Are You A California Resident or Nonresident?

This information will help you determine if you are a California resident for purposes of attending a California community college.

Residents of California are entitled to attend a community college by paying the community college enrollment fee. California residents pay $46 per unit.

The nonresident tuition is $221 per unit. This fee is in addition to the enrollment and health fees, for students who are not residents of California for tuition purposes. Please note, the nonresident tuition will increase to $245 per unit effective Fall 2018.

To qualify as a California resident you must verify physical presence in California and intent to become a resident one year prior to the residency determination date (the day before classes begin for a new term). The one-year period begins when you are not only present in California, but also have demonstrated clear intent to become a resident of California.

The burden of proof is on the student to verify both physical presence in California and intent to make California your residence. No single document is controlling or decisive.

Please bring ALL documents necessary to establish residency to the Residency Office.

Primary Evidence Documents For Intent:

  • California State and Federal tax return with W-2 forms (required)
  • California automobile registration
  • California driver's license and /or California ID card
  • California voter registration
  • Military personnel: Active Duty

Primary Evidence Documents (as applicable) For Physical Presence:

  • Bank account statements
  • California license for professional practice/membership in California organizations
  • Petition for divorce in California
  • Utility bills
  • Proof of employment (pay stubs)
  • Rental agreement
  • DD-214 form
  • Verification of public assistance

Students Who Have Done Any of the Following are Nonresidents for Tuition Purposes:

  • Voter registration in another state
  • Petitioner for divorce in another state
  • Attend an out-of-state institution as a resident of that state
  • Declare nonresidency for State income tax purposes
  • Possess a driver's license and/or vehicle registration in another state
  • Residing in the U.S. with certain visas (see Residency staff for more information)
  • There are special residency rules which apply to specific circumstances. Active duty military attend at resident rate and spouses/dependents may be eligible for waivers. Please consult with the residency office for more information.

Residency Determination

  • Final determination of residency will be made by the college at the time of admission or readmission
  • Evidence will be required to prove physical presence in California and intent to make California the legal residence
  • Residence determination shall be made as of the day before the first day of the semester of application
  • All documents must be submitted in a timely manner for residency determination

This information has been extracted from California Education Code sections 68000 and after, and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 54000–54072