Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I establish residency?

Why should I establish residency?

Establishing residency allows a student to take advantage of the lower registration fees charged to residents of California. In many cases, it may reduce education costs substantially.

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Which form do I use, the Residence Questionnaire form or Residence Reclassification Request?

The Residence Questionnaire form is for new and returning applicants.  This includes former CSUDH students who have lost continuing student standing or have graduated and are reapplying for admissions.  

The Residence Reclassification Request form is for continuing students that have missed the residence determination deadline or continuing students who are now eligible to establish California residency.

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Do I qualify for resident classification?

To be eligible for resident classification, a student must have established and maintained permanent residence in California at least one full year and 1 day prior to the residence determination date. A student is not eligible if s/he move to California primarily to attend a California higher education institution or because of a financial hardship.  The student must prove that s/he moved to California permanently and are not merely living in California temporarily.

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How is residency determined?

Residence status is based on the Application for Admission, Residence Questionnaire, Reclassification Request Form, or as necessary, other evidence as furnished by the student. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish a right to classification as a California resident will be classified as a non-resident.  The burden of proof of residency rests solely with the student.

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How do I establish permanent residency?

To be classified as a California resident for tuition purposes, a student (or parent in the case of a minor), must demonstrate physical presence and intent to make California his or her permanent home.  This is established by providing evidence of one year and 1 day immediately prior to the residence determination date.  For forms and instructions, click here.

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How do I qualify for resident status as an adult student?

Applicants 19 years of age or older by the residence determination date are considered adults for residency purposes. To be eligible for resident status adult students must maintain a physical presence in California and show intent to make California his or her permanent home.

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How do I qualify for resident status as a minor student?

Applicants younger than 19 years of age by the residence determination date generally derive legal residence from the parent with whom the minor maintains or last maintained his or her place of abode. Minor students must report parental information, as well as their own, to verify California residence.

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What happens to a student who has been classified as a non-resident?

A student who is classified as a non-resident may seek reclassification for any subsequent term.  In addition to the Residency Reclassification Request form, and documentation that shows physical presence and intent to make California their permanent home, students must also demonstrate financial independence.  Financial independence can be demonstrated by the parent's last three years of their federal income tax returns.

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How can I appeal my residency classification?

Students classified as non-residents may appeal a final campus decision within 120 days of notification by the campus. A campus residency classification appeal must be in writing and submitted to the CSU Office of General Counsel.  The CSU Office of General Counsel can either decide the appeal or send the matter back to the campus for further review.

The California State University (CSU)
Office of General Counsel
401 Golden Shore, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802-4210

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If I am undocumented can I go to college?

An undocumented student can attend any college or university in California as long as s/he meets the requirements and are admitted/accepted. To avoid paying out-of-state tuition, a student may meet the AB 540 eligibility requirements.

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What is AB 540?

The Assembly Bill 540 (AB-540) and AB-2000 permits exemption from paying non-resident tuition fees for certain eligible California high school graduates. To qualify for in-state tuition fees under AB-540 or AB-2000, a student must meet the eligibility requirements for this program. Applicants must submit an AB-540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form) to the Office of Admission. AB-540 and AB-2000 does not grant residency status; rather, it exempts/waives a student from paying non-resident tuition fees. A student will continue to be classified as a non-resident.

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