Residency

UWF is required to determine the residency status for tuition purposes on every admitted student who might enroll. You may be considered a Florida resident by residing in the state, but being a Florida resident for tuition purposes has more stringent requirements.

Residency Statue
Section 1009.21, Florida Statutes, outlines the broad legal parameters for establishing residency for tuition purposes in Florida public higher education institutions.

Florida statute Section 1009.21

In accordance with Section 1009.21 and the Board of Governors all public higher education institutions in the state of Florida are required to adhere to specific requirements in making determinations for residency classification.

Definition of Residency for Tuition Purposes

The statute allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to be classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes if the applicant, or the dependent applicant's parent/legal guardian, has been a legal resident of the State for at least 12 months preceding the first day of classes of the term for which Florida residency is sought.

Initial Classification

All degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students whose previous enrollment (if any) was more than 12 months prior to the start of the term for which the student is applying must present acceptable proof of legal Florida residency at the time of application for admission/readmission in order to be considered for Florida residency for tuition purposes.

If you are a current student, please go to the Registrar's website to learn more about residency reclassification.

1 Completely fill out the residency section of the online application. Read the directions thoroughly. All legal ties to Florida must be dated 12 months prior to the first day of classes of the term for which you are applying. For further information, please see the Documentation section below.
2 If you do not complete the residency section of the application, you may submit the Residency Affidavit Form. Read the directions thoroughly. All legal ties to Florida must be dated 12 months prior to the first day of classes of the term for which you are applying. For further information, please see the Documentation section below.
3 The affidavit along with any additional residency documentation that may be required to satisfy your Florida residency qualification must be submitted no later than the first week of classes. This is a strict deadline as your tuition and fees are determined by your residency classification and are due the last day of the drop and add period.
4 Once Graduate Admissions receives the residency affidavit, it will be reviewed. If additional residency documentation is needed to support your residency claim or the residency affidavit is incomplete, Graduate Admissions will send out a request (either via email or hard-copy mail) for this information. You may check your residency status in MyUWF.
5 Submitting the residency affidavit and/or residency documentation does not automatically qualify you for Florida residency for tuition purposes. All documentation will be reviewed and a residency determination will be made.

The determination of Florida residency is reached in the following situations:

a) Student provides information or documentation to evidence their bona fide residency in Florida (or bona fide residency of a parent or legal guardian if dependent) for the requisite 12-month qualifying period prior to the first day of classes of the term for which the residency status is sought.
b) Student meets one of the statutory exceptions or qualifications for resident or temporary resident status and submits any required information of documentation to verify such eligibility. For further information on statutory exceptions and/or qualification, please see the Exceptions section below.

Residency documentation should be sent to:
The University of West Florida
Graduate Admissions
11000 University Pkwy., Bldg 11
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750

Documentation

The claimant (the person claiming Florida residency), which is either the independent student or the dependent student's parent or legal guardian, should provide the necessary residency documentation.

The documentation supporting the establishment of legal residence must be dated 12 months prior to the first day of classes of the term for which you are applying. All documentation is subject to verification. At least two of the following documents must be submitted, with dates that evidence the 12-month qualifying period. At least one of the documents must be from the First Tier.

*As some evidence is more persuasive than others, more than two documents may be requested. No single piece of documentation will be considered conclusive. Additionally, there must be an absence of information that contradicts the applicant's claim of residency.

First Tier (at least one of the two documents submitted must be from this list)
A Florida voter's registration card.
A Florida driver's license.
A State of Florida identification card.
A Florida vehicle registration.
Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual's parent if the individual is a dependent child.
Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.
Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years (2 or more years) if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months.
Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a consecutive 12-month period.
Second Tier (may be used in conjunction with one document from First Tier)
A declaration of domicile in Florida.
A Florida professional or occupational license.
Florida incorporation.
A document evidencing family ties in Florida.
Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
Any other documentation that supports the student's request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
Examples of "other" documentation:
Utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments
Lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments
State or court documents evidencing legal ties to Florida
Exceptions


Residency Exceptions are listed in the table below.

Type of Exception/QualificationRequirements/EvidenceAuthority
Dependent living for 5 yrs. with adult relative who is legal resident of FL for at least 12 mo. prior to student's qualification 5 years continued residence w/ relative immediately prior & evidence of 12-mo. residency of dependent and relative Section 1009.21 (2)(b), FS
Person who was enrolled as FL resident, abandons FL residency, and then re-enrolls within 12 months Evidence of previous enrollment as resident (benefit applies only once) Section 1009.21(9), FS
Active duty military residing or stationed in FL and spouse/dependents Military documents  Section 1009.21(10)(a), FS
Active duty drilling member of FL National Guard National Guard Documents Section 1009.21(10)(a), FS
Military personnel (& spouse/dependents) not stationed in FL but home of record is FL DD Form 2058  Section 1009.21(10)(a), FS
Active duty military (& spouse/dependents) living in another state (contiguous county) & attending a FL public institution within 50 miles of where stationed Military documents Section 1009.21 (10)(b), FS
US citizens living on Isthmus of Panama and spouse/dependent children Completed 12 mo. at FSU Panama Canal Branch Section 1009.21 (10)(c), FS
FT instructional & administrative personnel (& spouse/ dependents) employed by FL public school system, community colleges, or universities Employment paperwork/ See S. 1012.01, FS, for definitions of instructional and administrative Section 1009.21(10)(d), FS
Students receiving Latin American/Caribbean scholarships from US or FL government Scholarship paperwork Section 1009.21(10)(e), FS
SREB Academic Common Market graduate students Certified letter from ACM coordinator in home state Section 1009.25(10)(f), FS 
FT employees of state agencies/political subdivisions if fees paid by state for law enforcement/corrections training Employer paperwork Section 1009.21(10)(g), FS 
McKnight Doctoral Fellows and Finalists US citizenship / Scholarship paperwork Section 1009.21(10)(h), FS
US citizens teaching abroad at a Dept. of Defense Dependent School or American International School Enrolled in graduate program for FL teaching certificate Section 1009.21(10)(i), FS 
Active duty Canadian military (& spouse/dependents) residing/stationed in FL under NORAD agreement & attending institution within 50 miles of where stationed  Military documents Section 1009.21(10)(j), FS 
Foreign nation military liaison officers (& spouse/dependents) residing or stationed in FL & attending institution within 50 miles of where stationed Military documents Section 1009.21(10)(k), FS 
Qualified beneficiaries of the FL Prepaid College Program Prepaid ID card  Section 1009.98, FS
Linkage Institute participants awarded partial or full exemptions from residency requirements Linkage Institute verification  Section 288.8175, FS
Lawful permanent residents (applied for status) Permanent Resident Card & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent  Rule 6A- 10.044(4)(b); Regulation 7.005(2)
Other permanent status persons Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent (2); Regulation 7.005(2) 
Asylees Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent Rule / Sub (2); Regulation 7.005(2) 
Parolees Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent  Rule / Sub (2); Regulation 7.005(2) 
Refugees Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent Rule / Sub (2); Regulation 7.005(2) 
Approved Visa Categories: A, E, G, H-1B, I, K, L, N, O,R, NATO 1-7, S, T, U, V Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent Rule / Sub (3); Regulation 7.005(3) 
Citizens of Micronesia or Marshall Islands Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent Rule / Sub (4); Regulation 7.005(4) 
Beneficiaries of the Family Unity Program Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent Rule / Sub (4); Regulation 7.005(4)
Individuals granted one of the following: Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Withholding of Removal status, Suspension of Deportation status or Cancellation of Removal, Stay of Deportation or Stay of Removal, Deferred Action Status, Deferred Enforced Departure Status Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent  Rule / Sub (4); Regulation 7.005(4) 
Applicants for adjustment of status Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent Rule / Sub (4); Regulation 7.005(4)
Asylum applicants USCIS receipt or Immigration court stamp & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent Rule / Sub (4); Regulation 7.005(4)
Cuban-Haitian Entrant Immigration papers & evidence of 12-mo. residency of applicant or parent if applicant is dependent. An I-94, I551, and Cuban or Haitian passport may be expired for Category One Cuban- Haitian entrants but not for other categories of Cuban-Haitian entrants. Refer to Appendix C for documentation for Cuban-Haitian entrants. Rule / Sub (4); Regulation 7.005

 

Things You Should Know


The Difference Between Physical Presence and Legal Residence:
It is important to note that living or attending school in Florida is not tantamount to establishing a legal residence for tuition purposes. Maintaining a legal residence in Florida requires substantial physical presence as a condition. Meaning: Attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition purposes. Further: living in Florida for a year or longer does NOT automatically qualify you for Florida residency.

The Implications of Continuous Enrollment Classified as an Out-of-State Student:
The student who comes to Florida to enroll full-time in a Florida higher education institution as an out-of-state resident and continuously enrolls in a Florida institution WILL NOT NORMALLY meet the Florida residency requirement for in-state tuition regardless of the length of time enrolled.

The Burden of Proof is on the Applicant:
To be considered a "Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes", you must prove through official and/or legal documents that you have moved to Florida permanently and are not merely living in Florida temporarily while you attend UWF.

 

Residency Appeals
Students seeking an appeal of the residency classification decision rendered by Graduate Admissions upon completion of a formal residency classification review shall submit a written appeal along with any additional supporting documentation to the University Residency Appeals Committee for review. The Committee will review all information and documentation submitted with the appeal, as well as previously submitted documents and related information in the student's application record. The Residency Appeal Committee is designated to review residency decisions - not the residency classification process nor associated deadlines. These areas of the residency classification review may not be appealed.

The Residency Appeals Committee meets as needed, but no more than once per week during the semester.

You will be notified in writing of the decision made by the Residency Appeals Committee. The decision of the Committee is final.

Appeals should be submitted as follows:

University Residency Appeals Committee
c/o Office of Enrollment Management
Building 18, Room 125
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750

 

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