Residency Requirements

ADMISSION INFORMATION (AR 2.2.2)

Students must file a Student Information Form with the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services at the college of attendance. There is no charge for this service.

  1. Student Status
    1. Freshman - A student who has completed fewer than 30 credit hours 100-level courses and above.
    2. Sophomore - A student who has completed 30 credit hours or more in 100-level courses and above.
    3. Unclassified - A student who has an associate degree or higher.
  2. Student Identification Number
    Disclosure of the social security number is voluntary (ARS §15-1823). However, students must use social security numbers for reporting information pertaining to potential educational tax credits and for processing federal financial aid applications and Veterans Administration benefits.
  3. Residency for Tuition Purposes (See Appendix S-1)
    All students are classified for tuition purposes under one of the following residency classifications:
    1. Maricopa County resident
    2. Out-of-County resident
    3. Out-of-State resident (including F-1 non-immigrant students and students on other non-immigrant visas)

    Residency for tuition purposes is determined in accordance with state law (ARS §§15-1801et seq.) and regulations of the Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board. All of the Maricopa Community Colleges are subject to the above statutes and regulations. Students who have questions about their residency should contact the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services for clarification.

    1. Implementation
      1. An applicant must be eligible to attend post-secondary education in the United States prior to being eligible to register for classes and pay fees.
      2. Domicile status must be established before the student registers and pays fees. It is the student's responsibility to register under the correct domicile status.
      3. Enforcement of domicile requirements shall be the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges. The Chancellor has charged the Director of Admissions and Records or other designee at each college to make the initial domicile classification. In determining a student's classification, the college may consider all evidence, written or oral, presented by the student and any other information received from any source which is relevant to determining classification. The college may request written sworn statements or sworn testimony of the student.
      4. A request for review of the initial classification may be made to a district review committee. The request must be in writing, signed by the student and accompanied by a sworn statement of all facts relevant to the matter. The request must be filed with the admissions officer of the college within ten (10) days of receipt of notification of classification as a non-resident. Failure to properly file a request for review within the prescribed time limit constitutes a waiver of review for the current enrollment period. The decision of the review committee shall be final.
    2. Definitions
      1. “Armed Forces of the United States” means the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, the commissioned corps of the United States Public Health Services, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Guard, or any military reserve unit of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States.
      2. "Continuous attendance" means enrollment at one of Maricopa Community Colleges as a full-time or part-time student for a normal academic year since the beginning of the period for which continuous attendance is claimed. Students need not attend summer sessions or other such intersession beyond the normal academic year in order to maintain continuous attendance.
      3. "Maricopa County resident" means an individual lives in Maricopa County and has lived in the state of Arizona for at least one year prior (365 days) to the first day of the semester (as published in the approved MCCCD academic calendar posted online at Academic Calendars) and who is a United States citizen or in a lawful status. In-state residency must be established prior to county residency for those moving from other states. Refer to Section C for guidelines.
      4. "Domicile" means a person's true, fixed, and permanent home and place of habitation. It is the place where he or she intends to remain and to which he or she expects to return when he or she leaves without intending to establish a new domicile elsewhere. Visa status must confer the ability to establish domicile in the United States in order to be classified as an in-state student
      5. "Emancipated person" means a person who is neither under a legal duty of service to his parent nor entitled to the support of such parent under the laws of this state.
      6. "Full-time student" means one who registers for at least twelve (12) credit hours per semester.
      7. "Part-time student" means one who registers for fewer than twelve (12) credit hours per semester.
      8. "Parent" means a person's father, or mother, or if one parent has custody, that parent, or if there is no surviving parent or the whereabouts of the parents are unknown, then a guardian of an unemancipated person if there are not circumstances indicating that such guardianship was created primarily for the purpose of conferring the status of an in-state student on such unemancipated person.
    3. Criteria for Determining Residency
      1. In-State Student Status

        G. A person holding an honorable discharge from the uniformed services of the United States from either active duty or reserve or national guard status, or who has retired from active duty or reserve or national guard status, shall be granted immediate classification as an in state student and, while continuously enrolled, does not lose in state student classification if the person has demonstrated objective evidence of intent to be a resident of Arizona that, for the purposes of this section, includes at least one of the following:

        1. Except as otherwise provided in this article, no person having a domicile elsewhere than in this state is eligible for classification as an in-state student for tuition purposes. Applicants for in-state tuition status and other public benefits must demonstrate lawful presence in the United States by presenting one of the documents listed in this regulation, under the section "Demonstrating Lawful Presence."
        2. A person is not entitled to classification as an in-state student until the person is domiciled in this state for one year preceding the official starting day of the semester, except that a person whose domicile is in this state is entitled to classification as an in-state student if the person meets one of the following requirements:
          1. The person’s parent's domicile is in this state and the parent is allowed to claim the person as an exemption for state and federal tax purposes.
          2. The person is an employee of an employer which transferred the person to this state for employment purposes or the person is the spouse of such an employee.
          3. The person is an employee of a school District in this state and is under contract to teach on a full-time basis, or is employed as a full-time non-certified classroom aide, at a school within that school District. For purposes of this paragraph, the person is eligible for classification as an in-state student only for courses necessary to complete the requirements for certification by the state board of education to teach in a school District in this state. No member of the person’s family is eligible for classification as an in-state student if the person is eligible for classification as an in-state student pursuant to this paragraph, unless the family member is otherwise eligible for classification as an in-state student pursuant to this section. Eligibility for in-state tuition is subject to verification of intent to domicile in this state. Determination of residency is made by the admissions and records office/office of enrollment services.
          4. The person’s spouse has established domicile in this state for at least one year and has demonstrated intent and financial independence and is entitled to claim the student as an exemption for state and federal tax purposes or the person’s spouse was temporarily out of state for educational purposes, but maintained a domicile in this state. If the person is a non-citizen, the person must be in an eligible visa status pursuant to federal law to classify as an in-state student for tuition purposes.
        3. The domicile of an unemancipated person is that of such person's parent.
        4. An unemancipated person who remains in this state when such person's parent, who had been domiciled in this state, removes from this state is entitled to classification as an in-state student until attainment of the degree for which currently enrolled, as long as such person maintains continuous attendance.
        5. A person who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States and who is stationed in this state pursuant to military orders or who is the spouse or a dependent child of a person who is a member of the armed forces of the United States and who is stationed in this state pursuant to military orders is entitled to classification as an in-state student. The student does not lose in-state student classification while in continuous attendance toward the degree for which he or she is currently enrolled.
        6. A person who is a member of the armed forces of the United States or the spouse or a dependent of a member of the armed forces of the United States is entitled to classification as an in-state student if the member of the armed forces has claimed this state as the person's state of home record for at least twelve consecutive months before the member of the armed forces, spouse or dependent enrolls in a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Board of Regents or a community college under jurisdiction of a community college district governing board. For purposes of this subsection, the requirement that a person be domiciled in this state for one year before enrollment to qualify for in-state student classification does not apply.
        7. Immediate classification as an in-state student shall be granted to a veteran who meets the provisions of Arizona statute HB 2091, paragraph G, which reads:
          1. A person holding an honorable discharge from the uniformed services of the United States from either active duty or reserve or national guard status, or who has retired from active duty or reserve or national guard status, shall be granted immediate classification as an in state student and, while continuously enrolled, does not lose in state student classification if the person has demonstrated objective evidence of intent to be a resident of Arizona that, for the purposes of this section, includes at least one of the following:
          1. Registration to vote in this state.
          2. An Arizona driver license.
          3. Arizona motor vehicle registration.
          4. Employment history in Arizona.
          5. Transfer of major banking services to Arizona.
          6. Change of permanent address on all pertinent records.
          7. Other materials of whatever kind or source relevant to domicile or residency status.
        8. A veteran using Chapter 30 or 33 benefits who does not otherwise qualify under item 7 above (paragraph G of PL 2091), or a veteran’s dependent or spouse who is using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill ® (Chapter 33) benefits or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, may be eligible for immediate classification as an in-state student if he/she meets the provisions of Arizona statute HB 2091, paragraph H: h. A person who, while using educational assistance under 38 United States Code Chapter 30 or Chapter 33, enrolls in a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Board of Regents or a community college under the jurisdiction of a community college district governing board within three years after the veteran’s discharge from active duty service of ninety or more days or within three years after the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of ninety or more days or who remains continuously enrolled beyond the three year period following the discharge of the veteran or the service member’s death shall be granted immediate classification as an in-state student and does not lose in state student classification if the person has demonstrated objective evidence of intent to be a resident of this state that, for the purposes of this section, includes at least one of the following:

          Students are required to submit the following:

          1. Certificate of eligibility letter from the VA Awarding Chapter 30 or 33 benefits or the Fry scholarship, or the Dept. of Defense document approving the transfer of CH. 33 benefits

          2. DD-214 proving a minimum of 90 days service and no more than 3 years since discharge or since death of veteran

          3. Students must also provide at least one of the following:
            1. Registration to vote in this state.

            2. An Arizona driver license.

            3. Arizona motor vehicle registration.

            4. Employment history in Arizona.

            5. Transfer of major banking services in Arizona.

            6. Change of permanent address on all pertinent records.

              GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

        9. Per Arizona state law, a person who is honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States on either Active duty or Reserve or National Guard status, or who has retired from Active duty or Reserve or National Guard Status, shall be granted immediate classification as an in-state student on honorable discharge from the Armed forces and, while in continuous attendance toward the degree for which currently enrolled, does not lose in-state student classification if the person has met the following requirements:

          a. Registered to vote in this state.

          b. Demonstrated objective evidence of intent to be a resident of Arizona which, for the purposes of this section, include at least one of the following:

          1. An Arizona driver license

          2. Arizona motor vehicle registration

          3. Employment history in Arizona

          4. Transfer of major banking services to Arizona

          5. Change of permanent address on all pertinent records

          6. Other materials of whatever kind or source relevant to domicile or residency status

        10. A student using any VA educational benefits who does not otherwise qualify under items above shall be granted immediate classification as an in-state student, and while continuously enrolled does not lose in-state student classification if the person has demonstrated objective evidence of intent to be a resident of Arizona that for the purposes of this section, includes at least one of the following:

          1. Registration to vote in this state

          2. An Arizona driver license

          3. Arizona motor vehicle registration

          4. Employment history in Arizona

          5. Transfer of major banking services to Arizona.

          6. Change of permanent address on all pertinent records

          7. Other material of whatever kind or source relevant to domicile or residency status.

        11. A person who is a member of an Indian tribe recognized by the United States Department of the Interior whose reservation land lies in the state and extends into another state and who is a resident of the reservation is entitled to classification as an in-state student.
      2. Alien In-State Student Status
        1. An alien is entitled to classification as an in-state refugee student if such person has been granted refugee status in accordance with all applicable laws of the United States and has met all other requirements for domicile.
        2. In accordance with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-208; 110 Stat. 3009-546), a person who was not a citizen or legal resident of the United States or who is not lawfully present in the United States is not entitled to classification as an in-state student pursuant to ARS §15-1802 or entitled to classification as a county resident pursuant to ARS §15-1802.01. A student will be assessed out-of-state tuition until such time that documentation of lawful presence is received in the Office of Admissions and Records/Enrollment Services and (eligibility for) residency is confirmed. Documentation must be provided prior to the end of the term in which residency classification is being requested. Documentation received after the end of term will be used for residency determination in subsequent terms.
        3. In establishing domicile, the alien must not hold a visa that prohibits establishing domicile in the United States and this state. After meeting other domicile requirements, students holding valid, unexpired visas in the following categories may be classified as in-state students (See Appendix S-1A):

          A = Foreign Government Official or Adopted Child of a Permanent Resident
          E = Treaty Traders
          G = Principal Resident Representative of Recognized Foreign Member Government to International Staff
          H = H1B and H4
          K = Spouse or Child of Spouse of a US Citizen, Fiancé or Child of Fiancé of US Citizen
          L = Intracompany Transferee or Spouse or Child
          N6 = NATO-6
          U, T = Victim of Criminal Activity
          V = Spouses and Dependent Children of Lawful Permanent Residents

        4. Students who hold a current visa and have submitted an I-485 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), may establish residency if other domicile requirements have been met. Residency eligibility for I-485 applicants may be considered one year after the date on the USCIS Notice of Action letter (I-797c) confirming application for permanent resident status provided their prior visa status is one that allows the visa holder to establish domicile in the United States. Students must provide required residency documentation in addition to the (I-797) Notice of Action for residency consideration. In establishing domicile, the alien must be in a status that does not prohibit establishing domicile in this state for at least one year immediately preceding the official starting date of the semester. EXCEPTION: In the event that an alien student's parent is allowed to claim the student as an exemption for state or federal tax purposes (3C.1.2.A) (E.G. The student is under 23 and not emancipated), the student's residence is deemed to be the same as the parent's. If the parent holds a visa that is not listed in section 3 above, he or she would not be eligible to establish residency. In such circumstances, the student would likewise be barred notwithstanding his or her own filing of an I-485.

        5. Students who hold a current or expired visa and have applied for a change of status will retain their immigration status based on their prior visa status and not the status or visa for which they are applying.

      3. Proving Lawful Presence in the United States
        All applicants for instate tuition (and other public benefits) must first show at least one of the following documents in accordance with ARS §1-502 to demonstrate that they are lawfully present in the United States by presenting to the Registrar at Least one of the following documents:
        • An Arizona Driver's License issued after 1996 or an Arizona Non-operating Identification License or an Arizona Instruction Permit.
        • A birth certificate or delayed birth certificate issued in any state, territory, or possession of the United States (A hospital record/certificate and certified Abstract of Birth are not acceptable).
        • A United States Certificate of Birth Abroad.
        • A United States Passport.
        • A Foreign Passport with a United States Visa.
        • An 1-94 Form with a Photograph.
        • An appropriately designated United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization (Work Permit) or Refugee Travel Document [as listed on the Employee Authorization Document Chart].
        • A United States Permanent Resident Card
        • A United States Certificate of Naturalization.
        • A United States Certification of Citizenship.
        • A Tribal Certificate of Indian Blood.
        • A Tribal or Bureau of Indian Affairs Affidavit of Birth.

          * Tribal members*, the Elderly and "Persons with disabilities or incapacity of the Mind or Body," may submit certain types of documentation under section 1903 of the federal Social Security Act (42 United States Code 1396B, As Amended By Section 6036 of the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005)** *A Document issued by a federally recognized Indian Tribe Evidencing Membership or Enrollment in, or affiliation with, such tribe.**If you think that this may apply, please contact the legal services department for assistance.

      4. Presumptions Relating to Student Status
        Unless there is evidence to the contrary, the registering authority of the community college or university at which a student is registering will presume that:
        1. No emancipated person has established a domicile in this state while attending any educational institution in this state as a full-time student, as such status is defined by the community college district governing board or the Arizona Board of Regents, in the absence of a clear demonstration to the contrary.
        2. Once established, a domicile is not lost by mere absence unaccompanied by intention to establish a new domicile.
        3. A person who has been domiciled in this state immediately before becoming a member of the Armed Forces of the United States shall not lose in-state status by reason of such person's presence in any other state or country while a member of the Armed Forces of the United States.
      5. Proof of Residency
        When a student's residency is questioned, the following proof will be required.
        1. In-State Residency
          1. An affidavit signed by the student must be filed with the person responsible for verifying residency.
          2. Any of the following may be used in determining a student's domicile in Arizona:
            1. Arizona income tax return
            2. Arizona Voter registration
            3. Arizona Motor Vehicle registration
            4. Arizona Driver's license
            5. Employment history in Arizona
            6. Place of graduation from high school
            7. Source of financial support
            8. Dependency as indicated on federal income tax return
            9. Ownership of real property
            10. Notarized statement of landlord and/or employer
            11. Transfer of major banking services to Arizona
            12. Change of permanent address on all pertinent records
            13. Other relevant information
        2. County Residency
          A combination of the following may be used to determine a student's county residency:
          1. Notarized statements of landlord and/or employer
          2. Source of financial support
          3. Place of graduation from high school
          4. Ownership of real property
          5. Bank accounts
          6. Arizona income tax return
          7. Dependency as indicated on a Federal income tax return
          8. Other relevant information
    4. Concurrent Enrollment in Arizona Public Institutions of Higher Education (ARS §15-1807)(See Appendix S-3)
      Under Arizona Revised Statutes §15-1807, it is unlawful for any non-resident student to register concurrently in two or more public institutions of higher education in this state including any university, college or community college for a combined student credit hour enrollment of more than six (6) credit hours without payment of non-resident tuition at one of such institutions. Any non-resident student desiring to enroll concurrently in two or more public institutions of higher education in this state including any university or community college for a combined total of more than six (6) credit hours who is not subject to non-resident tuition at any of such institutions shall pay the non-resident tuition at the institution of his choice in an amount equivalent to non-resident tuition at such institution for the combined total of credit hours for which the non-resident student is concurrently enrolled