Residency FAQ


Why should I establish residency?

Establishing residency allows a student to take advantage of the lower registration fees charged to residents of California. In many cases, it may reduce education costs substantially.

Will my documents be returned once they have been used to determine residency? 

Please note that documents and records received by CSUDH will become the property of the university and will not be returned to the student or forwarded to any other institution or agency.

Do I qualify for resident classification?

To be eligible for resident classification, a student must have established and maintained permanent residence in California at least one full year and one day prior to the residence determination date. A student is not eligible if s/he move to California primarily to attend a California higher education institution or because of a financial hardship. The student must prove that s/he moved to California permanently and are not merely living in California temporarily.

What is the deadline to submit a complete request of reclassification? 

The Residence Document Deadline is set for each academic term and is part of the Residence Determination Date. The Residence Document Deadline for each term are as follows:

  • Fall Semester          Septemeber 20th
  • Spring Semester      January 25th
  • Summer Semester   June 1st 

How is residency determined?

Residence status is based on the Application for Admission, Residence Questionnaire, Reclassification Request Form, or, as necessary, other evidence as furnished by the student. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish a right to classification as a California resident will be classified as a nonresident. The burden of proof of residency rests solely with the student.

How do I establish permanent residency?

To be classified as a California resident for tuition purposes, a student (or parent, in the case of a minor) must demonstrate physical presence and intent to make California his or her permanent home. This is established by providing evidence of one year and 1 day immediately prior to the residence determination date. For forms and instructions, click here.

How do I qualify for resident status as an adult student?

Applicants 19 years of age or older by the residence determination date are considered adults for residency purposes. To be eligible for resident status, adult students must maintain a physical presence in California and show intent to make California his or her permanent home.

How do I qualify for resident status as a minor student?

Applicants younger than 19 years of age by the residence determination date generally derive legal residence from the parent with whom the minor maintains or last maintained his or her place of abode. Minor students must report parental information, as well as their own, to verify California residence.

What happens to a student who has been classified as a nonresident?

A student who is classified as a nonresident may seek reclassification for any subsequent term. In addition to the Residency Reclassification Request form, and documentation that shows physical presence and intent to make California their permanent home, students must also demonstrate financial independence. Financial independence can be demonstrated by the parent's last three years of their federal income tax returns.

How can I appeal my residency classification?

Students classified as nonresidents may appeal to the Chancellor's Office within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the notification of the final campus decision. The campus decision may be appealed only if at least one fo the following applies:  

1. The decision was based on:

  1. a significant error of fact;
  2. a significant procedural error; or
  3. an incorrect application of law which, if corrected, would require that the student be reclassified as a resident; and/or,

2. Significant new information, not previously known or available to the student, become available after the date of the campus decision classifying the student as a nonresident and based on the new information, the classification as as a nonresident is incorrect.

Students must explain why the appeal meets one or more of the above appeal criteria and provide supporting documentation. For example, a "significant error of fact" could be demonstrated by stating that the campus incorrectly determined that a specific document, such as a driver's license, was untimely and by providing a copy of the document establishing the error. An appeal that only states "a significant error of fact" will be denied.

A campus residency classification appeal must be submitted online at

If I am undocumented can I go to college?

An undocumented student can attend any college or university in California, as long as s/he meets the requirements and are admitted/accepted. To avoid paying out-of-state tuition, a student must meet the AB 540 eligibility requirements.

What is AB 540?

The Assembly Bill 540 (AB-540) and AB-2000 permits exemption from paying nonresident tuition fees for certain eligible California high school graduates. To qualify for in-state tuition fees under AB-540 or AB-2000, a student must meet the eligibility requirements for this program. Applicants must submit an AB-540 Affidavit (California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form) to the Office of Admission. AB-540 and AB-2000 does not grant residency status; rather, it exempts/waives a student from paying nonresident tuition fees. A student will continue to be classified as a nonresident.