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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Residency for Tuition Purposes

Residence for Tuition Purposes

As a public university, the University of California charges difference tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. UC determines residency based on information admitted students provide in the Statement of Legal Residence (SLR).

Laws Governing Residence

The rules regarding residence classification for tuition purposes at the University of California are governed in accordance to the California Educational Code and the Standing Orders of the Regents of the University of California and are implemented through the University of California Residence Policy and Guidelines. Although each campus may adopt different administrative procedures, University regulations regarding residency for tuition purposes are exactly the same for all UC campuses.

More information regarding residency for tuition purposes can be found at UC's Residence Policy and Guidelines and on the Understanding Residency website. Students attending or seeking to attend the Santa Barbara campus may consult with the campus Residence Deputy for more information.

Please note that changes may be made in the residence requirements between the publication date of this statement and the relevant determination date.

Who Is a Resident?

Adult students (at least 18 years of age) may establish residence for tuition purposes in California if they are a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident or other immigrant, or a nonimmigrant who is not precluded from establishing a domicile in the U.S. This includes nonimmigrants who hold valid visas of the following types: A, E, H-1, H-4, I, K, L, O-1, O-3, R, T, U, or V.

To establish residence, a student must satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. Physical presence: Be physically present in California for more than one calendar year (366 days) immediately prior to the residence determination date in which resident classification is sought.
  2. Intent to become a California resident: Students must demonstrate through objective documentation that their physical presence is coupled with the intent to make California their permanent home. Intent is evaluated as an independent element of residence, separate from physical presence, and is demonstrated by establishing residential ties in California, and relinquishing all ties to the former place of residence. A student who is in the state solely for educational purposes will NOT be classified as a resident for tuition purposes regardless of the length of his or her stay.
  3. Financial independence: To be classified a resident for tuition and fee purposes, a student who is not dependent on a California-resident parent must demonstrate financial independence (total self –sufficiency) for one full year immediately preceding the residence determination date.

The financial independence requirement will not be a factor in residence determination for students who are financially dependent upon a California resident parent who meets the University’s requirements for residence for tuition purposes (physical presence with intent to remain in the state). Additionally, financial independence will not be a factor for residence determination for students who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have natural or adoptive parent(s), upon whom the student is financially dependent, who meet the requirements for California residence for purposes of tuition and fees, or
  • Graduate Student, regardless of age, or
  • Born or on before December 31 of the Academic Year in question, or
  • Married or Registered Domestic Partner as of the residence determination date, regardless of age. or
  • Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. or
  • Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or
  • Has a legal dependent other than a spouse or registered domestic partner, or
  • Is or was a ward of the court, foster youth, or both parents are deceased, or
  • Declared by a court to be an Emancipated Minor, or
  • Has been determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless pursuant to federal financial aid rules, or
  • Has demonstrated fulfillment of the UC Self-Supporting Financial Independence criteria during the one-year period ending on the relevant residence determination date, or
  • Student was a minor who reached the age of majority while in California, while parents were Residents for UC tuition purposes, and the parents left the state to establish residence elsewhere, and the student continued to reside in California after the parents departure. Student is required to have fulfilled the applicable Residency Requirements independently of the parents upon reaching the age of majority.

Establishing Intent to become a California Resident

Relevant indicia that contribute to the demonstration of a student’s intent to make California the permanent home include, but are not limited to, the following: registering to vote and voting in California elections; designating a California permanent address on all records (i.e., school, employment, military); obtaining a California Driver License or California Identification Card; obtaining a California vehicle registration; paying California income taxes as a resident (including taxes on income earned outside California from the date California residence was established); maintaining a California residence in which personal belongings are kept; licensing for professional practice in California; and the absence of these indicia in places other than California during any period for which residence in California is asserted.

Nonresident Supplemental Tuition

All students who have not lived in California with the intent to make California their permanent home for more than one calendar year (366 days) prior to the residence determination date for each quarter or semester they propose to attend the University must pay Nonresident Supplemental Tuition. The residence determination date is the day instruction begins at the last of the University of California campuses to open for the quarter, and for schools on the semester system, the day instruction begins for the semester.

Exemptions from Nonresident Supplemental Tuition

Students for whom any of the following conditions apply may be eligible for an exemption from Nonresident Supplemental Tuition.

  1. Member of the Armed Forces, dependent spouse, registered domestic partner, or child. A student on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in California, and their spouses or registered domestic partner, and dependent children. An undergraduate who is the natural or adopted child, stepchild, spouse, or registered domestic partner who is the dependent of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed in California on active duty, may be entitled to an exemption from the nonresident supplemental tuition. Graduate and professional school students are also entitled to this exemption under both state and federal regulations.
  2. Child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a faculty member. The spouse, registered domestic partner, or unmarried, dependent child under age 21 of a member of the University faculty who is a member of the Academic Senate may be eligible for an exemption from nonresident supplemental tuition.
  3. University employee or dependent child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a University employee. A student who is a full-time University employee who is permanently assigned to work outside the State of California or the unmarried, dependent child or the spouse or registered domestic partner of a full-time employee of the University of California who is permanently assigned to work outside the State of California (i.e., Los Alamos National Laboratory).
  4. Child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a deceased public law enforcement or fire suppression employee. A student who is the child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a deceased public law enforcement or fire suppression employee, who was a California resident and was killed in the course of law enforcement or fire suppression duties.
  5. Dependent child of a California resident. A student who has not been an adult resident for more than one year and is the natural or adopted, dependent child of a California resident who has been a resident for more than one year (366 days) immediately prior to the residence determination date. The student must also maintain full-time attendance in a California public postsecondary institution.
  6. Graduate of a California school operated by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A.). A student who is a graduate of a California school operated by the B.I.A. (i.e., Sherman Indian High School) and who enrolls at the University of California.
  7. Employee of California public school district. A student holding a valid credential authorizing service in California public schools and employed by a school district in a full-time certificate position.
  8. Student athlete in training at U.S. Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista. An amateur student athlete in training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, until the student has resided in California the minimum time necessary to become a resident.
  9. AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption. Under California law AB 540, AB 2000 and SB 68, certain nonresident students are exempt from paying nonresident supplemental tuition. Eligibility information can be found on the University of California Admissions web page.
  10. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. An undergraduate student under age 27 who is the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor or a child of a recipient who at the time of his or her death was a California resident.
  11. Surviving dependents of 9/11 terrorist attacks. Undergraduate students who are the surviving dependents of a California resident who was killed in the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon Building, or the crash of United Airlines flight 93.


Reduced Nonresident Supplemental Tuition for Doctorial Candidates

The annual nonresident supplemental tuition is reduced by 100 percent for graduate doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy, subject to the understanding that: (a) a graduate doctoral student may receive the reduced nonresident fee rate for a maximum of three years, and (b) any such student who continues to be enrolled, or who re-enrolls after receiving the reduced fee for three years, will be charged the full nonresident fee rate in effect at that time.

Temporary Absences

If a nonresident student is in the process of establishing a domicile in California and returns to his or her former home during non-instructional periods, the student’s presence in California will be presumed to be solely for educational purposes and only convincing evidence to the contrary will rebut this presumption. Students who are in the State of California solely for educational purposes will not be classified as residents for tuition purposes regardless of their length of stay in California.

If a student who has been classified as a resident for tuition purposes leaves California temporarily, the absence could result in the loss of California residence. The burden of proof is on the student to demonstrate through documentation that he or she (or the parents if the student is a minor) did nothing inconsistent with a claim of continuing California residence during a temporary absence. Steps that should be taken to retain California residence include, but are not limited to:

  1. Continue to use a California address on all records (educational, employment, military, among others).
  2. Continue to satisfy California tax obligations. A student claiming California residence is liable for payment of income taxes on his or her total income from the date he or she begins to establish residence in California, including income earned in another state or country.
  3. Retain a California voter’s registration and vote by absentee ballot.
  4. Maintain a California Driver License, California Identification Card, and vehicle registration in California. If it is necessary to change the driver’s license or vehicle registration, it must be changed back to California in the time prescribed by law.


Change in Resident Classification

Continuing students who are classified as nonresidents for tuition purposes, and who believe that they will be eligible for resident status for an upcoming quarter, must submit a new Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) in order to have their residence status changed. Students must initiate all changes of status before the residency determination date for the quarter for which they want to be reclassified. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their SLR at the earliest possible date in order to expedite the review process. As long as submission deadlines are met, students may be allowed a period of time no later than the end of the quarter to provide any additional documentation required for residence determination.

Incorrect Classification

Any student found to be incorrectly classified as a resident is subject to nonresident classification and to payment of all previously unpaid Nonresident Fees. If a student has concealed information or furnished false information, and was classified incorrectly as a result, the student is also subject to University discipline. Resident students who become nonresidents of California must immediately notify the Residence Deputy.

Inquiries and Appeals

Inquiries regarding residence requirements, determination, and/or recognized exceptions should be directed to the:

University of California, Santa Barbara
Residence Deputy
Office of the Registrar

1101 SAASB

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2015

To appeal a decision students have 30 days following the date of the campus decision letter was received to submit a completed Application to Appeal to:

UC Office of the General Counsel
Residency Analyst

1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607-5200

Fax: 510-987-9757, Attention: Residency Analyst

Other than UCSB’s Residence Deputy, Assistant Residence Deputy, or designee, no other University personnel are authorized to supply information relative to residence requirements for tuition fee purposes.