education and their spouses and dependent children.
- Students from Latin America and the Caribbean who receive scholarships from the federal or state government. The student must attend, on a full-time basis, a Florida institution of higher education.
- Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market graduate students attending Florida’s state universities.
- Full-time employees of state agencies or political subdivisions of the state when the student fees are paid by the state agency or political subdivision for the purpose of job-related law enforcement or corrections training.
- McKnight Doctoral Fellows and Finalists who are United States citizens.
- Active duty members of the Canadian military residing or stationed in this state under the North American Air Defense (NORAD) agreement, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed.
- Active duty members of a foreign nation’s military who are serving as liaison officers and are residing or stationed in this state, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a community college or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where the foreign liaison officer is stationed.
Appealing a Residency Decision
If you believe that the decision regarding your residency for tuition purposes for initial residency or residency reclassification was made in error, you have the right to appeal. The appeal is presented to the University Residency Appeals Committee. The University Residency Appeals Committee abides by the Florida State Statutes on residency for tuition purposes, including deadlines. The decision made by the University Residency Appeals Committee for Graduate Students is final and there are no additional levels of appeal. If you decide to enter the appeals process, all communications concerning your case must remain in writing.