Residency Classification for Tuition Purposes
Florida Residency Rules/Regulations
It is important to note that Florida Statute Section 1009.21 declares that all admitted students are non-residents until an independent review provides sufficient information to change the decision permanently. The burden of proof to overturn the original decision remains with the student.
Since every applicant is presumed to be a non-resident until sufficient proof is provided, Florida Law prohibits students from being granted the benefit of the doubt on residency-related issues. Students will need to provide sufficient documentation to reverse a residency decision, and they must provide that information prior to the start of classes.
Instructions for Claiming Florida Residency
All students who wish to claim Florida residency for tuition purposes must fully complete the Florida Residency Classification Form. Depending upon the review of your affidavit, additional documentation may be required to support your claim of residency for tuition purposes.
1. When you apply for admission you will be prompted to complete the residency affidavit. You do not have to submit the affidavit at the same time as the application; however, it must be completed and submitted prior to the start of classes. Since each affidavit is individually reviewed, it is in your best interest to submit the form as soon as possible. Additional documentation may be required to prove your claim of Florida residency for tuition purposes, so you want to make sure that you have enough time to submit the required items prior to the deadline.
2. When the residency affidavit arrives in the Office of Admissions, it is individually reviewed and a residency determination is made. This determination can be seen in your MyUWF student portal. If the form is incomplete, or if additional documentation is required, your application checklist will let you know what must be done to complete the residency determination process.
Acceptable Residency Documentation
At least two items from the following list of options are required to establish Florida residency for tuition purposes. The documents are used to establish the student, or parent/guardian, has resided in Florida for the consecutive 12 months that precede the start of the desired term of entry. Of course, some evidence is more persuasive than others, so it is possible that you may be asked to provide more. Be advised that successful documentation also suggests there should be no evidence to the contrary. Also, remember that this documentation is strongest when we have the original issue dates.
Documentation must come from the independent individual, whether that is the student or the parent/guardian of the student. For more information about Independent or Dependent Residency Classification.
(Must have at least one of the two required documents submitted from this list)
- Florida driver's license (if known to be held in another state previously, must have relinquished)
- Florida identification card (if evidence of no ties to another state)Florida voter registration card
- Florida vehicle registration
- Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida (at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period)
- Proof of purchase of a permanent home in Florida that is occupied as a primary residence of the claimant
- Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years (if Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within last 12 months)
- Proof of homestead exemption in Florida
(May be used in conjunction with one primary document)
- Declaration of domicile in Florida (12 months from the date the document was sworn and subscribed as noted by the Clerk of Circuit Court)
- A Florida professional or occupational license
- Florida incorporation documents evidencing family ties in Florida
- Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
- Any other documentation that supports the student's request for resident status, including: utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments, proof of bank account in Florida, lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments or a letter from landlord, or state or court documents evidencing legal ties to Florida
Florida Statues Section 1009.21 does provide a list of Known Exceptions to the above residency requirements. In addition, students do have the right to appeal their residency classification through the Enrollment Affairs Office. Visit Residency Appeals Process for more information about residency appeals.
Alabama Residency Differential Tuition
Residents of Alabama are eligible for the Alabama Differential Tuition Plan, a reduced out-of-state tuition rate. For consideration Alabama residents must demonstrate:
- US Citizenship
- Independent or Dependent status on recent tax filings
- Permanent Resident (green card holder) or legal alien granted indefinite stay by the US Department of Homeland Security
To qualify for the Alabama Tuition Differential Plan, students must complete the Alabama Residency Classification Form. The circumstances they need to demonstrate include the following:
- Established and maintained legal ties with Alabama through an active driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration, Declaration of Domicile, etc. for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the start of classes for the desired term of entry.
- Member of the United States Armed Forces, on active duty pursuant to military orders, stationed within the state of Alabama or whose state of residence, evident by the HOR or LES, is Alabama.
- Be the spouse of a qualified United States Armed Forces service member with a copy of the marriage certificate. Be the dependent child of a qualified United States Armed Forces service member with the most recent federal tax returns demonstrating the list of dependents.