Residency Classifications

Resident Student

To be classified as a resident for tuition and fee purposes, a student must be either:

  1. financially independent and have established a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington for other than primarily educational purposes for one year immediately prior to the first day of the academic quarter, or
  2. financially dependent and have one or both parents domiciled in the State of Washington for a period of one year immediately prior to the first day of the academic quarter.

Nonresident Student

All other students are classified as nonresidents and will qualify for the nonresident with waiver tuition if a US citizen or permanent resident alien.

Establishing Residency Status

Students are solely responsible for requesting information about documentation required to establish residency status. To obtain information or to submit an application for a change of residency, contact the Admissions Office at Spokane Community College (SCC) or Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC). It is the student's responsibility to initiate the paperwork for change of residency request.

A student's domicile is the true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation where he or she intends to remain, and to which he or she expects to return when leaving without intending to establish a new domicile elsewhere. A student claiming to be domiciled in the state of Washington must prove that fact to the satisfaction of the college. Among the factors evidencing a domicile in this state are:

No one factor is conclusive and other factors may be considered.

Students may apply for a change in classification up to the 30th calendar day of the quarter in which the change is sought. Applications should be made at the Admissions Office at SCC or SFCC.

This is not an exhaustive discussion of residency; it is provided to inform students of the basic rules. Staff are available to answer questions in the SCC or SFCC Admissions Office.

Eligible Undocumented - House Bill 1079

Effective July 1, 2003, Washington State has changed the definition of "resident student." The law makes certain students, who are not permanent residents or citizens of the U.S., eligible for resident student status and eligible to pay resident tuition rates when they attend public colleges and universities in this state. The law does not make these students eligible to receive need-based state or federal financial aid. However, in 2014 the state’s financial aid law was amended so that undocumented students may be considered for need-based state aid (State Need Grant). To qualify for resident status, students must complete an affidavit/declaration/ certification if they are not permanent residents or citizens of the U.S. but have met the following conditions:

  1. Completed the full senior year of high school and obtained a high school diploma at a Washington public or private high school or received the equivalent of a diploma
  2. Lived in Washington for at least three calendar years (36 months) immediately prior to receiving the diploma or its equivalent
  3. Continuously lived in the state of Washington after receiving the diploma or its equivalent and until such time as the student is admitted to an institution of higher education

If you meet the above conditions and would like to pay resident tuition rates, contact the Admissions Office at the college to which you are applying to attend and request a copy of the HB 1079 Affidavit. To access this form online, go to www.wsac.wa.gov/sites/default/files/Residency.Affidavit.pdf

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