Tuition and fees at each member institution of the State University System of Florida are set by the Florida Legislature and from policies approved by the State Board of Education and the University Board of Trustees (UBOT). These fees are assessed on the basis of residency, i.e., enrolling students are classified either as “Florida” or “non-Florida” students. The following information is summarized from the Florida Statutes and from policies approved by the State Board of Education and the UBOT in establishing residency criteria.
To qualify as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, a student must
- Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, parolee, Cuban national, Vietnamese refugee, or other refugee or asylee so designated by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; and
- Have established a legal residence in this state and maintained that legal residence for 12 months preceding the first day of classes of the term in which Florida residency classification is sought. The student’s residence in Florida must be as a bona fide domiciliary rather than for the purpose of enrollment in an institution of higher education, and should be demonstrated as indicated below (for dependent students, as defined by IRS regulations, a parent or guardian must qualify); and
- Submit the following documentation (or in the case of a dependent student, the parent must submit documentation) prior to the last day of the drop/add period for the term in which resident status is sought; along with a residence affidavit with the Office of Admissions:
- Documentation establishing bona fide domicile in Florida which is not temporary or merely incidental to enrollment in a Florida institution of higher education. The following documents will be considered evidence of domicile even though no one of these criteria, if taken alone, will be considered as conclusive evidence of domicile:
- Declaration of Domicile.
- Florida voter registration.
- Florida vehicle registration.
- Florida driver’s license.
- Proof of real estate ownership in Florida (i.e., deed, tax receipts).
- A letter on company letterhead from an employer verifying permanent employment in Florida for 12 consecutive months before the term in which resident status is sought.
- Proof of membership in or affiliation with community or state organizations or significant connections to the state.
- Proof of former domicile in Florida and maintenance of significant connections while absent.
- Proof of reliance upon Florida sources of support.
- Proof of admissions to a licensed practicing profession in Florida.
- Any other factors peculiar to the individual which tend to establish the necessary intent to make Florida a permanent home and that the individual is a bona fide Florida resident, including the age and general circumstances of the individual.
- Documentation establishing legal residence in Florida (this document must be dated at least one year prior to the first day of classes of the term in which resident status is sought). The following documents will be considered in determining legal residence:
- Declaration of Domicile.
- Proof of purchase of a home in Florida in which a student resides (permanent primary Florida home).
- Proof that the student has maintained residence in the state for the preceding year.
- No contrary evidence establishing residence elsewhere.
- Documentation of dependent/independent status (notarized copy of most recent IRS tax return). Federal Income tax returns filed by resident(s) of a state other than Florida disqualify the student for in-state tuition, unless:
- The student’s parents are divorced, separated or otherwise living apart and either parent is a legal resident of Florida, or
- The student becomes a legal resident and is married to a person who has been a legal resident for the required 12 month period, or
- The student is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty stationed in Florida, or a spouse or dependent, or
- The student is a member of the full-time instructional or administrative staff of a state public school, community college or university in Florida, or a spouse or dependent, or
- The student is a dependent and has lived five years with an adult relative who has established legal residence in Florida.
The Office of Admissions reserves the right to require additional documentation in order to determine the resident status of any student. Rent receipts, leases, employment records are not evidence of a legal Florida residence. If Florida residency status for the purpose of tuition is denied, the student may file an appeal to the residency officer in to Office of Admissions.
Reclassification is NOT automatic. All requests for change in residency for tuition purposes with supporting hard copy documentation should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Requests will be reviewed and approved if documentation meets the requirements. If the reclassification request is denied, the student may file an appeal to the Office of the Registrar. The decision of the Residency Appeals Committee shall be final.