Residency Classification for Tuition Purposes
Tuition classification is governed by Colorado statutes that apply to all state-funded institutions in Colorado. Institutions are bound by the provisions of this statute and are not free to make exceptions to the established rules.
Students are initially classified as in-state or out-of-state for tuition purposes at the time of application. The classification is based upon information furnished by the student and from other relevant sources. After the student’s status is determined, it remains unchanged in the absence of satisfactory evidence.
Once a student is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes, the student must petition for a change in classification. Petitions must be submitted no later than the Monday prior to the first official day of classes of the term for which the student wishes to be classified as a resident. It is preferred that petitions be received 30 days prior to the beginning of the term. Late petitions will not be considered until the next semester. Specific information may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.
The final decision regarding tuition status rests with the university. Questions regarding residence (tuition) status should be referred only to the tuition classification officer. Opinions of other persons are not official or binding upon the university. Additional information is available on our website.
The statute provides that an in-state student is one who has been a legally domiciled in Colorado for one year or more immediately preceding the beginning of the term for which the in-state classification is being sought. Persons over 23 years of age or who are emancipated establish their own legal domicile. Those who are under 23 years of age and are not emancipated assume the domicile of their parent or court-appointed legal guardian. A non-emancipated minor’s parent/legal guardian must, therefore, have a legal domicile in Colorado for one year or more before the minor may be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes.
Domicile is established when one has a permanent place of habitation in Colorado and the intention of making Colorado one’s true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation. The tuition statute places the burden of establishing a Colorado domicile on the person seeking to establish the domicile. The question of intent is one of documentable fact and needs to be shown by substantial connections with the state sufficient to evidence such intent. Legal domicile in Colorado for tuition purposes begins the day after connections with Colorado are made sufficient to evidence one’s intent. The most common ties with the state are
- Obtaining a Colorado driver’s license/ID,
- Obtaining automobile registration in Colorado,
- Colorado voter registration,
- permanent employment in Colorado and most important,
- payment of state income taxes as a resident by one whose income is sufficient to be taxed.
Caution: payment or filing of back taxes in no way serves to establish legal domicile retroactive to the time filed. In order to qualify for in-state tuition for a given term, the 12-month waiting period (which begins when the legal domicile is established) must be over by the first day of classes for the term in question. If one’s 12-month waiting period expires during the semester, in-state tuition cannot be granted until the next semester.
Resident Tuition for Military-Connected Students
Military-connected students living in the state of Colorado may be able to receive in-state residency for tuition purposes at CU Denver and CU Anschutz as designated by Federal or State Law. Please review the information on the Veteran and Military Student Services website for more information.
Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)
A student can qualify for the WRGP and pay the resident tuition rate. In order to qualify for WRGP the student must enroll into a qualifying degree program. A student can obtain more information by contacting the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Members of the American Indian Tribes with Historical Ties to Colorado
A student who is a registered member of one of the federally recognized American Indian tribes with historical ties to Colorado, as designated by the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs in partnerships with History Colorado, is eligible to be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes. A student can obtain more information by contacting the Office of the Registrar.