Residency Reclassification

The law governing residence for tuition purposes at the California State University is California Education Code sections 68000-68084, 68120-68134, and 89705-89707.5, and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 41900-41916. This material can be viewed on the Internet by accessing the California State University's website.

Each campus's Admissions Office is responsible for determining the residence status of all new and returning students based on the Application for Admission, Residency Questionnaire, Reclassification Request Form, and, as necessary, other evidence furnished by the student. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish eligibility for resident classification will be classified as a nonresident.

Generally, establishing California residence for tuition purposes requires a combination of physical presence and intent to remain indefinitely. An adult who, at least one full year prior to the residence determination date for the term in which enrollment is contemplated, has been both physically present in the state and has evidence of intent to remain in California indefinitely, may establish California residence for tuition purposes.

Evidence demonstrating intent can vary from case to case and may include, but is not limited to, the absence of residential ties to any other state, California voter registration and voting in California elections, maintaining California registration and driver's license, maintaining active California bank accounts, filing California income tax returns, owning residential property or occupying or renting an apartment where permanent belongings are kept, maintaining active memberships in California professional or social organizations, and maintaining a permanent military address and home of record in California.

Adult noncitizens establish residence in the same manner as citizens, unless precluded by the Immigration and Nationality Act from establishing domicile in the United States. Unmarried minor noncitizens derive their residence in the same manner as unmarried minor citizens except that both parent and minor must have an immigration status consistent with establishing domicile in the United States.

Exceptions to the general residence requirements are contained in California Education Code sections 68070-68120 and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, sections 41900-41916, and include, but are not limited to, members of the military and their dependents, certain credentialed employees of school districts and students who have attended high school in California and graduated or attained the equivalent. Whether an exception applies to a particular student cannot be determined before the submission of an application for admission and, as necessary, additional supporting documentation. Because neither campus nor Chancellor's Office staff may give advice on the application of these laws, applicants are strongly urged to review the material for themselves and consult with a legal advisor.

Nonresident students seeking reclassification are required to complete a supplemental questionnaire including questions concerning their financial dependence, which will be considered along with physical presence and intent in determining reclassification.

The residence determination dates for Sonoma State University, a semester campus, are:
Fall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .September 20
Spring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .January 25

If you with to apply for a residency reclassification, please follow these instructions:

  1. Complete a Residence Reclassification Request form
  2. Include copies of the following documents to verify California residential ties. (Please DO NOT staple items together)
    • Registering to vote and voting in California.
    • Registering a motor vehicle owned or operated in California.
    • Obtaining a California driver's license or ID card.
    • Filing a resident or nonresident state personal income tax return.
    • Establishing a permanent residence in California.
    • Maintaining an active bank account with a bank with a California branch.
    • Licensing from the state for professional practice.
    • Listing a permanent California address on home of record, or other military records.
    • Maintaining active resident memberships in professional organizations.
  3. Financial Independence. In the case of a residency reclassification request, the campus must also consider whether the student is financially dependent on non-resident parents as defined in the California Education Code, section 68044 which mandates that any student who has been claimed as a dependent on anyone's income tax return within the past three years, who has accepted more than $750 in financial support in any form, or lived with a parent during the past three years shall not be considered financially independent and therefore, cannot meet the core requirement of demonstrated financial independence necessary to qualify for reclassification from nonresident to resident.
  4. Mail documentation to:
    Residence Reclassification
    Sonoma State University
    Office of Admissions & Records
    1801 E Cotati Ave.
    Rohnert Park, CA 94928

If your request is denied:
A campus residence classification appeal must be in writing and submitted to:
The California State University
Office of General Counsel
401 Golden Shore, 4th Floor
Long Beach, California 90802-4210

The appeal must be submitted within 120 days of notification of the final campus decision. The Office of General Counsel can either decide the appeal or send the matter back to the campus for further review.

Students incorrectly classified as residents or incorrectly granted an exception from nonresident tuition are subject to reclassification as nonresidents and payment of nonresident tuition in arrears. If incorrect classification results from false or concealed facts, the student is subject to discipline pursuant to Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. Resident students who become nonresidents or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception must immediately notify the Admissions Office. Changes may have been made in the rate of nonresident tuition and in the statutes and regulations governing residence for tuition purposes in California between the time this information is published and the relevant residence determination date. Students are urged to review the statutes and regulations stated above.