Washington Residency Status
Washington residency status is determined when a student applies for admission. To be classified as a Washington resident for tuition purposes, a student must have established a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington, primarily for purposes other than education, for 12 consecutive months before the beginning of the term for which the student is applying. For a dependent student, one or both parents or legal guardians must have maintained a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington for twelve months. Independent students (students who have been financially independent for the prior and current year) can establish residency themselves.
Residency for Military Personnel
If you are active duty military, stationed in the state of Washington, you, your spouse and dependents qualify as residents for tuition purposes. At the time you, your spouse or dependent family members apply for admission, you must provide official documentation.
Veteran students and dependents meeting the following criteria may be eligible to receive for instate tuition:
- A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
- A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
- A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
Establishing A Bona Fide Domicile (official place of residence)
To establish domicile in the state of Washington, students must provide documentation showing they meet the following guidelines:
- Students must prove conclusively that they have come to Washington State for reasons other than education.
- Live in the state for at least 12 consecutive months as legal residents. A legal resident is an individual who has relinquished all valid legal ties with their former state of residence and established such ties in Washington in accordance with state and local legislation
- Establish legal ties, such as:
- Employment (if taking more than 6 credits a quarter during the first year of being present in Washington State)
- Driver's license/state ID. If students possess current, out-of-state driver's licenses, they must obtain a Washington State Driver's License within 30 days of arrival. If they don’t not have a driver's license from any state, they must obtain a Washington State ID Card.
- Vehicle registration. If students own or drive vehicles in Washington, the vehicles must be registered in Washington.
- Voter Registration. If students have current, out-of-state voter's registrations, they must be registered to vote in Washington.
- Establish a bank account in Washington.
- Be financially independent for the current and prior calendar years.
Examples of other factors that may help students establish proof of domicile include: disposition of property in the former state of residence, relocation of household members, participation in local community organizations, and generally becoming involved in activities that will help prove their intent to make Washington their official place of residence. The evidence provided must qualify the student as a resident prior to the first day of the quarter. The burden of proof is on the applicant
Financially Dependent Student
Students who are financially dependent upon parents or legal guardians (provide court documentation verifying the guardianship is valid) must provide documentation to prove their parents/legal guardians have established a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington. Students must also provide documentation to show they are dependents claimed by the parents/legal guardians on the most recent U.S. Federal Income Tax return.
Students whose parents or legal guardians are either divorced or legally separated may be classified as residents if the following conditions are met:
- The student is claimed as a dependent on the most recent U.S. Federal Income Tax return by one of the parents/legal guardians.
- At least one parent or legal guardian has established a bona fide domicile in the State of Washington.
- The student and parents/legal guardians must fill out the Residency Questionnaire (students, complete the first page. Parents/legal guardians, complete the second).
If you have met the above criteria please submit the Residency Questionnaire
We do not accept faxed or email copies of this form.
IMPORTANT: Application for a change in classification shall be accepted up to the thirtieth calendar day following the first day of the instruction of the quarter for which application is made. Applications made after that date in any quarter shall be considered to have been filed as of the first day of the subsequent quarter.
The determination for residency can be complicated and other factors may help students establish proof of domicile. After filling out the residency questionnaire a residency officer will review it and may request additional documentation.
WA State Higher Education Residency Affidavit
The State of Washington allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at Washington State colleges and universities.
To qualify for resident tuition status and/or Washington College Grant eligibility, students must complete the affidavit certifying that they have met the following conditions:
- The student has earned a high school diploma, GED, or diploma equivalent prior to the student’s first term at the college, and
- The student has maintained a primary residence in Washington for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before their first term at the college.
If you meet the above criteria please complete the Washington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit at the time of admissions.
- If you applied/will apply for state financial aid using the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA), then you already submitted/will submit this affidavit as part of your WASFA, and do not need to use this form. The WASFA is at wsac.wa.gov/wasfa.
- If you applied/will apply for federal and state financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or if you are not applying for aid, submit this form to the college.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
What Is DACA
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.
DACA on its own does not qualify for in-state tuition.
If you have been approved for DACA you will need to submit official documentation such as an I-797, Notice of action form showing that you have been approved.