Student Residency

To qualify as a resident student, state law requires that a student establish a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington for a period of one year, for purposes other than educational, prior to the start of the semester or quarter for which the student intends to register. Washington’s public colleges and universities are required to apply uniform rules in determining whether a student pays resident or nonresident tuition. 

The following are three areas of residency determination that cover special circumstances:

Undocumented students or non-immigrant visa holders

Presumed undocumented students or non-immigrant visa holders who meet certain criteria are eligible for resident student status and resident tuition rates. To qualify, students must complete an affidavit promising to apply for permanent residency in the United States at the earliest possible opportunity and indicating a willingness to engage in activities necessary to acquire citizenship. More information to help colleges implement the law is available here.

Students in Oregon border counties

Students who live in 13 Oregon border counties are eligible for resident tuition rates at some Washington community colleges and at Washington State University Vancouver and Tri-Cities under certain conditions.

Pacific Islanders

A report titled Residency Determination for Tuition Purposes and Basic Financial Aid Eligibility can assist in determining resident eligibility for Pacific Islanders. In addition, Financial Aid eligibility for Pacific Islanders is reviewed. The information was compiled from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, State Department sources, and Washington State statutes.